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Changing holiday plans for road closures


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#1 Mose

Posted 09 December 2019 - 02:07 PM

Wondering if anyone knows how I deal with this.

Have booked a holiday mainly through wotif.

Due to road closures in NZ our itinerary will no longer be physically possible as we cannot drive down the west coast of the South Island, and will need to divert over to the east coast.

We had a couple of nights accommodation booked and paid for through wotif at a town that is no longer accessible.

Is this a travel insurance issue?  A wotif issue? A contact the local property issue?  The latter seems the easiest way to discuss with a real person, but am guessing stress levels at the local property are probably very high with them now being largely inaccessible for possibly most of the peak tourist season, so although that might be easiest way to talk to someone, I am not keen right now.

Does anyone know where I start?  (To recover cost of booked accommodation - the re-routing I can take care of myself).

#2 lizzzard

Posted 09 December 2019 - 03:10 PM

I would definitely reach out to the properties. They are probably most motivated to know what solutions might be. I’d ask them if they have any suggestions in the first instance, rather than asking for your money back. You never know what they might come up with?

#3 Mose

Posted 09 December 2019 - 03:28 PM

View Postlizzzard, on 09 December 2019 - 03:10 PM, said:

I would definitely reach out to the properties. They are probably most motivated to know what solutions might be. I’d ask them if they have any suggestions in the first instance, rather than asking for your money back. You never know what they might come up with?

I agree in principle, but the actual physical reality of it is that unless we are willing to pay to be choppered in and out, or drive 20 hours instead of 5 (and past the next 3 locations on our itinerary) in a day, it is just not physically possible.  There is one road from the north and one from the south.  The road from the north which is where we are coming from is expected to be impassable until at least Christmas.

Due to the mountainous terrain, joining up with the road from the south and heading back up to original planned location isn't doable in a day.

At the moment property owners in affected areas are still busy helping stranded tourists to get out, and conserving water and other resources...I feel like they have bigger fish to fry than chatting to me IYKWIM?

#4 wallofdodo

Posted 09 December 2019 - 03:37 PM

Is this owing to the volcano?

When are you leaving?

As it has only just happened I would see how it plays out or ask the insurance company for advice

Edited by wallofdodo, 09 December 2019 - 03:38 PM.


#5 dadwasathome

Posted 09 December 2019 - 04:16 PM

This would be flooding related. I agree with contacting the properties first, but probably insurance second.

#6 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 09 December 2019 - 04:32 PM

Contact properties first. Let them know what your itinerary was and then see what they say.

#7 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 09 December 2019 - 04:34 PM

I think it was the landslide ( White Island is a 80 min boat ride out in the ocean).
The Hokitika mayor has been blasted for over stating the road repair timeframe ( he's said end of Jan, roading people say by Christmas).
Apparently people are cancelling bookings that are for January, so the locals are rather upset.
https://i.stuff.co.n...hy-road-closure

#8 Mose

Posted 09 December 2019 - 06:59 PM

Weird almost double post.

Deleting first version because it contained a typo the second one didn't!!

Edited by Mose, 09 December 2019 - 07:09 PM.


#9 Mose

Posted 09 December 2019 - 07:04 PM

Ok. I will phone the property tomorrow.

We were planning to drive from Greymouth to Fox Glacier mid next week.  Even with revised estimates, it isn't going to be possible.

Next stop after Fox is Lake Hawea.

Am thinking of going over Arthur's pass, and if we can get something in Tekapo/Fairlie etc then fantastic, but unlikely given volume of people changing plans. If we have to pop into Christchurch for a couple of nights instead, that can still work as once we can't do Greymouth - Fox, we are detouring wildly anyway, so a bit more won't hurt.

I would have loved to show my children those glaciers, but I suspect we now won't get to them while they are still there.:-(


#10 Mose

Posted 10 December 2019 - 08:17 AM

Hmmmm.

Straight to a voicebank that does not have room to store any further messages.

Does anyone closer to the action believe it might be possible to drive from Greymouth to Fox on 18 Dec? I am not seeing anything that would suggest that is even remotely likely to be possible?

In the absence of being able to catch the property (will try again later), I think I will book a re-route, and sort the $ out later. If we end up wearing it, that would be annoying but not disastrous.

#11 QuisbySchmoo

Posted 10 December 2019 - 12:06 PM

Mose - have you had a look at this Greymouth i-SITE? Might be worth asking on it.

Greymouth i-SITE - West Coast Travel Centre

#12 Mose

Posted 10 December 2019 - 01:26 PM

View PostQuisbySchmoo, on 10 December 2019 - 12:06 PM, said:

Mose - have you had a look at this Greymouth i-SITE? Might be worth asking on it.

Greymouth i-SITE - West Coast Travel Centre

Thanks

I will take a look.

I finally got through to accommodation, who will understandably only issue a refund if road is closed on day we want to travel.

Given we want to travel a week before anyone is saying the road will reopen, I have booked an alternative, but one that allows me to cancel for free up to 48 hours beforehand.  

If it looks like the road will re-open 2 days beforehand, I will cancel the second booking and head for the glaciers.  If not, I will keep both bookings, and if the road does magically reopen I will wear it.

Travelling with a 3 year old and 8 year old so feel better knowing something achievable is locked in.

#13 Pearson

Posted 10 December 2019 - 09:39 PM

I book on booking.Com and only choose free cancellation.
I have cancelled accom when they 2011 floods happened, we didnt know if we could get out or back in. Our house would have been fine, high and dry. But if no elec, an issue. Our accom cancelled with a $20 admin fee because they knew that they could re sell it. I feel for these business owners.

Edited by Pearson, 10 December 2019 - 09:39 PM.


#14 born.a.girl

Posted 10 December 2019 - 09:52 PM

Poor New Zealand, it doesn't take much for people to simply focus their plans for snap decision holidays elsewhere, and they are so dependent on tourism and the coming peak season.

And poor you, much is you're not in their shoes, it's still frustrating when it's not under your control.  Glad you hear you're still going there.

Any travel insurance I've had, has been on the basis of the net amount after any refund issued, so I think they'd want to see evidence of refusal of refund before they'd pay out.

It might be worth a call to them, though, you can't be the only person in this situation and they may be accommodating.

#15 Chchgirl

Posted 10 December 2019 - 11:06 PM

Yep, poor old Aotearoa has taken a bit of a hit lately, and I partially live there now..

Edited by BahumChchgirlbug, 10 December 2019 - 11:06 PM.


#16 Chchgirl

Posted 10 December 2019 - 11:08 PM

View PostPearson, on 10 December 2019 - 09:39 PM, said:

I book on booking.Com and only choose free cancellation.
I have cancelled accom when they 2011 floods happened, we didnt know if we could get out or back in. Our house would have been fine, high and dry. But if no elec, an issue. Our accom cancelled with a $20 admin fee because they knew that they could re sell it. I feel for these business owners.

I use booking.com for nearly everything as well.

#17 Mose

Posted 11 December 2019 - 08:30 AM

View Postborn.a.girl, on 10 December 2019 - 09:52 PM, said:

Poor New Zealand, it doesn't take much for people to simply focus their plans for snap decision holidays elsewhere, and they are so dependent on tourism and the coming peak season.

And poor you, much is you're not in their shoes, it's still frustrating when it's not under your control.  Glad you hear you're still going there.

Any travel insurance I've had, has been on the basis of the net amount after any refund issued, so I think they'd want to see evidence of refusal of refund before they'd pay out.

It might be worth a call to them, though, you can't be the only person in this situation and they may be accommodating.

Well, I have a few options.  I need to make a call 48 hours beforehand about the back up accommodation.

If I keep that, and have to pay for it, and the road DOES re-open, I think we will most likely go with our original itinerary and just wear the cost of the second booking.  If I actually have a choice, I would rather go see the glaciers, and spend our tourist dollars in a spot where they will be more valued (given all the disruptions and cancellations the region has experienced).

I think the reality though is that the road will remain closed, and we will either receive a refund from the original booking or need to claim via travel insurance.  I have yet to receive written confirmation of my conversation that if the road is closed I will be refunded, but when I spoke to them yesterday they didn't have internet back yet, so I can only proceed in good faith based on the conversation.




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