Testing Fees - Tauck pays vs Customer pays?

edited September 23 in General

Based on a post I read in the Switzerland: Europe's Crown Jewel thread I wanted to start a discussion to get people to weigh in. I'm interested in people that have traveled this year with Tauck, to see if Tauck picked up the cost of the test required for the return to the US?

For my Iceland tour in July we had to pay for the test required for returning to the US.

Per Wtca, in the thread I cited above, Tauck picked up the cost of the test required for returning to the US.

What has been others experiences with respect to this test fee? Perhaps there is a difference in land tours vs small ship tours or perhaps there is a difference between tours earlier in the year vs later in the year. I'm just curious and interested to hear what others have experienced.

Comments

  • Hi Sam - I was on the Switzerland tour that began August 29th and we all paid for our testing. I don’t know If Switzerland’s change that they made in mid September caused the change in Tauck picking up the tab. I am not sure if they had to have multiple tests either while on their tour?

  • edited September 23

    Could it be that it is now free for testing In Switzerland, like it is in many countries including here, depending on where you go.
    What I am amazed about is the small numbers on the tours, when in times gone by,Tauck would have consolidated and asked people to change dates. We have had that happen
    I guess’ they are desperate to get some tour feedback.
    Kind of annoying that the US tours were full a few months ago and now it turns out we could have gone on one. Don’t anyone suggest I could go on a wait list, after 45 mins waiting to get through on a day when there was no call back feature, we gave up.

  • You could have gotten on a wait list! :D

  • edited September 23

    😂😂😂😂
    Well, instead, we are going to Cape Cod ourselves at the weekend, staying in a fancy hotel….we’ll hope it lives up to it’s reputation and not the bad reviews! Whale watching and spa treatments booked, good restaurants with free valet limo service to them. Everything else will be on the fly and we can get out of bed on our time…..boy will this be change!

  • Kathy0529 - Thanks for the feedback. Interesting that you had to pay for the test and Wtca didn't, when you were on the same tour, just different dates. Perhaps like all things Covid these days, everything seems to change on a regular basis. If more people weigh in upon returning from trips this year it will be interesting if a trend appears for specific tours, types of tours, etc.

  • We are scheduled on the South Africa Elegant Adventure in November. According to the literature we will be paying $60 for the return Covid test.

  • Likewise, on our upcoming Jewels of the Nile trip, the tour members are responsible for the cost of the pre-return test, which Tauck will arrange. Cost is $130, but the literature states it may be paid by cash or credit card.

  • edited September 23

    We had to pay for our return to U.S. test out of Malta. It was 35 euros each. All the other tests were covered by Tauck or Ponant, I don’t know which.

  • The digital green book for my upcoming trip to Croatia says that Tauck will pay for the test to enter Italy from Croatia, but the test to come back to the US is paid for by the individual. Tauck told my TA that it could be paid by credit card. I will post "from the road."

  • AlanS
    You could have gotten on a wait list! :D

    Or, you could get right through to your travel agent and let him/her deal with the rservation-making.

    Sam, here's a though on Tauck picking up testing - maybe the TD used his/her discretionary funds for it, hoping for some of the savings to be passed along in tips.

  • British. The weather on the cape should be great this weekend - seasonably warmish not hot. Make sure you visit the Cape Cod National Sea shore. Enjoy! Great place to relax and enjoy Mother Nature.

  • All - Thanks for the feedback. It sounds like, for the most part, the Customer pays for the return to the US test cost.

    BKMD - Interesting thought on the TD and tip angle. Doubtful in my mind, because for that to be effective the TD would have to have made it known that was what was happening. If the TD had made it known, then Wtca probably would have mentioned that in her post. In addition, Tauck probably wouldn't look favorably on one TD doing this if the general policy is 'The Customer Pays'.

  • Returning from Treasures of Spain and Portugal - Wind Surf - departing from Barcelona - Tauck paid for the two-person medical team to come to the hotel. I forgot what that cost was. Guests paid 35 euros for the lab fee. No cash accepted. Payment only by credit card.

  • Just back from Normandy Brittany tour and our TD arranged for a guy to come to our hotel in Paris to test us all right there. 40 euros cash with emailed results in a couple of hours.

    As Kathy said, Switzerland the group also paid themselves. The TD scheduled times at a local facility and it could be by credit card.

    There is a huge range of prices both here and in Europe.

  • edited September 25

    Claudia

    Not that it matters- it was obviously recognized and accepted by whoever checked your test results at the airport, but who was the originator of the email and how was its provenance determined? Did it have a QR code, some sort of registration number, etc. or was it just accepted at face value?

    Did you show a printed hard copy or your phone? This point brings to mind what I read here or on some other site- at the boarding gate a passenger attempted to flash his e-boarding pass but was horrified to discover his phone battery was dead. :o

  • Not to worry Alan, our initial results were an email from the French health system (all in French) where you could get your results. You had to open it, click on a link, put in your birthday, then it sent you a code that was only good for 10 minutes which you entered at their website and then you got the document with the results.

    To make it easier, the young man who did the tests emailed us pdfs of the same document as well as an invoice. The hotel.front desk printed them for us.

    I also got a second email in French from their system which includes the word "connexion" which is the outfit that is currently handling pass sanitaire applications. Less than 30 minutes before all these results emails I had gotten the emails from the pass sanitaire people finally approving and sending me my pass sanitaire qr code after waiting over 2 weeks and 2 attempts to contact them about the hold up. Going to try to translate that email now that I'm home with my PC.

  • Thanks. Though complicated, it seems that France, at least, has quite a process that (mostly) works? I wonder how many other countries do? Again, it was more of an academic question than anything else, but it made me wonder what it would take to fool (subvert) the system, e.g. fake CDC card, etc.. I've got my (replacement) CDC card now so am not worried.

    Another academic question- what if there are others out there, like the one Tauck traveler I know, who doesn't own a cell phone? I guess he could use his iPad or wife's phone :D There must be some old couple from a tiny village in Southern Slobovia that doesn't have modern communications devices? What do they do when they have saved their entire lives for their once-in-a-lifetime trip to Paris? (See Paris and die? :( )

  • Well getting the QR code is half of the process - using it is the other. Some sites that checked for the QR had a hand held device to read it and others didn't. Even those who did actually scan it didn't verify you were the person it was given to. No other ID asked for. How hard would it be to get someone else's code and use it?

    Those without smart phones could print at home and use a hard copy. I had a little trouble enlarging the view of mine on the phone for a scanner to read it.

  • Claudia Sails
    Well getting the QR code is half of the process - using it is the other.

    Sounds like THE RESERVATION:

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=4T2GmGSNvaM

  • Just returned from the Canadian Maritimes trip. Tauck paid for the tests, even the second test kit for a person or two that flubbed their test (user error). Tauck may be paying for the kits because at the time you needed to test you were in a somewhat isolated location. The test kits were prepackaged and done online with a proctor monitoring the tests. All that being said, US Customs never asked for the results.

  • Hi there! We are in Paris on the last leg of the Normandy trip. Tests are tomorrow 40 Euros pp, and our TD gathered the cash ahead of time and set up all the appts.

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