Eurobound will continue to protect travel advisor commissions and client payments during the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S.-based DMC for Europe said on Tuesday.
In cases where suppliers have applied cancellation policies, Eurobound has negotiated with the supplier and has offered to protect agents’ penalties and commissions when processing refunds, even when only a deposit has been paid.
As Eurobound prices each package at gross, with the travel advisor’s commission included in the overall client price, when processing refunds, travel advisors can choose to collect their commission or to refund all or a part of it directly to the client. Eurobound has always paid commissions up-front before travel, made with delivery of documents.
“Travel advisors are the lifeblood of our business, and we have always paid commissions upfront,” said Brigitte Armand, president of Eurobound.
Eileen Hoolihan, travel advisor with Travel Edge in Santa Ana, California, had been working with Eurobound for a year on a two-week trip to Southern Italy for first-time Europe travelers who had put down a large deposit. Reluctant to cancel or postpone their trip, the clients waited until the last minute to cancel.
Hoolihan said it can be difficult to get refunds for land packages, especially those involving smaller properties. “The suppliers weren’t willing to give full refunds, but Eurobound negotiated with each property for the best possible refund. The clients are happy and looking forward to doing the same trip next year,” Hoolihan said.
“Small, local operators and services such as train tickets and ferries wouldn’t refund. It was a constantly evolving landscape from early March through May. Eurobound advocated on our behalf, keeping us up to date on progress with the various countries, DMC’s and hotels. They were good partners and made a difficult situation for everyone as easy as possible by being transparent and responsive,” added Cristina Buaas, co-owner of River Oaks Travel in Houston, Texas.
Clients with Eurbound trips through Aug. 31 have the option to receive a travel credit for future travel, up to 12 months from the original dates of travel, or a refund. If clients are scheduled to travel after Aug. 31, then all Eurobound standard polices apply regarding payment terms and cancellations.