Educational travel blog
February 3, 2014
passports is all about flexibility and personalized service.
This is important. Group travel is very different from individual travel. This means the rules are slightly different, and can’t be bent as easily as if just one person were traveling. In fact, it is actually more difficult for student group tour operators, like passports and its competitors, to run small groups. It’s nearly impossible for us to run a trip for one or two people. This is because we utilize group departments for bookings at airlines, hotels, motorcoach companies and restaurants. Deposits are paid up-front, when the group enrolls and fully takes shape. Payment deadlines are enforced by those entities, and therefore we must, in turn, enforce payment deadlines with our students, their parents, teachers and adult participants. Rates are set at foreign currency exchanges and airfares over which we have no control. Everyone has to be flexible.
But it’s not just the teachers, students and parents who need to flexible… it’s also us! If you or any of your group members has a problem, with anything, our team of executives (the most experienced in the industry) meets daily and reviews all kinds of requests from teachers and parents. No obstacle is too big or too small, from pricing to payment deadlines, special requests and more, we will either get it done, or come to a compromise with you. We work with you, not against you, to get the job done and carry out that trip of a lifetime for your students.
Didn’t enroll the number of kids you thought you would? Have you been in this situation before with another travel company? What options were you given? We’ve heard it all: a teacher of Spanish signed up her group to travel to Madrid and didn’t “make the numbers.” Travel Company A calls the teacher (if you’re lucky!) and says the trip to Spain will not run, “but there’s a great trip to Germany going on the same date, and the group has been transferred to the Germany tour.” Or, Company A will just cancel the group outright! Teachers, students and parents have no say in the matter.
Great options, huh?! Not with passports. We will work with you, not against you, in coming up with a reasonable alternate tour in the unlikely event that your desired program won’t operate exactly as planned. For instance, maybe we’ll modify the original tour, try to combine your group with others going to a similar destination on or about the same dates. And if you’re not interested in any of the options we offer, it will be your decision, not ours, to cancel (but we hope you don’t!). If you sign up for a trip to Spain, we are not going to force you to go to Germany (or worse, nowhere!); that we can promise.
When you call passports, you always get a person who knows you (often by your first name). You never get a machine, and you’re never outsourced to a call center. Believe it or not, we will even talk to your students’ parents when they call! We’re open weekdays on extended hours (early morning and late evening); a private answering service, with humans on duty, answers calls during non-business hours; and we are open on weekends. On holidays and overnight hours, a real passports employee is always on-call. During the travel season, a Stateside employee is on call and a European-based employee is also on-call, at all times. This is in addition to your full-time courier (tour manager)!
Category: For Teachers, Travel Tips
passports Educational Group Travel partners with teachers across the United States to provide high-quality educational travel experiences to their students. Educational tours visit destinations around the world - primarily France, Italy, England, Spain and Costa Rica - at low, guaranteed prices.
51 Union Street Suite 106
Worcester, MA 01608