June 29, 2020
We have entered a new world — one that is changing by the minute. As one of the world’s leading tour operators, Ker & Downey is committed to ensuring the safety of our guests and staff. We are closely monitoring the news regarding the presence of COVID-19 in the destinations where we operate and will amend our approach to travel as necessary.
Naturally, our clients are contacting us with many questions, many of which we hope to answer here.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is Ker & Downey re-accommodating clients with a trip start date before July 31?
We have been able to rebook travelers within the next 12 months with little to no additional fees outside of airline penalties and in some rare cases, accommodation fees associated with travel in peak season. Please note group bookings and private villas, yachts, and aircraft charters are subject to more stringent terms, but Ker & Downey will make every attempt to keep any fees minimal.
What about clients traveling after July 31?
Please understand that very few of our travel partners have released policies for clients traveling after July 31. All partners are requiring clients to make final payment as per the regular schedule found in their specific terms and conditions. Ker & Downey’s Terms and Conditions, agreed to by all adult travelers at the time of confirmation, stipulate the payment schedule applicable to your booking.
For clients traveling after July 31, we ask for extra patience and understanding. Our goal is to remain as flexible as possible, while also respecting the policies on the ground in your designated country or countries of travel. Many of our partners are currently unable to focus on bookings for travel after July 31 due to high volume. Others are remaining hopeful travel resumes by August. On a case-by-case basis, we are offering to defer final payments to the latest dates possible, in line with each of our partner’s own terms and conditions.
Should the same global conditions (varying worldwide travel restrictions) exist a future travel date approaches, then we will collaborate with our clients to postpone/reschedule travel plans. Ker & Downey will make every effort to work with our partners to achieve minimal penalties on postponed travel. Should a client elect to cancel a booking, then Ker & Downey’s standard terms and conditions will apply.
If I cancel my trip, can I get my deposit back? How long will it take get by deposit back?
When your trip is confirmed and advance payment is made, the funds are then used to pay deposits on accommodations, transfers, and touring services. We are not in the practice of holding advance payment on account. We cannot offer immediate refunds on any services even during normal times. In addition, very few accommodations and operators are currently willing or able to refund deposit money. The refund process has also been further delayed by lockdowns, office closures, and furloughs. We will do our utmost to ensure deposited amounts are carried forward to your new travel dates whenever possible.
Why can’t I get a full refund?
As a family-owned business based in the USA with no corporate interests, we must remain firm in upholding the cancelation time frame found in our Terms and Conditions, which was agreed to at the time of confirmation. As a reminder, the cancelation terms found in the document read as follows:
Payments and Cancelation: Cancelation penalties imposed by Ker & Downey suppliers are stringent and are per person for land tour arrangements. The following cancelation terms apply effective as of the date Ker & Downey receives written notice of cancelation as to the land tour portion only.
Days prior to departure:
- More than 90 days prior to departure – 25% of tour cost;
- 90 to 61 days prior to departure – 30% of tour cost; 50% for North America bookings;
- 60 to 31 days prior to departure date – 55% of tour cost; 75% for Egypt cruises; 100% for Galapagos cruises, China cruises, Singita bookings, andBeyond properties, and North America bookings;
- 30 days or less prior to departure – 100% of tour cost to include handling fee and liquidated damages for Ker & Downey;
- Holiday or festive season bookings (typically for travel December 15 through January 15) are subject to a 100% cancelation penalty beginning at 120 days prior to departure.
Payments for permits and certain government-mandated fees required during travel are fully non-refundable. These include but are not limited to permits for primate trekking and some park fees.
Can I change or cancel my airfare without penalty?
Airline policies are evolving almost daily. As clients need to cancel or change their travel plans, we are evaluating the situation with their airfare (if reserved and ticketed by Ker & Downey) on a case-by-case basis.
Will travel insurance help?
Adding more confusion are the recent changes in policy by many commercial travel insurance companies. We are working with all our partners to stay informed of developments and will continue to assist wherever possible.
Rest assured we will do everything in our power and control to reach an agreeable solution on your behalf. In return, we ask for your patience as we put forth our best efforts in doing so. Our hope is you will take advantage of any trip deferral options available, as they are truly unprecedented in the travel industry.
Ker & Downey has weathered many storms throughout our 25 year history. We have remained committed to providing our travelers with the best service and experiences across the globe. Our mission – to add value to your life – is as strong today as it’s ever been.
Here’s to facing this new world stronger together.
Ker & Downey suggests visiting the following websites for the most updated facts about COVID-19.
World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/