Grand Circle’s new policy re departure date changes

I read International Travel News as soon as it arrives on my desk every month. Because of the open forum it offers its readers, ITN helps me stay tuned into what seasoned travelers want and expect from foreign travel and what they bring to the experience themselves.

ITN also offers us at Grand Circle another channel — in addition to our post-trip surveys, customer letters, e-mails and phone calls — for receiving customer feedback. We track closely all forms of travelers’ feedback to determine what we’re doing well and, more importantly, what we could do better.

From reading ITN’s “Travelers’ Intercom” and from speaking to our travelers over the past 10 months, we decided we needed to revise our policy regarding departure date changes. And, as of Oct. 31, 2005, we did. Now, if Grand Circle must change a traveler’s reserved departure date, we offer the traveler the option of choosing an alternate date or canceling his or her reservation for a full refund.

We do not take lightly upsetting our travelers’ vacation plans, and we make every effort to avoid doing so. However, we believe our new policy will give our travelers more options and will lessen the impact of a travel date change.

I got into the business of international travel because I am a passionate traveler myself. I think what all travelers have in common — and what jumps off the pages of every ITN issue — is an ardent curiosity and a love of learning. . . about new places, new people, new ways of looking at the world. It is also true we can learn something new right here at home, and at Grand Circle we try to do so every day from our travelers.

STEPHANIE NICHOLS, Manager, Public Relations, Grand Circle Corporation, 347 Congress St., Boston, MA 02210

Grand Circle Corporation encompasses both Grand Circle Travel and Overseas Adventure Travel, and the new policy applies to both companies. — Editor