We Cleared the Waitlist, but . . . . ?

We just received a new Summary of Purchase confirming we made it to the top of a waitlist, unfortunately it is for our second (third, fourth?- depends on how you count) choice of departures, and we must decide quickly what to do.

To review-

  • Our first attempt for J&E (SG) this past March was cancelled.

  • We re-booked immediately, but could only get a January 2021 departure (a bit too cold in Petra, still a significant chance it could be cancelled, GEM doubtful it will be open?). We are paid in full except for our post-stay- hotel rates have not been set.

  • We are also on two waitlists:

    • The first one is for a March 2021 departure (nicer weather and slightly reduced chance it will be cancelled due to COVID19, and better chance the GEM will be open?) and

    • a second one for an Oct 2021 departure (for which we just received the Summary of Purchase) (good weather, should be totally over COVID19 restrictions, GEM probably open, but a long way off!!! ). Unfortunately, we have heard nothing about the March waitlisted date).

We have only two days to respond to accept or decline the Oct 2021 date. What is a body to do???

FYI, for anyone else on a waitlist, here is what the note at the bottom of the fees section of the Summary of Purchase says (yes, it is in all caps, italics, and repeated :D ):




  • So are you going to reply to the email? :)

    Not sure if you posted this to solicit opinions. If not, you can ignore this. If it were me, I'd do Oct 2021. Even though it's a long way off, you have a much higher likelihood of the trip going and GEM being open than March.

    I've already rebooked one trip (was supposed to be April 2020). Have one each in Sept and Oct that likely will be cancelled. My next booked trip after that is Nov 2021 (Egypt). I'm not going to book anything else prior to that trip. It's not fun to play dentist and pull teeth to get my money back from the airlines.

  • The tours that I still have booked with Tauck after the October one where our flights have been cancelled anyway even though right now, the tour is not officially cancelled, Tours in April and July, we are going to get Tauck to book them, even if it costs more, it’s a lot less hassle right now.

  • BKMD

    So are you going to reply to the email? :)

    Not sure if you posted this to solicit opinions.

    Yes, indeed!

    We are currently juggling 3 trips (in current order): XMAS Mkts Dec 2020 (we already backed that one up by also booking Dec 2021- there will be 3 others (2 groups) with us who wanted Cat 1 cabins. Next up is J&E Jan 2021 (Mar 2020 CNX) with the waitlist option for Oct 2021, available for just two more days (we are also on a waitlist for Mar 2021- our preferred date- why??). Finally, we have Treasures of the Aegean (Greece) in May 2021.

    If we accept the (waitlist) Oct 2021 J&E that potentially means 3 trips in one year, two of which less than a month apart. Might be too much for LOML. My body is not doing the best at the moment- sciatic issues. I had my knee done so I could do some extra hiking in Petra last March, so at least that is done and probably good for the remaining useful life of the 'vehicle' :)

    As you can guess I'm leaning towards March 2021 for J&E- but at present, that is not an option (yet). But I'm play a guessing game with COVID. I guess I could check my piggy bank and do what I did for XMAS markets.

    It's not fun to play dentist and pull teeth to get my money back from the airlines.

    I've been lucky so far, but suspect it will get harder, AND more expensive. The same flights on Delta for next Mar are double what they were for this past March and what I paid for the Jan flights. I found alternatives for March if that opens up that are just as good, but not on Delta so no usable miles, though that is really not much of a consideration.

  • My head is spinning at all your travel possibilities! Does everyone really think there might be no more trips this year? That would seem like overkill to me, but maybe I’m in the minority. We only take one big trip a year, but I have also lost an annual chick trip this year too. I am so ready to go somewhere!

  • AlanS has a spreadsheet to help you understand. 😀

  • Sam - pot kettle black :)

  • I'm thinking there will be no more trips this year. My Tauck trip to Germany, for which I was supposed to leave tomorrow, and a trip to Paris on my own with a friend in September have been cancelled. I fully expect my Tauck trip to New Zealand that was supposed to start Oct. 31 to be cancelled. I used to take one trip a year, but since I retired (June 2018), I've done more. Life is short, and I'm not getting any younger. I feel very fortunate that I've been able to see as much of the world as I have.

  • edited June 4

    We made a decision, right or wrong, only time will tell, to pass on the waitlisted Oct 2021 date. We are now left with the (re-)booked Jan 2021 date, while we wait to see what happens with the Mar 2021 waitlist. If we make it to the top of that list and airfares haven't gone crazy we will switch to the Mar departure.

    A new wrinkle just popped up tonight- I checked the status of our Jan 2021 J&E flights. I do this regularly to avoid surprises, or at least avoid last minute surprises. Everything looked fine in "My Delta" the place flyers generally check flight status. But, out of curiosity, I also decided to see if I could book the same tickets to see the current fare and if there is anything strange with the flights. What I saw was "Oh, no!" I thought ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! WTF! The Business Class cabins on the Delta legs were only about 1/4 or less full so I went to the Air France site because Delta wasn't showing AF leg seat maps. Everything looked OK in "My Booking," on Air France- same seating situation- almost empty, but again, I could not complete a new booking with my existing itinerary ("Sorry, there are no flights . . . "). I'll wait a day or so before I check again and call Delta if things are still screwed up- we are still 230+ days out. There is a possibility the problem is a result of the reduction in the number of available seats due to the new airline social distance spacing, but no seats were blocked out in any sort of a pattern which is what you would expect to see.


    Air France:

  • Oh, no! Maybe we made the wrong decision! Delta doesn't have all the details yet from their partners, so the agent couldn't help, but from what I could tell, flights have changed around the time of our outbound flights. It appears Air France is no longer providing the leg to Amman. It will be provided by Transavia (super budget arm of KLM), however, not Sunday, the day we are supposed to fly into Amman!!! So, we will need to go an extra day earlier or cancel and go with another airline. For once I hadn't planned to do any pre-tour activities- after all it is the "Dead Sea."

    Back on the waitlist for Oct 28! :'(

  • Oh my goodness Alan, you must be super stressed. Although we have been booking our own flights more recently, and as soon as flights open up, my husband does that. But right now, he has no intention of doing it that way. First, we will get Tauck to book the flights. Our tour is April, he will start looking I guess around September, I can’t influence him about these things. He will research flights then and call Tauck to book them for us which is the way we used to do it. As people become more confident and wanting to ‘risk’ travel, extra flights Will become available. If we can’t get flights, then we will have to cancel and Tauck can deal with the flights part.
    We should be on the Tauck Croatia tour right now. I’m about to get up to see what damage last night’s storm has caused. The one two days ago meant I spent several hours sawing through a massive tree limb fallen from beyond our property and onto my flower bed. I must have had to saw it into about fifteen pieces before we could move it. Well, with all this exercise and no Tauck food, my weight is remaining stable, so that’s something to be positive about.

  • AlanS - Your travails inspired me to look again at my American reservation to/from Egypt: Jewels of the Nile tour in October. Nothing has changed. I'm still in limbo, with the legs of my flight to/from the states through Rome having been deleted while leaving the other legs intact. Below is a message that you don't want to see on your reservation when you look at it.

  • You all are making me nervous about our flights! We’re on British Air all the way- DCA- Heathrow - Amman and coming back Cairo- Heathrow - DCA. Our trip is next March, so I hope things have settled down by then.

  • Virginia Sue - Now that Vegas has reopened, I checked the odds. The Morning Line on your trip being cancelled is only 15%. :D

  • Yes, the sports books are open, but only for the ponies (unless you want to bet on Korean baseball or Portuguese soccer). B)

  • Sports betting just came to Colorado in May. I don't partake, but I heard that most money is going on ping pong and Belarus soccer (seriously).

  • milmil
    edited June 5

    FYI.... Emirates flights are excellent , I'm flying to Jordan-Egypt. next 2021 for the TAUCK May 16 tour.
    14 hours Seattle-Dubai direct.- 3 hours layover.. time to go shopping awesome duty free- 2 hours flight to Jordan. coming back
    Cairo- 3 hours 35min. flight and then on to Seattle after 2 h. layover
    $1,500 per ticket.

  • I second Emirates as a great airline! I took them to and from Boston and Hanoi. Had a long layover on the way over, but included in the (business class) airfare was several hours in a hotel at the Dubai airport. Would definitely use them again if the timing made sense.

  • Sam!!! My trip better not be canceled! Vegas better keep their odds to themselves!

  • Mil, I thought it was impossible to book flights more than 330 days out from the return date, how do you so it?

  • 330 Days is observed by Delta, some others less, but there may be some that accept bookings farther out than 330 days. However, just now, using the Emirates website, I couldn't book any flights departing after 30 April 2021.

  • I don’t think the Tauck people even attempt to book anything until you are 330 days from your ‘return’ flight’s last leg.
    If booking using miles, with some companies you can book a one way going 330 days out, and then later book a one way return, and use the same number of miles as a round trip.

  • Has anyone ever booked thru Tauck but used an airline voucher? Our Sep Switzerland trip is most likely to be canceled but so far Delta & Air France haven't canceled any of our flights so we may have to take a voucher. The flights weren't booked thru Tauck this time so they won't be involved in getting the voucher or refund if they are canceled. Just curious.

  • I think I have mentioned already that airlines deliberately wait until the last minute to cancel in the hope that you will have to cancel and that means they only have to offer you a voucher. If you wait until they cancel they have to offer you a cash refund. Amex travel gave us this advise and that is how we got a refund on the air for the tour we should be on now. Obviously, if it gets within days of your departure, you will have to do something, but otherwise hang on.

  • I was informed by Tauck just yesterday that you can’t book air unless it is 11 months from your date of return. We are scheduled to travel next May arriving home on May 23, 2021, so we could book our air anytime after June 23, 2020. We just had our August Africa trip canceled and had booked our air on KLM through Tauck—we should have the refund hit our account next week—no hassle. It further convinced me that, even when more expensive, I’d rather have Tauck handle our air reservations.

  • Hanging in there is my plan. Was just wondering if they don't cancel the flights in time what my opinions were. As you know, sometimes Tauck travel can beat what I can do on my own and sometimes not.

    Ironically I booked this round through Atlanta (not my favorite hub) because they have more US to Paris flights per day and it's one of the airports that they haven't canceled as many flights from and to Europe. We like Salt Lake City but have been burned in the past with flight schedule changes that have made things harder - including once canceling our flight to Albuquerque when coming back from the UK 2 weeks before the tour start. Probably if we had booked thru SLC this time the flights would already be cancelled.

  • edited June 7

    Claudia, and others- with everything that is going on with the Airline industry and COVID, be sure you regularly check the status of your flights, both via the "My Flights" (or whatever your airline calls it) but also try to book another trip with the same itinerary and identical flights as you have already booked. As I posted here on 4 June, "My Delta" showed and still shows that there isn't a problem with my Jan 2021 J&E flight itinerary, however I get an error code and "no flights available" or "no seats available" when I try to do another booking. I get the same results if I attempt to book through Air France. It took a bit for the Delta phone rep to find and acknowledge there was a problem, and admit he couldn't fix it, at least now.

  • With all the talk that there will be a new update on Monday from Tauck relative to cancelations I thought I'd look at my flights for my upcoming (October) tour to Egypt (which will likely be cancelled). The last time I looked it had the first message in the picture below. Digging into the details of that message I found out that my flights leaving the states and returning to the states had been cancelled. All other flights remained.

    This time when I checked the second message in the picture below was present. I thought maybe they had added back in flights leaving and returning to the states. But no, this change was simply because one of the flights within the states had an arrival time change.

    Too funny, it is critically important that I know about changes to flights within the states, while the middle legs of my flights in both directions are still missing. :D

  • edited July 4

    It is impossible to tell what is computer generated and what is the result of human intervention. A computer should be able to resolve things and provide exact info. I may be wrong but I suspect either scheduling has really gone beyond what the computers can handle and/or they are trying to force us to deal with an actual person (nearly impossible to do) or just cancel. I was reading a FlyerTalk thread where a poster had done an airframe vs schedule analysis- Delta and likely others do not have enough airframes to meet schedule and customer demand so are continuing to reduce schedules, i.e. 3 days per week vice daily for some routes.

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