Operators Pick Up Slack Left By Runaway

As word spread about Runaway Tours' plans for an orderly winding down and closure, other tour operators began fielding calls, faxes and e-mails from retailers. In the wake of the announcement, operators established internal procedures to handle requests as smoothly and quickly as possible—keeping an eye on the upcoming spring break and Easter travel period. Classic Vacations, for example, has established a team to handle conversions. Agents are able to fax copies of confirmed itineraries to 408-882-8440; Classic reservationists will call agents to confirm receipt of the itineraries and finalize the bookings. Classic says it will match Runaway pricing and work with vendors to assure space and pricing are preserved, subject to availability. Classic's transition team also said it would be available the weekend of Jan. 14 and 15. In addition, the company has established a toll-free number, 800-352-4915, and an e-mail address, [email protected]. Pleasant Holidays has set up a dedicated phone number, 800-448-3333, and an e-mail address, [email protected]; it is taking faxes at 888-329-3774. Pleasant is asking that retailers provide a copy of the confirmed Runaway itinerary, and will follow up to confirm final arrangements subject to availability and will match price. Pleasant's reservation staff is available daily. Creative Leisure says it is guaranteeing booking space released by Runaway, matching price, protecting agent commission and providing waiver protection that includes its commission-protection program. Call 800-413-1000, e-mail [email protected], or visit [www.creativeleisure.com].

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