Number of trips listed in online account
I was checking on some future travel details and making a payment today and noted the the number of trips we have taken with Tauck was listed incorrectly. I believe it may be that our last trip in October was not added. Anyway some may say who cares but it can make a difference. For instance, I believe seats at the captain's table are based on # of trips and I heard through the grapevine that Tauck is considering a loyalty program. I also like accuracy. I sent Tauck an email with the list of our trips. Past experience is that they are slow to answer but this issue doesn't warrant a call.
I noticed today I had no wait time calling them at 10:15 am on another subject. Also they announced have changed their call-in hours on Wednesday to 10am to 10pm.
A loyalty program would be nice. I wonder if that would be as a replacement for the Gift of Time or in addition to.
Tauck does not have all of my trips accounted for, either. I did e-mail them about it, and offered to list the trips, but got no response.
Glad to hear this has happened to others. I realized our number was wrong years ago, but now I couldn’t even tell you the names of the trips we went on because so many have been retired. Never thought about it affecting possible Captain’s table perks…..we have had two of those already and food and wine are better than everyone else gets…or even thought about maybe a loyalty program. I reckon they should have already given me a free trip!
I'm missing one as well but our last was only 2 months ago so it could take awhile to catch up
Bucketlist I assume you mean Capts Table on small ship cruises.
As to a loyalty program, I have mixed feelings. We all like extra perks but I wouldn't want it to result in a kind of class system. I don't think it would contribute to a fun group -especially land tours. I've seen enough glimmerings of resentment when one couple got a very nice hotel room and another a soso room.
I see the ‘number’ which for us is correct. Is there somewhere they list the actual trips?
Maybe the App will list it when relaunched Lol.
Sealord -- No, they don't list the actual trips anywhere that I am aware of. They just give the number.
They listed maybe the last five you did and then that feature stopped. I looked at ours today and originally our first tour with Tauck said 2004 and now it says 2003, I can’t recall which is correct. The number of tours they say we have taken doesn’t seem to have changed.correctly for quite a while now. It’s the first time I’ve looked at the number of tours for ages. I don’t care unless they start a loyalty programs or I miss out a Captain's table.
That data is available to TD's.
The guest list everyone received from our TD a few years ago listed the month, year, tour name, and, in most cases, the TD we had for every tour we had taken. Our upcoming booked tours were also listed, sans TD. The list was correct.
The current number in our My Account has not been updated with our December XMAS Mkts cruise.
I called them up when I noted the number of our trips was wrong and it was quickly corrected. It was as easy as that. Yes, it mattered to me.
my count it's wrong too. it has been for the last 5 years.. they are not counting China.
I sure hope the Gift of Time would not be replaced by a loyalty program. The random hotel room assignment is a more equitable and friendlier way. Accruing points for dollars off a tour would be great.
I asked about my incorrect number when I called about something else and was told that the count was updated after they processed the Hope and Trust forms. Now I don’t think that is correct because my account appears to include my COVID-canceled ESW trip.
Hi British - Where do you look to see past tours? I I see is a total on our account in the upper left. There is no link to click just that we have been an Explorer since 2006. The only trip info is upcoming trips and our bucket list.
That feature is no longer there. It seems that it is now impossible to rely on Tauck for the correct number of tours you have been on. I first noticed the discrepancy years ago, the agent said that it was not unusual for counts to be wrong even back then. If you care, I suggest you keep a count yourselves. I never thought about it affecting things like Captains table priority on Small ship tours. If Tauck starts a loyalty program, I’d be a bit annoyed if my count was wrong, as we truly can’t recall all the tours we have taken. You might ask how that could be, but for instance, when you have taken a number of Tauck Italy tours and they overlap or they are no longer live tours, things like that can make you forget which tour was which. We haven’t always made photo books and had photo prints instead of digital photos. Especially US tours and some European tours. It’s enough to know we have been there, we don’t need pictures or diaries.
Regarding doing away with the Gift of Time, , I truly believe that was started to ensure most people arrived in good time for a tour and reduced late arrivals, it was nothing to do with loyalty.
I’ve used a tour company who gives 5% discount for loyalty, which on an expensive tour, can actually work out as being more generous than a free night in a hotel, especially if the hotel per night cost is one of the cheaper ones.
Does anyone else have other thoughts or theories about this?
British, I also use that company which gives 5% discount for loyalty, plus 50% off single supplement, which for me is a really, really, really big deal! The value is way more than the GoT for sure.
Rick Steves gives you a $50 discount for every previous tour undertaken with them which given how inexpensive their tours are is pretty good. For Tauck it would need to be closer to $100 per tour.
Given how expensive airfare has been lately I think they would do well to promote back to back tours. They already give you a break on the insurance (you only pay for one) but it would be nice if the website had a way to easily check what tours would be starting within a day or two of your end date. In the past I've had to sit their with a calendar checking tours myself. Maybe even come up with suggested combinations especially for the 1 week tours.
The two times I've contemplated back-to-back tours I couldn't find a calendar suitable, so I made a bar graph of all the tours over a given period. That was a bit of work. As some have learned Tauck will assist. In some cases travelers just couldn't make it work until a Tauck agent suggested changing the sequence of the two planned trips. That is often easier than booking flights
I suspect the GOT serves multiple purposes- an incentive to arrive a day early (remember, however, the GOT can be used at either end of a journey), a goodwill gesture or reward for returning customers, etc., etc. In the long run everyone is paying for it. Tauck, like any business, will recover the costs for such things in the tour prices. It is the same thing as airline loyalty programs- miles, status, sky lounges, etc. I read an article that claimed the airlines include their costs for such programs in ticket prices and as a result make a considerable amount of money from unused miles.
Totally agree with you Claudia Sails. I have done back to back tours with the same provider as well as back to back tours with two different providers. I prefer to spend a longer time away and also want to maximize the cost of my business class airfare. Sometimes I do a tour and then spend a week somewhere close by where the tour ended. For instance, in October I did K&T with Tauck and then flew to Zanzibar for a week on my own. This coming September, I am booked for back to back with Tauck to Switzerland and Northern Italy. The second tour starts on the day the first tour ends so I will get both a post and pre night GoT for each trip.
If Tauck is smart, they will start a loyalty program with discounts dependent on how many tours you have done or, alternatively the expense of the tours you have done. My husband and I have done 12 and have deposits on 4 more. We have taken our children on several. Every tour has been international. One day I sat and counted how many individual Tauck tours we paid for and it was 30!!!!! I think something beyond a gift of time would be advisable. I know Ponant does that ( 4 cruises and you get7.5% off and free laundry. ) Regent cruises has a loyalty program. It seems ridiculous. They also seem to be raising their tour prices by $1000 per person year over year, and seem to give less on the tours ( less meals or less sites visited). I love Tauck, but at a certain point it is good business to give something back to their loyal customers to show appreciation. Even a pre and post night would be a terrific gesture. Priority on wait lists would be great. There are so many things they could do…..
I really appreciate the Gift of Time but if it wasn't there, I'd probably book the night myself. In general, we like to arrive a day early, to time adjust and to put some slack in the travel in case there are delays.
Regent has a loyalty program, but it really doesn't give you a whole lot. Now that they do free laundry for everyone, that's not a loyalty advantage anymore. However, even with the few perks, I find myself favoring Regent over taking another cruise line, just to build up the nights on Regent. I know it doesn't make sense.
I just don't know what Tauck could do. I thought about early notice of new tours - maybe an email before it goes up on the web. For future departures of existing tours, you can put yourself on the waitlist - which we do.
Maybe when a tour is full, the waitlist could be prioritized by the number of tours you've done.
While I personally like the idea of getting priority on a wait list, I think that Tauck needs to think about expanding their customer base by getting different people on their tours. The same goes for better rooms/views in hotels. We are all aging and in ten to twenty years likely will no longer be able to travel. They need people now in their 50's to be as loyal customers as we are. The question is how can they do that? Giving us discounts based upon trips taken could be done without impacting newer travelers. But they should continue to wow the people on their first few tours.
A loyalty program would not negatively effect new travelers. To the contrary, it would incentivize additional trips.
The number of trips listed on my account is correct—9. We have number 10 beginning in a week (Best of Hawaii) and are booked on 4 more through 2024. As for a loyalty program, I have found the GoT very generous, particularly in that if pre- and post-nights are booked, the GoT applies to the more expensive hotel. If a new loyalty program were initiated, what it would include and how it would be structured would determine its value to loyal travelers.
ClaudiaSails, voikk32 - The idea of doing back-to-back tours in order to save on the airfare from the US, probably (with maybe a couple of exceptions) is only an option for European tours where tour starting and stopping points aren't too far apart. As those points get farther apart the airfare savings drops rapidly.
In addition, saving the $6-8K in airfare for two, compared to the cost of adding two additional tour costs and putting all of those costs in a single year, probably makes the single year outgo to Tauck much more than most people would want to spend in a single year. In general, spreading those costs over two years seems more prudent, at least for me.
I like the Gift of Time over a loyalty program. It's much easier to use, especially if airline frequent flyer programs are any example of how a loyalty program might work.
How is loyalty determined? We have traveled with Tauck since 1985. We have 11 tours under our belts. Are we more loyal than the travelers who have only 8 tours but over a period of the last 4 years. Or, are we less loyal than travelers with 20 tours in 20 years. I agree with Sam. Give us the gift of time. It says to me, “ Welcome back!! We remember you and we appreciate your business.
SmilingSam, what works for one may not work for others. For me, it works but I appreciate that some have limited vacation time or simply don't want to be gone that long or want to stick to a travel budget.
And you are correct that starting/ending points of back to back trips would have to be reasonably close to make the savings worthwhile. As another example, I have done Greece and Israel back to back. A 1 hour flight at $55. between the 2 countries was definitely a whole lot cheaper than doing 2 separate trips with 2 different business class airfares.
I had back to back trips to Greece and Turkey cancelled during Covid--still looking to get those back on the schedule. There's so much to see and do in Greece and its many islands.
Tauck, and other providers, offer so many different types of trips to suit everyone's travel needs. There are so many commenters on the forum who simply rave about the Christmas markets cruises and go back year after year to do them. But that's not my cup of tea. We all have different priorities and interests.
I will be 78 on my next birthday this year and figure I can spend a little bit more of my children's inheritance as my travel days will become much more limited in the future. 😊
Remember the old saying, "Travel first class or your children will."
Spot on, Mike Henderson, spot on! 😂😂😂
This is a great discussion.
I’d like to make some remarks about attracting younger people. This summer, we will be bringing our family on a Tauck US based Bridges tour. I’m going to be interested to see what they think, they would never be able to afford to stay at the hotels we are going to, but quite frankly, they don’t need to at their ages. It’s only later in life that most people start to enjoy and afford the finer hotels. They could be put off Tauck tours for quite a while because of these expensive hotels putting up the prices so much when they could happily enjoy the same trip in less expensive hotels that would bring down the price. It’s a shame they might wait another twenty years before they are able to consider a Tauck tour within their budget.
The next thing is the constant dressing up and jackets, younger people don’t want that on a vacation.. I have to admit both my son and son in law are snappy dressers and definitely have a number of jackets each, more than my husband now owns. They both have the most gorgeous shoes, put my hubby to shame foot wise. My daughter and daughter in law are cute as buttons in smart outfits, but on vacation, they like to be casual, and in shorts when appropriate, unless maybe in a country that they would be frowned on. Would this put them off a Tauck vacation becomes there are too many formal elements, maybe it would.
Now the length of tours. We were in our late forties when we first traveled with Tauck. We liked it when Tauck started to offer one week tours, it meant we could take two a year when we went through a period of only having three weeks vacation. We were always the youngest by far then.
Tauck new bookings are high, so I don’t think they need to add any generous incentives right now.Tauck has suffered more than we know during times of Covid, not least because they have been very generous with their customers, upholding the original ideals of Arthur Tauck. It is to their detriment in the short term.
How difficult it must be to please everyone, I don’t envy them at all.