Design of the "Departure Lounge" feature

This would become much easier to use if Exodus would introduce a field to force everyone to put the name of their trip in the title of their post.

At present there are pages of posts with unhelpfully vague titles like "What to take?". Having the trip name always in the title field would enable one to quickly decide whether a post was relevant and should be looked at, or not.

Quite frankly, Exodus, given the wide ranging nature of your holidays, their activities, and diversity of client needs, I'm surprised you haven't already thought of this.

Staff member

Hello,

When a member decides to write a Forum Post, it is their choice how they name it. Most do list the trip in the title if they have recently booked one. However, there is a drop down list to assign the trip to the post, this then appears on the respective trip page and draws visitors in to the discussion. 

For Exodus to force 'titles' is not really appropriate for the freedom of the authors using the Departure Lounge and reaching out to their fellow travellers, be it, asking for, or offering advice, or to introduce themselves, etc.

We appreciate your feedback but as this set up has been delivering for a number of years and people using it do so with their freedom of naming their post/comment titles seems to work for most members.

Regards,

Exodus Webmaster

I agree with Anonymous with respect to the Departure Lounge section specifically. While I agree the Destination and Trip Advice sections may have users posting comments not specific to a particular Exodus trip or departure date, my understanding of what is advertised in the Trip Notes is that the Departure Lounge is meant for travels to connect with fellow travellers on a specific, booked trip.

I agree with Anonymous that it is frustrating at times to find your trip and departure date based on the titles users may give to their trip. Some do not put the actual trip (i.e. "Who's heading to Africa?) or the trip date which often means that there are multiple threads for the same trip and departure date. Based on my experience with other tour operators, I would same the number of Exodus users connecting before trips is less, which may be in part due to the inconvenience in using the Departure Lounge board. I know another operator actually has the moderator consolidated posts into the same string.

I realize Exodus has the trip selection option but I find it does not actually show the posts on the trip page consistently, which means I need to go to the Departure Lounge page to search through the entire month.

My thoughts anyway.

Michelle

So what's the deal with the Departure Lounge? Is it moderated, or no? I spent some time typing what I thought might be a helpful a reply to a query and it simply disappeared. As it was my first time into this areas I looked a little more closely and saw that comments are moderated. So I posted another reply in another discussion and .... it immediately appeared! I went back to the first discussion ad re-typed my reply (as I had referenced my first reply in my second one I thought it would be good if it was actually available) and ... after re-typing .... it again disappeared! I'm not going to bother again as it all seems a tad flakey.

I also agree with Michelle and Anonymous with respect to the Departure Lounge section specifically - it would be great if there was an option to click on a specific trip. I find I'm struggling to find people on the same trip......

Hello Exodus - we're all for freedom of authors and not 'forcing', but it's to do with authors who WANT to write about a particular trip perhaps not realising that their post will come up as unassigned, under 'Hi' or something. It's really not obvious at all, when writing, how to do this - I didn't notice the drop-down feature, and others may not too. We're just asking for a more obvious option of non-compulsory boxes popping up with 'What trip are you going on?' 'What start date?' Also much easier for people looking for posts on their chosen trip - currently you have to trawl through, clicking on nameless 'Hi'-type posts, to see if there's anything of interest. I'm certainly surprised that an experienced lot like Exodus haven't clocked this; as a first-timer with Exodus I haven't found the Departure Lounge at all friendly to use. Sorry!

PS Another unfriendly aspect of the Departure Lounge is that posts are categorised by date rather than trip. Although it's logical in terms of fellow-travellers on the same date to the same place linking up (which is what I guess you designed it for), a lot of the questions/ posts are actually about the trip (what to bring, what to wear, how to prepare) irrespective of the actual date of departure. So if I want to see what people doing the Cycle the Baltics trip generally are saying/ asking, I have to do an awful lot of clicking through the months. I'm sure you're still developing this, but the perfect option would be to be able to click on 'Cycling the Baltics' and get all the posts, and then to filter on date. It's a case of relevance - I have more in common with other Cycle the Baltics travellers (whatever the date) than with the many other travellers leaving in May. Hope this is useful! I'm trying to assist, not complain.

Sadly the forums seem to be under-used and there is absolutely no response (let alone intervention) from any kind of moderator.  As above, finding advice about trips categorized by month (what do you do if your trip leaves on the 29th?) is virtually impossible.

All in all this looks like a feature that someone thought was a great idea but then completely abandoned due to lack of enthusiasm, interest or funds.  Not your finest hour, Exodus.

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