Got a letter from GAP about my YOLO trip

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Got a letter from GAP about my YOLO trip

Postby flungmuk » Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:07 pm

So I’m not sure if I should be insulted or not.
Yes I understand that YOLO are aimed at 18-39 and I am 40, soon to be 41.
And I also understand that they looking to ensure everyone fits in.
But to suggest that my age is inappropriate.
What are they saying about me being 40? Am I too old? Too square? Too out of shape? Too out of touch?
After all, GAP doesn’t know I’m a cyclist, active member of wilderness Search and Rescue or that I love camping and backpacking.
MMC – Ancient Civilizations doesn’t strike me as the 19 year old bar star kind of trip. Most of the 19-25 year old I know who live that life, wouldn’t be caught dead wandering around an old ruin.

I picked this trip because of what I get to see and experience. As a photographer, I’m looking forward to many good shots.
Besides, seeing as most of my friends fall into the 25-40 range, I’m use to being the “old” guy.

Oh well, I told GAP, thanks but no, I’ll be sticking to my plan.

Scott.






Dear Mr. MyLastName,

The following notification outlines important changes to your upcoming trip.

In looking at the demographics of your tour, and similar tours, we found that the vast majority of travellers were in the 18 to 39-age range. We have created a new trip style called ‘YOLO’ specifically catering to people in this age bracket. Your upcoming tour has been designated to operate under the ‘YOLO’ trip style. More information on YOLO can be found here: http://www.gapadventures.com/trips/new/style/yolo.

We are endeavoring to get the right people on the right tours. Consequently, a ‘YOLO’ designated tour is not appropriate for persons outside the 18 to 39-age bracket. To this end, we present the below tour which we feel would be better suited to you in terms of group dynamics:

Mayan Trail (http://www.gapadventures.com/tour/cmtm) starting on April 3rd, and ending on April 14th, 2010.


We appreciate this tour is not the exact same itinerary or dates as you had originally booked. To compensate for this, we are pleased to provide a 25% discount off the cost of the above tour (or indeed, 25% off any alternate Gap Adventure group tour that you may wish to travel on (exclusive of Independent, Space or Expedition travel)). Alternately, if you wish to cancel you booking outright, you are of course entitled to a full refund of all costs booked directly with Gap Adventures.

In addition, we further appreciate your tour was designated as a guaranteed tour and you may have already purchased flights. If this is the case, and you are required to make alterations to your flights, Gap Adventures will reimburse any airline change fees incurred as a result. Please present documentation of these fees to the below contact.

We hope we provided a suitable alternative for your needs and have your understanding on why you cannot travel on your originally intended tour.

We look forward to hearing from you in due course on this matter. Please contact our Customer Support Department at documents@gap.ca by Monday, January 25th, 2010 with your desired alternative.

Yours Sincerely,


The Gap Adventures Team

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Re: Got a letter from GAP about my YOLO trip

Postby DanielBMe » Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:06 pm

Did GAP allow you to stay on the trip? I think in the letter they should at least give you an option to stay on the tour with a warning that you may be the proverbial old fart on the trip lol. Some people are simply not flexible on the dates once booked, ie scheduling conflicts at work. Giving you the option to stay or go allows you to at least make an informed decision.

There is a thread specifically on the YOLO trip. Lots of opinions on either side.

I have to say I'm pleased to see that GAP was willing to provide a 25% discount and cover any fees incurred for changing flights. Kudo's for them on that!
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Re: Got a letter from GAP about my YOLO trip

Postby flungmuk » Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:43 pm

Not sure if I'm allowed to stay on the tip or not.
I have been dealing with a travel agent, she called Gap, talked to a rep who said, "sorry, I can't help you, you need to talk to a supervisor" She's waiting for that supervisor call.

Not sure what age has to do with anything in the 1st place. My 29 year old brother considers walking 2 blocks a good workout, and a 50+ friend from Search and Rescue who thinks spending a week sleeping on the side of a mountian is a relaxing break from work.
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Re: Got a letter from GAP about my YOLO trip

Postby Customer_Service » Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:40 pm

21 January 2010

Good post flungmuk.

Totally understand your views here. I will let the Supervisor address the question of weather you tay on tour or not. But I would like to offer some background on why we have acted in the way we have.

The 'YOLO' trip style is a new product line for us. It has come as a result of many years of receiving requests from our industry partners and customers to operate a trip style focused on the younger traveller exclusively. We do understand by targeting the tours toward a specific age range, we are excluding those outside it, and we are prepared for a few unhappy customers as a result with the aim of expanding our market.

Complicating the issue here is the fact that we have re-branded certain trips (such as yours) as YOLO trip from an existing trip style. As a result, there are circumstances (such as yours) where there are travellers on a YOLO trip that are not the targeted demographic for the YOLO trip style.

The purpose of the notification was to advise you that your tour had been re-aligned to be a YOLO trip style, and your fellow travellers would likely be in the 18-39 age range.

We agree with you in that age is merely a number, and not always an indicator of an individuals attitude or ability as a traveller. However, as we try to establish the new brand we are focusing it toward the target audience, for better or worse. We do have a wide range of other trip styles and comfort levels that are without limitation or restriction for all to consider.
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Re: Got a letter from GAP about my YOLO trip

Postby graybeard » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:32 pm

This exchange is a good example of the problems with how the YOLO trips are being implemented. Why not simply have some departure dates on a trip be YOLO and others not. Now, if one likes the itinerary of a YOLO tour and is TDO (too damn old!) you have no other option. Sure, go with YOLO as a new option, but to eliminate so many tours from the rest of your base seems to be a way to drive us to look elsewhere. Unless, of course, that is the goal.

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Re: Got a letter from GAP about my YOLO trip

Postby flungmuk » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:47 pm

Well I'm going to wait and see what this supervisor has to say.
Because I already have flight aragements, changing wont be easy, as who I'm flying with doesn't service anything further south than Mexico (Alaska Air).
I can say, at 40, being told I'm too old for something is not something I'd ever have expected to happen.
Besides, 18-39...In my experiance, a 40 year old can get along better with a 30 year old than a 30 year old can get along with an 18 year old.
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Re: Got a letter from GAP about my YOLO trip

Postby IncaTrail50 » Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:58 pm

I still agree with a post in another forum which stated that by branding some trips 18-39 you will by default brand all of the others 40+. I find it hard to believe that there have been so many complaints by YOLO-age people about us 40+ that a whole new division of trips had to be devised. It is completely against everything I have read in this forum. GAP-style travellers just don't strike me as the type to be so picky about their travel companions. It's fun to meet new people but the bottom line is that we will only be together for days/weeks and then fly back to our own countries. We can maintain friendships but likely most will be very short-term. Surely we can get along and not fuss about ages? It is disappointing that we will be barred from some trips we had planned with our YOLO-age daughter.
I also agree, flungmuk, that sometimes we do a lot of growing between 18 and 30, more so than between 30 and 39.
And, graybeard, I like the idea of the itineraries being divided by dates, rather than age. I choose by itinerary rather than date so I would be able to pick the tour I wanted and then narrow down the dates I could go based on the age group specified.
And, Customer_Service - you continue to explain your point but unfortunately as customers we have several alternatives that don't discriminate against us based on our age. By the way, is that not illegal in Canada? :shock:
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Re: Got a letter from GAP about my YOLO trip

Postby jimshu » Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:06 am

Good question IncaTrail50.
I had thought discrimination on the basis of age is illegal in many countries.Certainly would be in New Zealand.
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Re: Got a letter from GAP about my YOLO trip

Postby voidczech » Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:51 am

Personally, I'm still eligible for a YOLO tour... I apparently have 3.5 years left (does that mean my clock is ticking?). And although I have looked at them to see what they're all about, I do not agree with the age constraints of the trip, or any constraints actually ... equal opportunity for all, I say!

What's next? Will 2011 bring on a group of TDO trips, as Greybeard phrased (I like it! (smile))? Or will there be Women only tours? Singles only? Couples only? White? Black? Green? Handicap? Once you start putting up barriers such as these, it sets precedence, and then where does the insanity end?

Therefore, for the record and on principal alone, I will not be booking any YOLO tours.

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Re: Got a letter from GAP about my YOLO trip

Postby voidczech » Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:54 am

On a side note, maybe GAP can create a YOLO ticket widget .....

    "834 days of YOLO trip eligibility remaining!"

What do you think? LOL!

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Re: Got a letter from GAP about my YOLO trip

Postby f » Fri Jan 22, 2010 4:56 am

Hi,
I am 28 so squarely in the YOLO bracket... Have never been on a GAP tour before and actually chose them for my first trip specifically because their tours seemed to include a wide range of ages. Im doing the europe thing and not interested in spending it hung over everyday (though im only going on what i have heard about other tours that cater to 18-39's!) I was looking forward to a tour that had 18 year olds to 60year olds + who would each enrich my trip in different ways. Anyway, long story short, the particular tour i really was keen to do happened to be a YOLO trip - so that is what i did end up booking. But to all the TDO's out there,just want to say that would have much prefered my trip included you!
Cheers,
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Re: Got a letter from GAP about my YOLO trip

Postby jimshu » Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:30 am

Nice post f and thanks for that.
I kind of can see why there's a move to create a brand of tours to cater for the young market,and yes if you're going to set out to reach that market, age restrictions need to be applied.
But reconciling that with everything that's been talked about on this forum, about how age is no barrier, and atitudes count is coming hard to me.
But the realities of the market place, and the need by companies to market a brand into a target market,an increasingly tougher market, may mean this is the way things have to be done.
And it is kind of hard to accept these changes, but that's life in a way.Life is about change.New experiences.And I guess that's why we're all alike here on this forum, and doing these types of adventures, rather than all inclusive resorts.Because we want what is different,and we want a new experience.
So now we've got one.
And I suppose we get used to it and get on with it.
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Re: Got a letter from GAP about my YOLO trip

Postby chardonais » Fri Jan 22, 2010 7:17 am

I'm with you Simone - I won't be spending my 4 years of YOLO eligibility on a YOLO trip. There are way to many operators out there offering similar trips that don't discrimminate.
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Re: Got a letter from GAP about my YOLO trip

Postby chardonais » Fri Jan 22, 2010 7:23 am

Flungmuk - I reread your letter.... It doesn't sound like you have an option to go on the trip or not...

"We hope we provided a suitable alternative for your needs and have your understanding on why you cannot travel on your originally intended tour".

I hope it doesn't turn out that way.....

I also like the suggestion of having the same trip offered as YOLO and DTO - offering different dates for each style.
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Re: Got a letter from GAP about my YOLO trip

Postby DanielBMe » Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:38 am

Why not simply have some departure dates on a trip be YOLO and others not.


I'm for this too! Makes total sense and is such a simple solution.
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