Toni McConnaughey, The Travel Team Inc
"I was almost in tears of happiness for my clients. I cannot tell you how extremely relieved they were for not losing thousands of dollars.”
I had a longtime elderly couple confirmed on a Viking River cruise sailing in the next few weeks. It was a long-planned trip for them and possibly their last trip to Europe. When this coronavirus started to escalate, they had decided due to their age and medical history, regardless of money lost, they would have to cancel their trip.
I know how devastated they were and had been working for several weeks already through several cancellations and rebookings. I worked with my clients one by one and watching their trips closely, was fortunate enough to start to receive waivers for refunds.
At the time these clients contacted me to cancel, the cruise lines had not yet offered any waivers. My clients were confirmed with Viking Cruises. I advised my clients to wait a few days and let me reach out to our sales team for Viking, which I always refer to as ‘phone a friend’, and see what I can find out. My sales representative asked if I could wait a few hours, as the company was meeting that same day on this issue. Late that evening I received the notice that my clients could move the entire cost of their trip to another cruise, with no penalty.
I have to say after 4 weeks of all this, I was almost in tears of happiness for my clients. I cannot tell you how extremely relieved they were for not losing thousands of dollars. They are so impressed with Viking Cruises and will spread that news to all their travel friends and family. In addition to them, I had several other clients with the same circumstances coming up and they are all so impressed with Viking for championing this move, which has made other cruise lines follow suit. What a great marketing move on Viking's part for both the consumer and our travel agency industry. This was a win-win for all of us.