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OAT - airfare and travel insurance?

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174 posts
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OAT - airfare and travel insurance?

I am considering a trip to Italy with OAT. I like that there is no single supplement and that the groups are small. Friends have recommended them to me although I have read mixed reviews here and elsewhere.

Should I consider buying my airfare through them? I like to have some control over the length of layovers and the seat I choose.

How about the travel insurance they offer? It seems expensive. I wonder if I could do better buying it elsewhere, although I don't know who offers it. My concerns are if I would have to cancel to due to a family emergency and also what happens if I miss my connections or the flight is delayed?

I'd appreciate your opinion on these topics and also any experiences you may have had with OAT. Is there another similar tour group I should consider?

Oh -- what time in the morning to they usually set out each day? Anyone know? I'm a night owl, not an early bird!

I am a 67 year old solo female traveler, in good physical shape. TIA.

N. Idaho
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for Yellowstone National Park
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1. Re: OAT - airfare and travel insurance?

Regarding the airfare part of your question - I don't have experience with OAT, but I do have experience with Road Scholar. I opted to do my own airfare, not only because I was going a little earlier than my tour, but because I fly from a small airport and figured I had better knowledge of what flights/connections were optimal. A number of the folks on my tour (to UK) had allowed Road Scholar to arrange their airfare and they had really crazy connections. It seemed that they routed almost everyone who lived in the west thru Dallas whether it was a convenient connection or made any sense at all. Since you will no doubt be flying from Philly that would not present the same issues, but it sounds like you have experience with booking air fare so I would probably opt to do it myself.

I would also want to arrive a day or 2 ahead of the tour to allow some time to adjust for jet lag. That also gives you some breathing room for missed connections or cancelled flights. If you book directly with the airline, they are responsible for getting you to your destination airport. With advice from TA it is pretty easy to get a hotel set up for a few days ahead (might be able to get into the OAT hotel so you don't have to move), figure out transportation from the airport to the hotel and get started on some fun things in your first destination.

You can do a comparison of insurances at www.insuremytrip.com It is pretty expensive, especially if you are over 60. My brother noticed a big jump in rates this year as he turned 60 and my SIL is still 59! Also, if you have a Medicare Supplement, check to see if you have medical coverage internationally. Suppement plans C and I think F have out-of-country coverage. Medicare does not cover out of the country.


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2. Re: OAT - airfare and travel insurance?

Thank you for your response. It's very informative and I appreciate the link to the travel insurance site. I had no idea it was so expensive. Yes, I do have Medicare Supplemental Plan F. I will definitely check with them.

I have read remarks that OAT books some crazy flights. When I check flights on my own, the time between connecting flights can be as much as 12 hours or more r as little as 1.5 hours. I'd prefer to pick my own.

Yes, I may go a day early, although that makes me nervous since I will be on my own until the tour starts. Perhaps if I book the same hotel as the OAT tour, I will meet others who arrived early, provided I can figure out who they are.

Again, thanks for your thoughts. It helps.

Edited: 09 August 2014, 23:45
3. Re: OAT - airfare and travel insurance?

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