Telephone Enquiries
+44(0) 1223 244 555
Email: [email protected]
[email protected]
Telephone Enquiries
+44(0) 1223 244 555
[email protected]
[email protected]
Telephone Enquiries: +44(0) 1223 244 555

Covid19 Update

Please find International Friends policies regarding COVID19 below. We hope this answers your questions about our response to COVID19, but please feel free to contact us if you have a question not answered in the collapsible sections below. Please note our response times may be longer than normal.

Update 1st June 2020

We have now extended the period you can use your future travel credit or travel voucher from December 2021 until December 2022. We guarantee if the price of your chosen day trip increases between now and 2022 WE WILL NOT CHARGE EXTRA. We will honour your booking at no additional charge.

We would like to reassure all customers that the health and safety of International Friends customers and staff during this unprecedented period is our number one priority. The situation here is monitored daily, and updates will be provided on this page on a weekly basis, next update Monday 8th June.

International Friends Operations

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and worldwide travel restrictions we have now extended our pause in operations until 3rd July 2020. Our main office has now closed, but we do have a team of staff working from home. During this period we are experiencing an extremely high number of phone calls and emails, but please rest assured our team will reply to any emails as quickly as possible. During this period, we recommend contacting us by email as opposed to by telephone.

If you have a booking with International Friends

FOR TOURS DEPARTING UP UNTIL 3rd JULY 2020 - We are offering change of date or full refunds on all day trips, taxis, overnight tours/packages, shore excursions and cruise transfers. The only exception are day trips which include entry to Highclere Castle, please see below.

Unfortunately Highclere Castle is the only attraction we work with in Britain which is refusing to refund for any tickets purchased. This is despite the UK government travel ban and despite the fact Highclere Castle is closed. According to Highclere Castle's own website it 'will remain closed until further notice'. However, we have decided for all bookings with entry to Highclere Castle up until 9th May we will refund in full.

For all bookings 10th May to 3rd July 2020 we are currently offering two options:

1. We will refund in full minus the cost of the Highclere Castle entry ticket. To replace the entry ticket cost we will provide all customers with an International Friends travel voucher which can be used at any time up until December 2022, for travel on any product with International Friends.

2. A date change free of charge to any International Friends product from 3rd July 2020 up until 31st December 2022. If you are unsure when you would like to travel we can also apply your payment as a future travel credit to be used by December 2022. You can then re-book at a later date based on availability at the time of booking.

FOR TOURS DEPARTING 3 JULY 2020 TO 31 JULY 2020

For all travel booked in this period we are allowing date change free of charge. If you are unsure when you would like to travel we can also apply your payment as a future travel credit to be used by December 2022. You can then re-book at a later date based on availability at the time of booking.

FOR TOURS DEPARTING FROM 1 AUGUST 2020

Normal terms and conditions currently apply.

CRUISE/SHORE EXCURSIONS & TRANSFERS 2020

If your cruise ship cancels for any date in 2020 we will immediately offer a change of date or full refund. This applies to all bookings up until November 2020.

Please note these policies are subject to change at any time and do not apply retroactively for bookings cancelled prior to Monday 6th April 2020.

If you have any questions or queries regarding the above, or any International Friends product please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected] 

GTI Travel Group Ltd - Leaders in travel for visitors to Britain

 

International Friends Safety Policy for Covid-19 has been designed taking account of key guidelines and information from three key sources:

  • World Travel & Tourism Council ‘Safe Travels’ initiative
  • UK government advice on travelling in Britain
  • Working closely with our key partners (e.g. tourist attractions) and staff (guides, drivers).


KEY OBJECTIVE – TO ENSURE THE SAFETY, HEALTH AND ENJOYMENT FOR ALL INTERNATIONAL FRIENDS CUSTOMERS AND STAFF

To meet our Key Objective, our planning and delivery has been broken down into 3 areas:

1. STAFF AND OPERATIONAL PREPAREDNESS

We have developed a COVID-19 prevention plan including an action/checklist for infection prevention, and a special cleaning and disinfection plan.

  • Protocols and guidelines are in place for staff health, including health checks for staff if required.
  • Office layout has been re-designed to ensure staff keep their physical distance, and we have limited the number of staff in common back-of-house areas where possible.
  • Protocols in place to minimise physical contact. Physical distancing protocols have been implemented.
  • Personal protection equipment (PPE) is available to all staff, such as masks and hand sanitisers.
  • We have worked closely with all suppliers and partners, including tourist attractions, restaurants, hotels and transport partners, to ensure they follo likeminded health and hygiene protocols and guidelines to protect all International Friends guests.
  • A COVID-19 contingency plan is in place should new cases emerge, in collaboration with destinations, suppliers and partners.
  • All cleanliness and disinfection best practices have been validated by expert bodies, health authorities and governmental institutions.
  • Different options for operations have been explored to ensure the customer health and safety risk is as low as possible. Areas explored and implemented include smaller groups, timed entries for attractions and empty seat policies.

2. REBUILDING TRUST & CONFIDENCE: OUR PROMISE TO YOU

  • We will provide clear, consistent and up-to-date communication to all customers on health & hygiene protocols.
  • All suppliers to implement clear signage to inform guests of the enhanced cleaning protocols, avoiding physical contact, and recommendations
  • We will share guest guidelines ahead of your day trip, tour or transfer and where applicable in person upon commencement of trip.
  • Inform all guests about support available if questions or concerns arise prior to your travel with International Friends.

3. DELIVERING A SAFE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

  • All vehicles used are deep cleaned and disinfected daily.
  • Masks and hand sanitiser products will be made available to all guests on all vehicles.
  • 50% empty seat policy. On scheduled day trips, tours and transfers 50% of all available seats will be left empty to ensure customer space and distancing.
  • All staff will receive weekly test to ensure virus-free.
  • All attractions and restaurants pre-booked to ensure timed entry allowing for strict control of overall numbers present at any time.
  • Established with partners and suppliers that they follow likeminded health, sanitation, disinfection and hygiene protocols aligned with local regulation.

We understand this is a very difficult time for everyone, and we are aiming to be as flexible as possible. Although we're not able to operate tours at the moment, here are just some of the customer reviews we have received on TripAdvisor during the COVID19 pandemic. 
 

Wonderful Customer Service
"While I unfortunately was not able to take this tour (yet), I wanted to share my great experience with this company. When Princess canceled our summer cruise, this company was quick to refund my money, no questions asked. Their customer service was extremely responsive to emails and a delight to work with. I will definitely be booking them in the future when I am able to take the cruise." Tripadvisor traveller Casey W, May 2020

Didn't get to go...but want to share my experience.
"We decided to spend an extra night near the airport before our cruise so we could rest up from the flight and tour Stonehenge the next day en route to the cruise terminal. They offered great service, so we booked it. With the COVID cancellation of our cruise, we had to cancel the trip. I knew when we booked that they had a 20% (or more) cancellation fee. But when I cancelled in May for our August booking, they quickly returned ALL of my payment (without my having to plead and beg for it). They did the right thing and we hope to be able to use their services in the future!" Tripadvisor traveller Brad S, May 2020
 
Trustworthy Tour Company
"Due to COVID we were unable to do this excursion, so this review is strictly for the tour company itself. We had a 13 day Baltic cruise in May using NCL, Delta, Virgina Airlines, Hotels.com and International Friends. Thinking we would have no trouble getting credit from all companies except for perhaps International Friends since we didn't know much about them. It was the exact opposite. International Friends reached out to us first, immediately indicating that we would be credited back the full amount to our credit card. We recvd credit few days later. I'm still fighting with the other "well known" larger companies to get my money back. So thank you International Friends for being so trustworthy. I would highly recommend and try using you again as soon as it's safe to travel. Stay safe everyone!!" Tripadvisor traveller Deb W, May 2020 
 
Supportive Staff
"Due to COVID-19, my travel plans were cancelled for this year. I had planned for my trip and tours for over a year. Your staff responded to every email to discuss the travel arrangements and ideas for the best tours. When the COVID-19 crisis started to affect travel plans on a global scale, your staff continue to respond to my questions and concerns. At the end, I had to cancel my reservations. Your organization provided me with a full refund without any discussion or pressure to accept a future voucher. I have not had this type of experience with any of my other travel plans for flights and hotels. These organizations should learn about wonderful customer service from you. I know that when I am able to travel again, I will most definitely reach out to you to book my tours as your tours sound amazing. I wish your staff and their families good health in these very uncertain times. Until we meet.." Tripadvisor traveller Jayshree, May 2020
 
A Good Company To Schedule Excursions With
"We had 2 excursions scheduled for June 2020 with this company. Due to the Covid-19 fiasco, everything was cancelled. I reached out to this company and they promptly contacted us. I asked if they could just extend our reservations to next July 2021 as we are going to "recreate" this trip that was cancelled. They readily accepted this and we are now scheduled for next year. Since the excursions were already paid for, I thought this was a win-win situation for both of us. I would definitely do business with this company in the future." Tripadvisor traveller Breenw, May 2020
 
Tour Cancelled due to Covid-19 but Received 5 Star Customer Service
"We chose this transfer from the Southampton cruise port to our London airport hotel as it seemed like a fabulous way to visit two spots we wanted to see, Bath and Windsor, while doing an otherwise unappealing transfer. Our luggage would be taken care of while we toured these locations which was a big plus. Sadly, the cruise which was to take place the end of May 2020 into early June was cancelled due to the Covid-19 travel restrictions. Almost immediately after the cruise cancellation was announced, International Friends contacted us first to work through the refund details. Their process was smooth and reassuring and we received a full refund very quickly! Based on this excellent customer service, I would absolutely book with them again and hopefully actually be able to enjoy the tour!" Tripadvisor traveller Gradan, May 2020
 
Can't wait to get to London
"We were so disappointed that our trip to London was canceled due to COVID-19. The highlight of the trip was going to be our WB Harry Potter tour and trip to Oxford with International Friends. A special thanks to International Friends for handling the pandemic so graciously and quickly refunding our money. We'll be back and book our tour as soon as we safely can!!" Tripadvisor traveller Chandi K, May 2020
 
Excellent Customer Care
"While we did sign up and pay for this tour, scheduled for late April, Covid-19 forced cancellation. That said, everything leading up to it was excellent. Our initial inquiry (and subsequent questions), were answered quickly, they assisted with pin-pointing the tour that best fit our needs and, when events forced the cancellation, were quick to offer a refund, with options (ie. future credit, discounts or cash)." Tripadvisor traveller Blue Express, May 2020
 
Outstanding Service in a time of Crisis!
"In 2019 we booked several post cruise tours and transportation arrangements with International Friends for June 2020. The service was excellent, response to questions was quick and clear. They were extremely flexible in adjusting to several scheduling requests. Of course, Covid-19 happened. And International Friends was again extremely responsive, offering a full refund and processing that refund quickly and hassle free! I WILL absolutely use International Friends again in the future." Tripadvisor traveller BuddyRayATL, May 2020 
 
Fantastic Customer Service
"Unfortunately, our tour was cancelled due to Corona-virus, as was our trip to Europe. International Friends was in contact with me and assured me that they would take care of our refund. The reason we chose International Friends to begin with was because our son who was studying abroad in London went on about 6 tours through International Friends and he was very pleased with them. They were well organized and led and he thoroughly enjoyed them. I had booked the tours for him as a gift and was very well taken care of through their customer service. I felt I had a very good idea of what was going on the entire time. I hope we get to visit Europe and re-book our tour with International Friends." Tripadvisor traveller G Nat, May 2020 
 
I did not actually have the chance to take this tour since my cruise was canceled due to the coronavirus.
"Even though I didn't take this tour, all of my interactions with International Friends were excellent. Their customer service is extraordinary!" Tripadvisor traveller Joan R, May 2020 
 
Amazing SERVICE!
"Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 our cruise was cancelled, BUT this organization was SO AMAZING! They contacted us before we contacted them to give us a full refund. It is so disappointing that our cruise we had been planning for over 2 years was cancelled, but International Friends made everything so easy. When we do get to go on our cruise in the future we will absolutely use them again for our cruise terminal pick-up and excursion to Canterbury & Leeds Castle!" Tripadvisor traveller Lilly A, May 2020 
 
Fantastic refund experience
"As soon as Harry Potter studios were closed due to C19 we received the offer of total refund for our trip from International Friends.This was a non refundable trip yet they refunded us 100% within a few days. The whole booking experience was great, they actually have agents working late into the night who respond instantly to their customers from over the pond. We are sad we missed our tour but will certainly rebook with this company again." Tripadvisor traveller CXR919, May 2020 
 
Quick to Respond
"Thank you for allowing us to change our date of travel from 2020 to 2021 with ease. This whole pandemic has been stressful and you made switching so easy and you were quick to respond. Looking forward to using your service next year!" Tripadvisor traveller Kristie M, May 2020 
 
Excellent Service
"While my wife and I had scheduled a trip for May 2020, we’ve since had to cancel because of the virus. In canceling this excursion, we were individually contacted by the company and our refund made immediately and without hassle. When this is past, we’ll definitely be re-booking!" Tripadvisor traveller Chris F, May 2020 
 
Thanks!
"While we were unable to make the trip due to Covid 19, we were promptly & cheerfully issued a full refund. We will definitely use them next time!" Tripadvisor traveller Paul H, May 2020 
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