2020 marked an important wedding anniversary for us. We hoped to celebrate with a biking trip in Italy in May offered by Exodus Travels.com. In February 2020, we paid our deposit to Maritime Travel, our travel agent who represented Exodus.
Then the pandemic hit. Italy was locked down in March, and Exodus was unable to fulfill our contract.
Because we did not cancel our trip, we’ve repeatedly requested a refund from both Maritime Travel and Exodus. Maritime Travel wrote back, indicating that they are in agreement with us, that we are entitled to a refund. Exodus has not responded back to us; they only have communicated through Maritime Travel.
Maritime Travel informed us that Exodus refuses to comply. Exodus plans to hold our deposit, insisting that we rebook the trip with them. Moreover, according to their website, Exodus Travel can charge up to 8% more than the 2020 prices, and we will have no recourse but to pay up. Additionally, who knows what flights will cost in the future?
We budgeted for a trip based on 2020 prices to celebrate a 2020 personal milestone. Life has moved on, even though this pandemic is continuing into its second year.
To put this into perspective, I’m a children’s author who counts on speaking engagements as a revenue stream. I had a number of bookings lined up for the Spring of 2020, and had received those payments in advance. When the pandemic hit, and I was unable to deliver my presentations, I returned all the deposits I had received.
In good faith.
No strings attached.
It was the right thing to do.
No one is blaming anyone for being unable to fulfill a contract due to the pandemic. However, the pandemic is no excuse for keeping deposits for months or years.
Maritime Travel has advised us that they will continue to advocate for refunds, working directly with suppliers and through bigger organizations that they belong to such as ACTA (Alliance of Canadian Travel Associations). Maritime Travel is hopeful that refunds may be offered in the future.
In the meantime, Maritime Travel suggested we contact our MP, so we’ve tagged him on this story. We also will continue to drive traffic to this page via our email contact list and Twitter and provide periodic updates until this situation is resolved. What is certain is that we will not rebook with Exodus Travels.
#ExodusTravels @ExodusTravels @Maritime_Travel @cbcgopublic @AndyFillmoreHFX