DIRECTORS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
We are so excited that you have decided to travel with Music Contact International! Our team is committed to bringing you and your ensemble the experience of a lifetime!
We know that the tour planning process can be overwhelming at times, so our wonderful team is here to guide you throughout. As the group leader, you will also have some important responsibilities leading up to your departure date. To help you navigate these responsibilities, here are some helpful resources and answers to Frequently Asked Questions.
- Group Leader Responsibilities
- Web Payment Site
- Passports & Travel Documents
- Traveler’s Resource Site
- Mobility Issues
- Hotels & Rooming Lists
- Performance Opportunities
- Complimentary Packages & Traveler Minimums
GROUP LEADER RESPONSIBILITIES
What if I can’t manage the responsibilities of a group leader?
If you’re concerned about your ability to handle and complete the items outlined here, we recommend that you designate a member of your group to assist in the coordination. Many directors like this approach because it allows them to focus on other priorities. If you decide to designate another member of your group, please let us know so we can be sure to contact the right person.
WEB PAYMENT SITE
How do I use the Web Payment Site?
Great question! Our Web Payment Site is easy to navigate, and for your convenience, we’ve created the instructional video below to demonstrate how to navigate the website, along with how to use the Web Payment Site Director Tools.
How do I sign up on the Web Payment Site?
As the group leader, our team has conveniently pre-registered you in our system using the information you provided on your registration form. You will simply need to go to your custom Traveler’s Resource Site, click the “Payment Account” button, and log in using your email and the password shared with you by your tour coordinator. Please note: for your security, once you log in for the first time, you may be instructed to update your password.
How do my travelers sign up?
Your travelers can easily register themselves by going to the custom Traveler’s Resource Website and clicking on the “Payment Account” button. Watch the instructional videos below to learn more!
A few important things to note about the registration process:
- It is very important that travelers enter their names and personal details on the Web Payment Site exactly how they appear on their passport or ID. We use the website to generate flight lists, so the information online must be as accurate as possible. No need to worry if a traveler makes a mistake on their registration; they can request a change to their account via the Help Desk here.
- Travelers often have questions about whether they should sign up for their payment account together or individually. Our general rule of thumb is that, if the travelers will be paying together, they should register their travelers in one account. With one account, the primary contact can log in and make payments for the combined costs of their party members. If they wish to pay individually, they should register in separate accounts.
What if one of my travelers has a question about the website?
If a traveler is having difficulties navigating our Web Payment Site or making a payment, they can submit an inquiry to our Help Desk here.
Our Help Desk team is happy to assist and will make sure to reply to inquiries within two business days.
Can I use the website to see who is signed up, who has paid, etc.? Can I use the website to send a message out to my travelers?
Absolutely! As the director, you have access to a number of helpful tools that you can use to track traveler sign-ups, payments, send group messages
Please note: messages sent through the website will be sent from a no-reply email address. Make sure to indicate this in all messages that you send out and ask travelers to email you directly if they need assistance. You may need to provide them with your email address if they don’t already have it.
What are these ‘Weekly Update’ email reports that I receive each Monday?
Great question! As the director, you will receive weekly emails that summarize the total number of confirmed participants, the amount paid to date, etc. These emails are automatically generated from the Web Payment Site to keep you up to date with your travelers!
We collected checks from travelers for the tour (deposits, fundraising, etc.). Is there a way to apply these funds to their Web Payment Accounts?
We require any check payments submitted to MCI to be accompanied by a detailed list of the exact amounts and to whom the funds should be applied to. Upon request, your coordinator can provide you with a template to assist in this process.
PASSPORTS & TRAVEL DOCUMENTS
What is required for passports and travel documents?
Approximately four months prior to your tour, we ask for photocopies of each traveler’s passport or ID. Passport/ID copies are collected as a courtesy to ensure that the ticketing information provided to airlines accurately matches your passport information. If there are any discrepancies between the information on the boarding pass and information on the traveler’s passport, the traveler may be liable for additional fees at check-in or refused entry through security and onto their flight.
As the director, your role is to collect the passport or ID copies for travelers and send them along to MCI. Our team will then be happy to compare the documents to ensure accuracy.
- It is very important that all travelers check their passport expiration dates. Passports must be valid for six months after your planned return date. This requirement has become quite stringently enforced in recent years, so it is very important that all travelers check this well in advance of your departure date.
- For anyone currently in the process of renewing their passport/ID, we ask that extra care be taken to ensure that the personal information entered online is exactly how it should be printed on their documents.
Our group wants to book flights through MCI. What do I need to know about this process?
If you don’t already have confirmed flights, as soon as flights for your travel dates become available (usually about 11 months prior to your dates) our flight team will explore options for you. We’ll present you with the best available quotes and, upon your approval, send you a flight contract that outlines all the important details.
As you may already know, the process for securing large blocks of airline tickets for groups is a bit different than booking individual tickets. Our team is here to help you navigate this process!
Here is a quick rundown on what makes group flight contracts unique:
When booking an individual ticket, full payment and the traveler’s name, gender, and birth date are required in order to confirm and hold a flight itinerary and fare.
Fortunately, when securing a group contract, we are able to hold a flight itinerary at a fixed fare without providing full payment or traveler names and details upfront. Up to 11 months prior to your travel dates, we can hold group seats (ten or more) on a flight itinerary by simply submitting a per-person deposit. Contract terms vary by airline, but in most cases, we can adjust the total number of seats at a later date, and we can supply traveler names and details at an even later date.
Ultimately, a group contract allows you to secure a desired flight itinerary and fare while giving your group the flexibility to determine your exact group size and composition later on.
2. SEATING ASSIGNMENTS:
With a group flight contract, seating assignments are unfortunately entirely at the discretion of the airline. We wish that we could help, but the airlines do not allow for specific seat requests ahead of time. Our best recommendation is for you to speak directly to an airline representative at the airport when you check-in for your flight.
3. USE OF AIRLINE MILES:
One of the other unfortunate quirks of group airline contracts is that airline miles can’t be used towards the booking. If any traveler wants to use airline miles toward their flight, they will need to self-book.
What if I (or one of my travelers) needs to make any changes to their group flight itinerary or upgrade seats?
We know that one size does not always fit all, so we developed our Custom Flight Request process to assist anyone who needs to make alterations to the group flights (this includes one-way travel, upgrades, different dates, or different cities).
Your MCI coordinator will share your Custom Flight Request form once your group flights are confirmed. Once ready, the Custom Flight Request form will also appear on the “Flights” page of your Traveler’s Resource Website. When a traveler completes the form, our flight department will provide them with a custom flight option, and they can choose how to proceed. To see how to submit a Custom Flight Request, check out the helpful video below.
TRAVELER’S RESOURCE SITE
What is the Traveler’s Resource Site, and how do I use it?
Great question! The Traveler’s Resource Site is designed to be your travelers’ go-to resource for tour information. Making sure that your participants know how to access this website will make your role as the group leader so much easier! The website features your most up-to-date itinerary (updated regularly as hotels, flights, and performance opportunities are confirmed), information on the Custom Flight Request process, general travel tips (including what to pack and how to budget), and even a Frequently Asked Questions tab! This is also the best way to access the payment site.
For more information on how to use your Traveler’s Resource website, watch the video below.
How should I direct any traveler questions not answered on the Traveler’s Resource Site?
Since each tour is unique, it is inevitable that there will be questions that come up that can’t be answered on the Traveler’s Resource website. From our many years of experience, we have found that the most successful way to answer these questions is to have you, the group leader, collect questions and send them along to us. We will answer all questions thoroughly and then send you a response that you can share with the entire group. This will cut down on duplicate questions and provide each traveler with equal access to the same information at the same time! Thank you in advance for your help in following this process!
What if one of my participants has a hard time walking or requires a wheelchair?
In order to best understand and accommodate any physical limitations, we ask that they complete our Limited Mobility Form. This is how a wheelchair can be requested. Your MCI coordinator will provide you with this form to share as needed with your group.
Please note: most tours do involve at least some walking. In fact, sometimes, especially for international travel, getting around by foot is the best and only way to experience a city’s landmarks! It is also important to note that sometimes the terrain can be uneven (cobblestone streets for example). We want all of your travelers to get the most out of their experience, so if there is any doubt about their ability to walk while on tour, we recommend that the limited mobility form be completed.
HOTELS & ROOMING LISTS
Can you give additional details about our hotel(s)?
Certainly! Your MCI coordination team is working tirelessly to confirm wonderful hotels that fit your group’s needs and budget! The timing of when specific hotel information is available varies based on destination and availability, but as the group director, you will be the first to know as soon as hotels are contracted. Upon your approval, we will post updates to your Traveler’s Resource Site itinerary.
What are the rooming configuration options?
For most international tours, we offer rooms in double occupancy, with one large or two single beds in each room. For most domestic tours, we offer rooms in double/triple/quad occupancy, with one (king or queen) or two (queen or double) beds in each room.
There are often travelers who inquire about upgrading to a single room. Typically, we can offer a limited number of single rooms for a supplemental cost. If you wish to offer this option, please let us know and we can provide more details and add this option to your web payment site.
How do travelers make rooming requests?
For your convenience, your MCI coordinator will send you a rooming list template to help collect your group’s requests. Since you know your group’s needs best, you will compile these requests and then submit the master list to us. Please remember to have each roommate pair specify whether they prefer one or two beds in their double room. We will follow these instructions and make arrangements to ensure that your check-in process goes as smoothly as possible! For more details about how to complete the rooming list template, watch the video below.
What information do you require to confirm performance opportunities?
We know that your concerts on tour are of the utmost importance, and we strive to provide you with seamless, meaningful experiences. In order for us to best pursue your performance opportunities, we ask that you send us the following materials at your earliest convenience:
- Director bio
- Ensemble bio
- Director photo
- Ensemble photo
- Anticipated number of performers
- Anticipated instrumentation (if applicable)
- Repertoire (Sample repertoire will allow us to get the ball rolling if your tour repertoire hasn’t been finalized yet)
- A recent recording (if possible)
- Description of concert attire
- Any instrument/equipment rental requests
- How much rehearsal time do you require prior to performance?
- Do you require additional rehearsal time during the tour?
- Any other concert needs or notes
As your concerts are confirmed, your MCI coordination team will update you on any specific repertoire requirements (including the number of pieces allowed) and also information about the venues (is there rehearsal/changing space, piano or organ, etc.). Additional rehearsal time can usually be added upon request, but sometimes a supplemental cost is associated. Just ask your MCI coordinator if you have any specific questions!
COMPLIMENTARY PACKAGES & TRAVELER MINIMUMS
How do the complimentary packages work?
One of the many wonderful benefits that MCI offers our groups are complimentary packages! As the group leader, you may wish to use a complimentary spot for yourself – you certainly have earned it! However, regardless of whom you decide will receive the spot(s), it is important that you designate these early on and let us know. Please note: for complimentary land and air packages, there may be some stipulations to note (for example, on group flight contracts, airline miles can’t be used or accumulated), so keep this in mind when you designate these packages.
Once you have decided which traveler(s) will receive the complimentary package(s), please let your MCI coordinator know, and they will work to update your Web Payment Site accordingly and switch their account to “non-paying”.
As a reminder, any additional land services added may not be included in the complimentary package, such as supplemental meals or theater tickets. The complimentary spaces are also based on a minimum of paying travelers. If you have any questions at all about the complimentary package(s), your MCI coordinator is happy to provide more information!
Why is it important that our group meet our minimum number of paying travelers?
As you saw on your proposal, your tour package prices are based on a minimum number of paying travelers. This allows us to keep your tour as affordable as possible for all travelers! However, it also means that if your group numbers drop significantly, your package price could rise as a result. If you maintain your anticipated numbers, your price will not increase, which makes for happier travelers!
For your convenience, your MCI coordinator will help to monitor sign-ups and keep you in the loop if your numbers aren’t growing as you anticipated. However, as the group leader, it is your responsibility to recruit and encourage members to sign-up for this tour of a lifetime! Let us know if you need any materials to assist in getting the word out. We are happy to assist!
How are cancellations handled?
While we’re always sad when cancellations occur, we know that sometimes unexpected circumstances happen. Since your group’s prices are based on a minimum number of paying participants, we know how important it is for you to be aware of any possible group size changes. Therefore, if an individual traveler needs to cancel for any reason, the first step is for them to notify you with a written, dated, and signed
For your convenience, our cancellation terms, including information about any cancellation fees, are outlined in detail on our Web Payment Site. Each time a traveler makes a payment, they must accept these terms before the payment can be processed. To review this information, first, log into your payment account. You will find our “Terms and Conditions” hyperlink at the bottom of every payment site page.