Goway Travel cancelled my trip for health reasons and refused to credit money to a trip next year

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Dec 12, 2019
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#1
I am requesting your help in a matter of great importance. My husband and I were planning a 30th anniversary trip of a lifetime to Italy in September and we went through Goway Travel Tours. Our trip was scheduled for September 1 and the reservation # was 4xxxxx. We were very excited to experience the romance and magic of Italy. However, the week of my scheduled trip, I was given bad news about a serious heart problem that required my visit to a specialist and ultimately hospitalization. This was a surprise to me, as I never had a health issue and waived the travel insurance as a general rule. I was prohibited to travel by my doctor and he sent a letter which I can provide. Also, the same time there was a major hurricane predicted to hit Florida and much stress caused me to postpone my trip. Needless to say I was devastated by this news.
At the time, our travel Agent Dawn Ohl from Cruise and Vacation Depot in Orlando gave alternate dates of May 16, 2020 to Goway with hopes of rescheduling the trip next year and moving the same itinerary to a time when my health allowed and there would not be a threat of hurricanes. I can include an email history from Dawn to the Goway agents. We were told by Goway Travel that only $800 could be recovered on our $8000 tour package due to the fact we waived the insurance and canceled too close to the travel date. My travel agent was told no exceptions could be made. Since then, I got involved and personally tried to contact Goway Travel Management. I contacted Aly Evraire twice by phone and once by email. I also wrote a letter to the president and COO and NO response was ever given to me on this matter. Clearly, Goway has decided to keep my money and ignore any communication from me. One of the hotels I contacted in Italy said they cancelled my reservation without penalty and they encouraged me to seek a refund from Goway.
I am contacting you, as I do not expect a refund only credit on a future trip next May. I still want to go to Italy as it is my dream vacation. I am appealing to your sense of good will, and hope justice will be served. I have spoken to many friends who travel frequently and experienced similar circumstances with cancellations and the travel companies have made exceptions without insurance. I now know the importance of insurance and will secure it on any future travel. I will provide all my contact information, and will be anxiously awaiting your decision in this matter.
Sincerely,
Norma Sxxxxxxxxxx (xxx-xxx-xxxx) phone/ [email protected] email

Edited by a moderator to remove reservation number and personal identifying information.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#3
You and your travel agent declined insurance that would have covered this. You can't have it both ways - either you pay for the insurance which would cover this, or you risk losing your money when something like this happens. Your travel agent should be well aware of this. The terms and conditions that you received from GoWay detail the cancellation policy and fees and they don't give you the option of a credit unless you bought their insurance.

Goway doesn't read these boards. It is your travel agents job to contact Goway on your behalf and see if they will do anything.

Your only option is to contact the credit card company as SoCal Traveler advised - they may offer travel insurance coverage that will help you.
 
Jan 6, 2015
3,397
4,050
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the United States
#4
This is my understanding of your experience:

Emergency. You purchased an $8000 trip to Italy with Goway Travel Tours using Cruise and Vacation Depot in Orlando
Travel Insurance. You knew of it beforehand, but declined to purchase as you "never had a health issue"
Emergency. You were subsequently hospitalized and prohibited to travel by your doctor
Decision. You then postponed and your agent (Cruise and Vacation Depot) gave alternate dates of May 16, 2020
Response. Goway Travel offered $800 as travel insurance was waived and you canceled too close to the travel date
Contacts. You have written to the president and COO with no response from either
Expectation. You do not expect a refund only credit on a future trip next May

According to your post, you WERE offered a May 2020 alternative, so this fact and also that your post seems directed at Goway are confusing . . .
 

JVillegirl541

Verified Member
Nov 21, 2014
3,894
3,959
113
#5
VoR61 I believe the OP’s TA was trying to get the trip rescheduled to May 2020. Pretty sure nothing but $800 was offered for the cancelled trip. I I read it correct the trip was cancelled the week before departure so Airlines would have not refunded a likely highly restricted ticket and now the tour has 2 empty seats and no way to resell it this was an organized tour.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
20,745
20,324
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#6
VoR61 I believe the OP’s TA was trying to get the trip rescheduled to May 2020. Pretty sure nothing but $800 was offered for the cancelled trip. I I read it correct the trip was cancelled the week before departure so Airlines would have not refunded a likely highly restricted ticket and now the tour has 2 empty seats and no way to resell it this was an organized tour.
Goway also sends a form they want all travelers to sign that states the cancellation policy so they travelers acknowledge it and sign that they decline insurance. So the consumer knows the penalties, it shouldn’t be a surprise.

We have a post here about what travel insurance offers:

https://forum.elliott.org/threads/the-right-travel-insurance.1283/
 
Jun 24, 2019
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#7
Some folks carry inadequate insurance on their cars, such as minimal coverage for uninsured/underinsured coverage. Or they carry minimum coverage even tough they have significant assets. uSome folks only have ordinary coverage on their homes, and don't opt for replacement value or upgraded code coverage. Lots of folks have no health insurance; others have opted for short-term policies which may provide limited coverage or which have pre-existing condition clauses.

We will hear from all of these people when something goes wrong.

As others have observed, if you choose to take the risk by not having insurance, then that is the risk you took.

Another way to look at it is for those of us who opt for insurance, think of how foolish we would feel if every large travel provider routinely made refunds upon any request for a special accommodation or "justice."

I don't know Goway. Never even heard of them. Goway is selling a perishable product, as are the airlines, hotels, etc. If a space goes unoccupied the opportunity to profit from the sale of that space evaporates. It is not "justice" for the investors in that business to lose money because someone misses the "trip of a lifetime" because of an unexpected health issue or possible hurricane and expects a refund. (Yes, a refund. Giving a credit for a future trip means a space which could have been sold at a profit now yields no additional revenue.)

In the past, we often relied upon credit card insurance for our trips, but, alas, that benefit is going away. And the one time we applied for benefits, we were turned down in a long and painful process, so the real value of insurance which came as a tacked-on benefit to a credit is unknown to us.

Folks should insure all risks they are unwilling to shoulder if bad things happen.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
8,949
9,564
113
San Francisco
#8
I am requesting your help in a matter of great importance. My husband and I were planning a 30th anniversary trip of a lifetime to Italy in September and we went through Goway Travel Tours. Our trip was scheduled for September 1 and the reservation # was 4xxxxx. We were very excited to experience the romance and magic of Italy. However, the week of my scheduled trip, I was given bad news about a serious heart problem that required my visit to a specialist and ultimately hospitalization. This was a surprise to me, as I never had a health issue and waived the travel insurance as a general rule. I was prohibited to travel by my doctor and he sent a letter which I can provide. Also, the same time there was a major hurricane predicted to hit Florida and much stress caused me to postpone my trip. Needless to say I was devastated by this news.
At the time, our travel Agent Dawn Ohl from Cruise and Vacation Depot in Orlando gave alternate dates of May 16, 2020 to Goway with hopes of rescheduling the trip next year and moving the same itinerary to a time when my health allowed and there would not be a threat of hurricanes. I can include an email history from Dawn to the Goway agents. We were told by Goway Travel that only $800 could be recovered on our $8000 tour package due to the fact we waived the insurance and canceled too close to the travel date. My travel agent was told no exceptions could be made. Since then, I got involved and personally tried to contact Goway Travel Management. I contacted Aly Evraire twice by phone and once by email. I also wrote a letter to the president and COO and NO response was ever given to me on this matter. Clearly, Goway has decided to keep my money and ignore any communication from me. One of the hotels I contacted in Italy said they cancelled my reservation without penalty and they encouraged me to seek a refund from Goway.
I am contacting you, as I do not expect a refund only credit on a future trip next May. I still want to go to Italy as it is my dream vacation. I am appealing to your sense of good will, and hope justice will be served. I have spoken to many friends who travel frequently and experienced similar circumstances with cancellations and the travel companies have made exceptions without insurance. I now know the importance of insurance and will secure it on any future travel. I will provide all my contact information, and will be anxiously awaiting your decision in this matter.
Sincerely,
Norma Sxxxxxxxxxx (xxx-xxx-xxxx) phone/ [email protected] email

Edited by a moderator to remove reservation number and personal identifying information.
I am so sorry to read this awful story, Norma. Are you recovering well? I surely hope so. That, of course, is the most important part. However, losing $8K is a devastating. I don't see how the tour operator could be expected to help you, as your places probably were empty, both the planes and during the tour. I wish your TA had beat you up a bit with the travel insurance.

It's vital to have insurance on any monies that are prepaid to any travel provider, it makes me so sad that you didn't buy insurance. I don't need to tell you, of course, that being healthy is not a good reason to go without travel insurance. I know this now, but I travelled around Europe for 40 years without insurance of any kind, not even knowing if my health insurance was valid. That's called dumb luck I think. I remember missing a cruise years ago ... my diagnosis came one day before the penalty date and the insurance paid without a whimper. That taught me a valuable lesson, stubborn as I am. My colleague asked if your credit card had any built-in insurance ... that would indeed be a miracle for you.

All I can think of is to ask the tour provider for a voucher for the May trip ... I'd ask for 50% of the value and settle for 25%. May is a busy month in Europe, you might think of asking for this trip in April when they're not so sure of selling out. Your TA should definitely be handling this for you; a good TA has contacts to call on when disaster strikes. Best of luck, and please let us know what transpires.
 
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Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
20,745
20,324
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#9
I am so sorry to read this awful story, Norma. Are you recovering well? I surely hope so. That, of course, is the most important part. However, losing $8K is a devastating. I don't see how the tour operator could be expected to help you, as your places probably were empty, both the plane and during the tour. I wish your TA had beat you up a bit with the travel insurance.

It's vital to have insurance on any monies that are prepaid to any travel provider, it makes me so sad that you didn't buy insurance. I don't need to tell you, of course, that being healthy is not a good reason to go without travel insurance. I know this now, but I travelled around Europe for 40 years without insurance of any kind, not even knowing if my health insurance was valid. That's called dumb luck I think. I remember missing a cruise years ago ... my diagnosis came one day before the penalty date and the insurance paid without a whimper. That taught me a valuable lesson, stubborn as I am. My colleague asked if your credit card had any built-in insurance ... that would indeed be a miracle.

All I can think of is to ask the tour provider for a voucher for the May trip ... I'd ask for 50% of the value and settle for 25%. May is a busy month in Europe, you might think of asking for this trip in April when they're not so sure of selling out. Your TA should definitely be handling this for you; a good TA has contacts to call on when disaster strikes. Best of luck, and please let us know what transpires.
As someone who works regularly with Goway, this is again asking for something insurance would have covered. Some insurance gives you a credit towards another trip. But that’s what you pay for insurance for.

We never say never because we have seen well written letters where a writer admits their mistakes sometimes sway an executive to make an exception and the OP should certainly write - she has nothing to lose by asking, the worst that can happen is a no all the way through, the best is a kind executive might make an exception.

This is where an agent that sells a lot of the suppliers product might be able to help by contacting their Sales Manager and asking for an exception. A company is more apt to make a exception for an agency that sells a lot of Goway product. Thus my advice to ask the agent to take it up with the supplier.

If the agent has gone as far as possible, the OP can ask our research department to see if they can find company contacts for the company using this form:

https://www.elliott.org/research/
 
Feb 3, 2019
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#10
I am appealing to your sense of good will, and hope justice will be served.
Giving you what you want in this situation would not be "justice," and I recommend very highly you don't attemt to paint your request as such.

If anything, "justice" is what you already got.
  • The tour company established policies and conditions for cancellation and refunds.
  • You accepted those policies and conditions.
  • Now the company is abiding by the policies and conditions to which you agreed.
I don't see how that can be considered "unjust."

You took a calculated risk in failing to insure your trip against the circumstances that led you to cancel, as many of us do every day. Unfortunately, you got bit by that decision. You are understandably upset and disappointed - perhaps even outraged - that you were not able to take your trip and have lost a good deal of money, but that doesn't change the fact that you are asking a company to make an exception for you.

The $800 Goway already offered may include refunds for costs it did not end up incurring on your behalf (taxes on airfare and lodgings, refundable lodging costs, etc). You may wish to have your agent ask Goway for more details to see if there are additional refundable or never-obligated charges your agent may be able to recover for you. But as SoCalTraveler stated, expecting the company to bear the financial consequences of your choices isn't "justice."
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#11
From Goway’s website:
CANCELLATIONS:
Cancellations received prior to final payment will incur loss of non-refundable deposit.

After the final balance is paid, the following cancellation schedule will apply:




Cancellation Penalties
Africa, Europe
Cancellation 0-59 days before departure:
100% cancellation fees

Asia, Downunder (South Pacific),
Islands, Central and South America
Cancellation:
0-30 days before departure: 100% cancellations
31-44 days before departure: 50% cancellation fees
45-60 days before departure: 25% cancellation fees



Other specific supplier and airline cancellation penalties may apply in addition to cancellation and amendment fees charged by Goway. There will be no refund for unused land arrangements. All cancellations required in writing.

INSURANCE
All passengers are STRONGLY URGED to take out adequate insurance coverage to protect themselves against cancellation due to illness prior to or during travel. In the event of a traveller becoming ill during a tour, all hospital and medical expenses are the traveller’s responsibility and they shall not be entitled to any refund, either total or partial, of passage money paid. Check with your travel agent as to what conditions and charges apply if you cancel your flight and/or land reservations.
 
May 30, 2019
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#12
When someone books a tour through a TA, the person is paying for the time and effort of both the tour group and the TA to ensure the trip matches the offer. When there is a cancellation, the TA & the tour group has to go through the time and effort to cancel arrangements. So even if one of the hotels might offer a full refund, that doesn't mean the action was effortless. Noting that, the tour group's cancellation policy was explicit right down to "STRONGLY URGED" in all-caps to get travel insurance. $800 credit (10%) towards a future trip is a generous goodwill gesture. I hope things end well.
 
Dec 12, 2019
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#14
I
Giving you what you want in this situation would not be "justice," and I recommend very highly you don't attemt to paint your request as such.

If anything, "justice" is what you already got.
  • The tour company established policies and conditions for cancellation and refunds.
  • You accepted those policies and conditions.
  • Now the company is abiding by the policies and conditions to which you agreed.
I don't see how that can be considered "unjust."

You took a calculated risk in failing to insure your trip against the circumstances that led you to cancel, as many of us do every day. Unfortunately, you got bit by that decision. You are understandably upset and disappointed - perhaps even outraged - that you were not able to take your trip and have lost a good deal of money, but that doesn't change the fact that you are asking a company to make an exception for you.

The $800 Goway already offered may include refunds for costs it did not end up incurring on your behalf (taxes on airfare and lodgings, refundable lodging costs, etc). You may wish to have your agent ask Goway for more details to see if there are additional refundable or never-obligated charges your agent may be able to recover for you. But as SoCalTraveler stated, expecting the company to bear the financial consequences of your choices isn't "justice."
I think companies make exceptions all the time. I will try to get further explaination on charges incurred. However, I do not want a refund I simply want more credit toward another trip next year.
 
Dec 12, 2019
7
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#15
This is my understanding of your experience:

Emergency. You purchased an $8000 trip to Italy with Goway Travel Tours using Cruise and Vacation Depot in Orlando
Travel Insurance. You knew of it beforehand, but declined to purchase as you "never had a health issue"
Emergency. You were subsequently hospitalized and prohibited to travel by your doctor
Decision. You then postponed and your agent (Cruise and Vacation Depot) gave alternate dates of May 16, 2020
Response. Goway Travel offered $800 as travel insurance was waived and you canceled too close to the travel date
Contacts. You have written to the president and COO with no response from either
Expectation. You do not expect a refund only credit on a future trip next May

According to your post, you WERE offered a May 2020 alternative, so this fact and also that your post seems directed at Goway are confusing . . .
Goway did not apply the credit for the may 2020 trip, that is the issue. I simply am trying to rebook for next year and apply some of the money I already paid. I would like to know where my $8000 went. One of the hotels wrote me and said they did not charge a penalty for cancellation so I should seek a refund from Goway.
 
Dec 12, 2019
7
1
3
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#16
I am so sorry to read this awful story, Norma. Are you recovering well? I surely hope so. That, of course, is the most important part. However, losing $8K is a devastating. I don't see how the tour operator could be expected to help you, as your places probably were empty, both the planes and during the tour. I wish your TA had beat you up a bit with the travel insurance.

It's vital to have insurance on any monies that are prepaid to any travel provider, it makes me so sad that you didn't buy insurance. I don't need to tell you, of course, that being healthy is not a good reason to go without travel insurance. I know this now, but I travelled around Europe for 40 years without insurance of any kind, not even knowing if my health insurance was valid. That's called dumb luck I think. I remember missing a cruise years ago ... my diagnosis came one day before the penalty date and the insurance paid without a whimper. That taught me a valuable lesson, stubborn as I am. My colleague asked if your credit card had any built-in insurance ... that would indeed be a miracle for you.

All I can think of is to ask the tour provider for a voucher for the May trip ... I'd ask for 50% of the value and settle for 25%. May is a busy month in Europe, you might think of asking for this trip in April when they're not so sure of selling out. Your TA should definitely be handling this for you; a good TA has contacts to call on when disaster strikes. Best of luck, and please let us know what transpires.
Thank you so much for your insight and suggestions.
 
May 1, 2018
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#17
I think companies make exceptions all the time. I will try to get further explaination on charges incurred.
They certainly do, and we hope they do so for you. But I still think you're not really understanding what is being said here. You shouldn't approach the travel provider asking them for an "explanation". If you do, they will probably reply with a copy/paste of their terms and conditions. You're approaching this the wrong way by using language like "refused to credit money", "Goway has decided to keep my money", "hope justice will be served", etc. It really sounds like you believe Goway to be in the wrong and you seem to believe they owe you something.

Instead, what you need to do is specifically acknowledge to Goway that they have done nothing wrong, and ask that they make a one-time exception for you in the form of travel credit because you still want to take this trip with Goway to experience their excellent service etc, etc.

I would also nix the "trip of a lifetime" and "dream vacation" descriptions. You hurt your case by telling Goway that you don't do these trips often. They are more likely to make an exception for you if they think you'll be a repeat customer on another $8000 vacation the following year.
 
Jun 24, 2019
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#18
I


I think companies make exceptions all the time. I will try to get further explaination on charges incurred. However, I do not want a refund I simply want more credit toward another trip next year.

I do understand that companies make exceptions all the time. You should try to get Goway to make an exception for you.

You should understand though, that those of us who always have insurance feel pretty foolish about the waste of that money if companies "always make exceptions."
 
Jun 24, 2019
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#19
Goway did not apply the credit for the may 2020 trip, that is the issue. I simply am trying to rebook for next year and apply some of the money I already paid. I would like to know where my $8000 went. One of the hotels wrote me and said they did not charge a penalty for cancellation so I should seek a refund from Goway.
I do not think that asking Goway where your money went is productive. As suggested above, you should be focusing on the unexpected health issues and your willingness to accept a credit towards a future trip with Goway.
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#20
The cost of travel ranges from non-refundable on the low end to refundable on the high side. The "cost compromise" is to add the small cost (percentage wise) of insurance, whether or not you are healthy. A comprehensive policy covers much more than health issues that can arise.

As to "where my money went", you received that for which you paid: a low-cost, non-refundable, itinerary. For future travel, counting on an exception will lead to disappointment. I agree with others: ask them politely to extend a large credit toward a trip next year.
 
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