USAP leisure travel

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  • #923

    Hi, all …

    South Pole is still three months away from getting out of here, unlike you lucky souls farther north, but our thoughts are turning to travel.

    I’ve been collecting comments on people’s experiences with the Leisure Travel option, specifically their experience with Signature Travel, the only authorized travel agency for USAP.

    Much has changed since the previous travel agency, both in terms of airline fares (gas prices are up) and because of restrictions from the Feds. However, some of us believe there have been additional unncessary restrictions and higher quotes that have no obvious explanation. Until now, these have not been tracked.

    I have received a number of comments discussing the pricing issue, but those were exclusively from Polies. I welcome further comments from Polies, but if you are at McMurdo, I’d be keen to get your comments as well. And if this is your first experience with the process, please take a minute and e-mail me from the road, whether you have good or bad experiences. This information may prove useful for future redeployments, or in our case, possibly this one.

    If you feel like telling me your story (now or past experiences), please e-mail me at or post your comments here. I’ll be collecting them and issuing a report sometime in September.

    Thanks for your help.

    – Brien Barnett


    G’Day Brien,
    Didn’t know you were on ice this year. Sounds like you are hooked.

    I’m not sure my experience will help much – being Polie and all. Singature travel have been doing travel for a few years right? Has something changed?

    I was extremely unhappy with the company USAP was using after my 2000 winter, and use this to calibrate all experience since.

    Signature has done my travel last 2 years. 2 years ago they were unhappy Qantas was charging some fee because I wanted to go through Brisbane instead of Syndey. They felt this fee should not apply and called Qantas and American while I was there to try and have the fee removed. They seemed to have good documentation saying it should not apply. They seemed to put in a good effort to reduce the cost.

    My experience last year had nothing to do with cost but was emergency travel. I hit CHC on Jan 2 and everything was closed. But I called their emergency number and someone came in and organised my travel. All costs and fees seemed reasonable and I thought there was no way they were going to get me to where I needed to be in the time I had. They at least put in a good effort for me.

    I’ll be very interested if things have changed. Please post what you find on the board.

    All the best,

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