I hope everyone is getting on ok in the current situation.
We need to share an important update on the Norway trip.
Bruce has been in constant contact with Venture Abroad (VA) about the current UK government ban on all international travel.
With the uncertainty we need to reach out to you all, to get some feedback.
Although we are unsure if the trip will be able to go ahead, we still need to make the final payment by Sunday the 26th of April (this was previously noted as 15th May was a typo, sorry about this)
The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) warns “if you're paying in instalments for a holiday and stop paying because you fear your holiday will be cancelled or you don't want to go, you are effectively cancelling the booking.”
This means that if the booking is subsequently cancelled by the operator, we won't get our money back, whereas if we continue to pay and it's then cancelled, we will get a refund.
If you cancel before making the final payment you will lose £354.19 per head.
We have confirmed this is the case with Venture Abroad
The February payment of £150 is held with 1st Banchory Scouts, this is repayable if you cancel
For those of you that paid the £150 in February, your balancing payment is £412.78, if you did not pay February's instalment your balancing payment is £562.78 per person.
With the halt on fundraising unfortunately, we will all have to pay the trip in full ourselves.
The fundraising already raised is being kept as our contingency fund for activities, additional food, extra insurance and any in country travel.
The update on our trip is:-
It will still go ahead if the travel ban is lifted.
VA will only cancel the trip when “travel is imminent “.
As leaders, we are all willing to support the trip, if it goes ahead.
At this time, it is more likely the trip will be cancelled by VA
If you feel you cannot afford to pay the final payment by next week. We are looking into a payment plan with Venture Abroad, but we need your feedback before exploring this. As you might guess they are really busy with more imminent trips just now
We ask you all for forbearance on this situation, there will be questions but please bear with us, we can only move forward one step a time, and answering the questions below is important at this time.
Ali, Bruce, Marcus & Martin
Please fill in the form below to help us with our ongoing dialogue with Venture Abroad and help us make the next move by tomorrow Monday 20th April
We can imagine there are many questions now going though your mind, so we have put together what we think some of these may be:
This this the advice being given to travel agents to give to customers from ABTA. Up to date 16th April
Link to it here
Q. What about the Fundraising already collected?
A1. If the trip goes ahead, this will be used as contingency during the trip
A2. If the trip is cancelled by VA, we would hope you will support donating this to the 1st Banchory Scout group, to support them in this unprecedented time.
Q. What if we cancel?
A. The 37 participants will have to accept a loss of £354.19 per head
Q. Can we not just cancel and claim on the insurance?
A. No, this is deemed a disinclination to travel and therefore an insurance claim would not be possible
Q. If the trip is cancelled by VA and they (VA) go out of business, will we get a refund?
A. Yes, ABTA will cover the refund
Q. If the Trip is cancelled by VA, how long will it take to get our refund?
A. Legally a refund for a cancelled holiday is due within 14 days BUT ABTA are currently lobbying the government to get this time frame extended. The real answer is, we don’t know when the refund will be paid. We do know it will be paid though
Q. Can we not just get a voucher and postpone the trip?
A. No, this is too complicated to facilitate, Several the Scouts finish after Summer and some of leaders can not commit to 2021.