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Tour Operators Respond to Egypt Crisis

February 1, 2011 By: Jena Tesse Fox

The protests in Egypt have entered their eighth day, and tour operators are responding to ensure the safety of their clients. We already posted about Isramworld, Trafalgar, Cosmos and Avalon Waterways tours, but several others have reached out to tell us how they are handling the crisis.

Abercrombie & Kent has placed clients in Cairo on a charter flight to Amman, and is canceling tours to Egypt through February 28. In a statement, the company said that until all clients were evacuated, they had staff at every hotel in which they were staying in order to tend to their needs and organize flights. "The majority were at a hotel near the airport in Cairo to facilitate their departure as flights became available. For those unable to depart on scheduled flights, we arranged a charter flight (pictured right) to Amman, Jordan, where they were met by A&K representatives to assist with their onward travel." Guests on Nile cruises flew directly from Luxor to Heathrow, where they were met by A&K staff, after doing a normal day of sightseeing on Sunday.

Ya’lla Tours USA has confirmed that all its passengers in Egypt are safe. “We were able to instantly transfer our telecommunications to land lines, we have support staff working from alternative offices as needed and have been in frequent contact with key staff in Egypt to confirm that all our travelers are safe,” said Ronen Paldi, president of Ya’lla Tours USA. The company has postponed any future departures until February 13 and will reassess the situation at that time. Ya’lla is in touch with its suppliers to determine how to handle potential credits or refunds and future announcements will cover that in more detail. April and May departures have had its final payment deadlines shortened from 60 days to 45 days to allow for additional assessment of the situation. 

Ritz Tours has decided to cancel its February group departures for Egypt destinations. Clients will not be assessed any penalties and will be refunded their full tour fare (less entry visa). Other itineraries offered through Ritz Tours, including journeys throughout Asia, Europe and India, remain unchanged. Somewhat ironically, Ritz Tours only began offering journeys to Egypt in January 2011.

Big Five Tours & Expeditions has said that it is monitoring the ongoing conditions on the ground in Egypt. Most of Big Five’s guests traveling in Egypt departed during the initial days of protests that began last week, and others were diverted to Jordan or Israel. “Once we knew our guests were out of harm’s way,” said Ashish Sanghrajka, president of Big Five. “We could focus on the safety of the staff in our Egypt office and their families...We have, in fact, been in touch with our Cairo office and I am glad to report that they are safe.” Big Five is proactively reaching out to its clients who have arranged an Egypt trip scheduled for the very near future. Those who were to travel this month have the option of postponing it for up to a year or choosing an alternate destination, both without penalty.

Goway AFRICAExperts announced today that any passengers traveling to Egypt up to February 15 will have the option of postponing their trip, transferring to any one of Goway’s worldwide destinations, or receiving a full refund for the land portion. Airline conditions may apply. Any passengers departing from February 16 to 28 will have the option of postponing their trip or transferring to an alternate Goway destination.

Check back at Travel Agent for more information.

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About the Author

Jena Tesse Fox
Jena Tesse Fox covers Europe, Africa, Australia/South Pacific and business travel for the Questex Travel Group's publications. The daughter of history teachers, she can spend...

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By Jena Tesse Fox | February 1, 2011
Tour operators are working around the clock to ensure the safety of their clients in Egypt, and to rearrange travel for those who planned to visit the country in the coming months.
Filed under : Egypt