I just received a e-mail that I was not given the green light for the date I wanted for a tour. They said I could be put on a waitlist for the date I wanted. Has anyone had any experience with this? Is it a real long shot? I know people have till the end of Dec to cancel without penalty. There is one week they did offer that might work but not crazy about it as I think flights will be high that week because of a holiday.
"There is one week they did offer that might work but not crazy about it as I think flights will be high that week because of a holiday."
You could plan to fly in before the holiday week to give yourself a few more days in your beginning location. I like to arrive early for a tour anyway for various reasons including giving myself some flex time in case of transportation hiccups, to get over jet lag and because most of the tour start points are interesting locations and there is often not enough time to visit them after the tour starts. Of course that depends on you having extra time to add!
If you did take the date that was offered will they still allow you to be waitlisted on your original tour date?
I'd stay on the waitlist, but give yourself a cutoff date, after which you have to make other plans. We are confirmed on our tour, but waitlisted for an earlier date. I'll wait until I feel the need to commit to flights and then drop the waitlisted. I'm guessing that a lot of people signed up ASAP for placeholders, and for multiple dates, so that there will likely be a lot of reassessment and dropouts. It is so very early.
I have been waitlisted before with RS. Sometimes I get an email that a seat has opened. Other times I did not. My gut tells me about 40% of the time I get the email about an open seat. But, that is during normal times.
These times are not normal. I bet the staff at RS will tell you that. 18,000 reservations in 4 days doesn't fit what they would consider normal business activities. The pandemic has mixed things up. The one factor in your equation is the extra long time we have to cancel without losing the deposit. I think Rick was smart to do that. But, it also means that come late December, a lot of people will be cancelling travel plans and seats will open up. My trip is about a year away. I would never book a trip that far ahead in normal times even if RS gave me the opportunity to do so. I fully intend to go next year. But who knows what might happen in the next 11 months?
Whatever happens I suspect 2022 will be a much better time to travel than 2020 or 2021. RS may even open new tours as the year goes on. He has done that in the past and has said about 25% of his tours are still on the back burner waiting to see what happens.
Keep the faith, but do make alternative, refundable plans.
We’re on a waitlist for the same tour, two different dates. I hesitated to book earlier because now that we are retired we wanted to travel more last minute, not making bookings so far in advance. It is impossible to know what will happen by December 31, but hopefully we will have more concrete plans for 2022. If the tour becomes available, I’m pretty sure we will book. If it’s meant to be, it will be, a favorite philosophy of my mom.
This is going to be a strange travel year with RSTours. We are currently waitlisted for 2 dates on the tour we really wanted, but booked another tour just in case. In a typical year, we wouldn’t have bothered with trying the wait list, but given how fast tours filled, this isn’t a typical year. Normally, tour dates for the coming year wouldn’t have been released until mid/late August. As we’ve all seen, much can happen in 6 months.
Would they let you book the not-your-favorite date and then switch if seats become available on the waitlisted date? Then it becomes an issue of how much flexibility you have and would you rather have the not-your-favorite date than nothing? The email that went out made it sound like they expected things to change significantly after Dec 31st.
We met a couple on our last RS tour (Village Italy) and decided to go together on the Best of England tour in 2020. On 5/30/21, the four of us signed up for an England tour departing in September 2022. At the time we signed up, the website listed the tour as fully available. We both received acknowledgements of our reservation. Our friends were notified on Saturday 6/5 that they were shut out of the tour, and were offered several options for dates not listed on the regular website listing. We both wrote emails to RS requesting a transfer to another date, and just received an email from RS saying that our confirmations will arrive shortly.
Update 6/6 9:30 AM - Received confirmation for Best of England tour with revised dates. Still waiting for official confirmation on a second tour with a different couple - Munich, Salzburg & Vienna. We submitted our request for the second tour on the afternoon of 5/30/21. The Munich,Salzburg & Vienna tour was listed as Pending Confirmation until today, when it disappeared from my tour account. I understand that this happens when RS is working on the reservation.
Update 6/7 12:30 PM - Looked at my tour account and the Munich, Salzburg & Vienna tour is listed as confirmed. I have not received an email from RS yet.
“The email that went out made it sound like they expected things to change significantly after Dec 31st.“
Patty, I think things will change and dates will become available before the December 31 cancellation deadline. If people booked multiple tours as back ups, they’ll need to release them in order to get their deposits back.
Still waiting and hoping for our confirmation!
I booked Eastern France on May 28 and my status shows as "Pending Confirmation". My deposit was also pending on my online credit card statement, but now has disappeared. Not going to worry. I assume the office staff is still working through the glut of signups.
I wound up booking a different week they offered. Hoping it won't be too cold in October. However, still on the waitlist of for the date I wanted.
For my recent destinations, October is one of my favorite travel months. The days are shorter, yes. I enjoy the earlier illuminations and I fare much better in the cooler weather. I pack a super light raincoat that layers over a light sweater. When I travel solo, I have to watch out for activities that are offered fewer times during the week. On a tour, that won't be as much of an issue, except perhaps for free time. I hope it goes well!
I have to give the RS org a fantastic THANK YOU for going above and beyond for our traveling companion. We are a group of 8 taking the April 4th Portugal tour. Seven of us got our confirmations but one did not. An email to the RS office with an explanation on what happened was rewarded with the team contacting other folks on the tour. One couple graciously agreed to move to an earlier tour and our group is now all on board. This is just one reason we love Rick Steve’s Europe the the fantastic job they do!
Oh my wow, that is exceptional!! I honestly cannot believe how hard those 100 RSE people are working for all of us!!
Mark G, that's amazing and so happy for all of you guys!
It will be interesting to see how the tour group dynamics work with a group of 8 traveling together.
Mark G, great news!! I’ve taken 6 tours with RS over the last 8 years and I’ve found their customer service to be stellar.
Yes the RS team are working so hard! I received a late Saturday evening reply (7pm their time). I really appreciate their hard work.
Hey! Check your email. Rick Steves just opened up a bunch of new trips with different dates to popular destinations. If you’re on one of these waitlists, you got an email, and a 24 hour headstart to sign up for trips, before they open them up to the general population. Yes! Many more dates to choose from!
Same here - received an email tonight offering a trip date within a week of the one I was waitlisted for.
I am so impressed with the RS Tours team. We’re on 2 waitlists and got that email with other options that are only offered to those already waitlisted. How they have figured out the need so quickly and answered with a fair way of giving people options is beyond belief. They could be teaching a whole lot of agencies and business how to conduct customer service.
We opted to stay on the waitlists.
They are really impressive, aren’t they? Signed up yesterday for one of those new dates they emailed, and got a confirmation this afternoon already, less than 24 hrs later. Wow!
Yes. I joined waitlists end of May for 2 of the Athens & Heart of Greece tours departing in April 2022. I received email last week 6/24 opening on one waitlisted tour.