Please read the information below by clicking on each heading
Travelling Overseas Safely
Whether travelling within the UK or overseas, there are associated risks that you should be aware of. Consequently, we strongly recommend that you check the Government’s Foreign and Commonwealth website both before you book and before you travel for the latest advice.
It is always good to be prepared in the very unlikely event that you come across any terrorist activity either at home or overseas. This short video gives excellent advice:
Checking Travel Documentation
Our written official confirmation forms the basis of our contract with you. To ensure that there has been no misunderstandings it is essential that you check all of your travel documentation as soon as you receive them to ensure that any travel dates, airline, accommodation, addresses and other items purchased match exactly what you require and that there are no items missing. Should this not be the case you must contact our After Sales department immediately and no later than 24 hours after receipt to inform us so that we can make the necessary amendments, or we cannot be held responsible for any consequential costs to make further changes.
Passports & Visas
It is your responsibility to ensure that your documents are in order when travelling overseas. For visitors to the USA each member of your party (including children) must have their own machine-readable full & valid British passport. It must be valid for at least 90 days from your arrival date if you intend to apply through the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) using the U.S. Visa Waiver Scheme. If your passport does not show that you are a British Citizen (for example British Subject), you will need a visa for entry into the U.S.A. Before making your reservation please see the ‘Passport & Visas’ section of our booking conditions. Should you need the U.K. Passport Agency to issue new passports, we recommend you allow a minimum of 6 weeks for this process. At the time of going to press the US Government has stated that visitors with valid machine-readable passports may continue to travel without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program. Passports issued on or after October 26th 2005 are required to have a digital photo and integrated circuit chip otherwise you will be required to obtain a visa to travel to the United States. The UK Passport Service suggests that ‘if you are 16 or over and haven’t yet got a passport, their recommendation is that you should apply for one at least six weeks before your holiday. The UK passport service has to confirm your identity before issuing your first passport and will ask you to attend an interview in order to do this.’ For up-to-date information, please contact the British Passport Office on 0870 521 0410 or https://www.gov.uk/browse/abroad/passports or the US Embassy on 09042 450 100 or https://uk.usembassy.gov/.
ESTA, APIS & SFPD For Travel to the USA
Travellers who are more than 26 weeks pregnant on the date of their return flight should check with their doctor as to the advisability of flying, the airline carrier as to their eligibility to fly and their travel insurance provider to ensure that the policy is valid.
Check-In Times (Flights)
With the increase in pre-flight security screening you are advised to be at the check-in desk at least 3 hours before the scheduled departure time. As the scheduled departure may be brought forward for operational reasons you must re-check your departure time. Please also allow sufficient time to get from the check-in desk to your departure gate at least 30 minutes before your departure time.
We strongly advise customers to use the online check in facility provided through the airline’s website at the first available opportunity, which is usually 24 hours before the flight departure time. This should ensure that the airline contacts you in the event of any significant change of departure information and would also be of benefit should you get unexpectedly delayed when travelling to the airport.
Name changes (including minor spelling) are not permitted by the airlines and will usually incur a cancellation penalty.
Reserved Seat, Meal & Special In Flight Requests
Where an airline accepts in flight requests for a items such as reserved seats and dietary meal needs, if required these should be made by you with us at the time of booking and will be passed through to the airline to action. For operational reasons including the change of aircraft type these requests can never be guaranteed and are still subject to change even after confirmation by the airline. Airlines will always try and seat members of the same party together but this cannot be guaranteed.
Children Under 18 Travelling Alone
Please inform the airline directly, quoting your booking number, if you have made a booking for an unaccompanied child under the age of 18 years. They will arrange for a member of staff to meet children at the check-in desk, accompany them through passport control, keep an eye on them during the flight and ensure that they are not left unattended at their destination. To enable the process to run smoothly the airline will need to be supplied with answers to a number of questions and may levy a charge for this administrative service. Some hotels do not allow under 21s in a room by themselves – please check at the time of booking for details.
As unavoidable changes to scheduled flight times can occur, we recommend that you reconfirm every flight with the relevant airline directly or via the website 24 hours prior to departure. If your itinerary consists of several different flights and you either miss or do not intend to use any one of them, you must contact the airline in advance. Not using them in the correct sequence will result in the balance of the itinerary being cancelled and no refund will be available.
To help ensure that our customers get the best prices over a large range of popular departure dates to the USA, we pre-book a number of flight seats on a group basis. The key benefits to customers are:
- Lower prices flight seats
- The opportunity to book popular departure dates that are often sold out
- Keeps prices low particularly during school holidays
Unless otherwise stated, all of the bookings we confirm to Orlando in Florida will be part of one of our ad-hoc groups.
Please note that as part of our commercial terms with our airline suppliers, the tickets for every customers travelling in the group can only be issued at them same time once we have passed all of the customer name to the airline approximately 21 days before departure.
Consequently customers wishing to take advantage of our Group Seats should be aware that we cannot issue tickets prior to 21 days before departure and therefore special flight seat requests will not be able before ticket issue.
The free luggage allowance on international flights is more generous than for flights taken within the USA. Many airlines now charge extra for checked luggage and this must be paid locally. For details of the luggage allowance for our main airlines both to and from the USA, from the UK and internal flights within the USA CLICK HERE. (Please note that this is a guide)
Check In/Check Out Times (Accommodation)
These times vary, but generally you will be expected to check-out between 10am and noon and check in no earlier than 3pm. You may be able to request a ‘late check-out’ with the hotel front desk on the day of departure,but some hotels make a charge for this, which must be paid locally.
Triple & Quadruple Rooms
A third or fourth person in a room will either share existing beds or an extra bed (which might be a camp bed style) will be placed in the room. Charges for extra beds and baby cots (cribs) are payable locally, direct to the hotel.
Hotel Resort Fees & Charges
An increasing number of U.S. hotels are now introducing ‘resort fees’ to cover items such as newspaper delivery, in-room safe, the use of a gym etc. They are usually between $15 and $30 per room per day and must be paid locally unless we have stipulated on your confirmation that they are included in the price quoted. Unless you state otherwise at check in, hotels assume that all guests will be happy with the resort fees and will automatically add it to your reservation. Please discuss this with hotel staff at check-in to ensure that there are no unwanted additional charges on your bill when checking-out. Your hotel is also likely to make a daily charge for both valet and self parking and this will be payable locally.
Credit Card Deposits
Accommodation, car rental companies, cruise lines and other suppliers will normally require you to provide them with a credit or debit card when you check in. This enables you to charge items such as rooms service, phone calls, restaurant meals etc to your bill when you check out. It is also standard procedure for those travel suppliers to obtain a pre-approved credit limit authority for a reasonable amount depending on your length of stay and standard of hotel. This pre-authorisation will debit the card provided, but may reduce the available spending limit on your card. Consequently we suggest that you may wish to consider contacting your card provider to arrange a temporary credit increase before leaving the UK.
Website Accuracy & Hotel Reviews
Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of description, information and prices. However it is possible that an advertised facility may be withdrawn or changed: whenever practical, we will advise of such changes. Your reservation will always be subject to the terms stated on our printed confirmation and should this conflict with any verbal information received, the printed confirmation takes precedent. All pictures shown represent the standard of travel products provided, but we reserve the right to provide similar products to the same or better standard depending on availability. The hotel reviews in this website are subjective and all reasonable effort has been made whilst preparing material, however no warranty is given that the information displayed is complete or accurate. travelplanners does not assume and hereby disclaim all liability to any person for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions in the information displayed, whether they result from negligence, accident or any other cause.
Villa, Home & Apartment Rental
Driving in America is both easy and convenient, however it is vital that you, your passengers and vehicle are adequately insured. You will need a full national driver’s license photo I.D and be a minimum of 21 years of age before being allowed to rent a car and a surcharge for drivers under the age of 25 will need to be paid payable locally. The main driver will be required to show a credit card (not a bank debit card) that matches the drivers name before the car can be rented. Any proposed additional drivers also need to be declared before the car rental collection and their driving licences will also need to be shown.
We strongly recommend that you visit https://www.gov.uk/view-driving-licence to obtain a code so that Rental companies can access your licence. To access this code you will need to provide your driving licence number, your national insurance number and the postcode on your driving licence. As this code is only valid for 72 hours, we recommend that you take the details required for this code, and obtain the code prior to your car hire within 3 days prior to collection. For more information, please contact us on 0844 576 6199
You should also be aware that there are likely to be local taxes to pay in addition to any pre-payment made in the UK. However it is now possible to save money by pre-paying almost everything when you book with us and we strongly recommend you purchase at the all inclusive rate before you go. Full terms and conditions of rental are available on your car rental’s website and please check your rental agreement carefully and ensure that you query anything you are not sure about with the rental agent before signing the agreement. To avoid any additional rental charges please return the car by the specified time and date, allowing plenty of time to get to your flight check in desk at least two hours before departure.
Local Charges & Taxes
Any fees and charges quoted as payable locally while overseas are exclusive of the applicable local city and state taxes (which are subject to change without notice) and must be paid in addition to the charges that we quote.
24 Customer Care Line
Should you have any problems whilst you are away, your first action should be to take up the matter with the on site or local office. If the problem is not solved immediately you must ensure that you contact us straight away on our Freephone provided on your ticket wallet and documentation. This gives us the opportunity to resolve any problem promptly. our duty office at all other times who will provide the appropriate telephone number of our local office and alert our Duty Manager.
If you are going to take part in potentially hazardous activities such as skiing, canoeing and diving (sky or sea), follow all the relevant safety guidance and check that your medical insurance covers you fully in the event of an accident.
Care in the Water
Do not swim when warning flags show, take care at all times and never dive into water without checking that it’s deep enough. An adult who can swim well should always supervise children. Young children should never be left unattended near any stretch of water – not even a paddling pool.
Bugs & Insects
Cleanliness and health is generally of a high standard throughout the USA and Canada, however at certain times of the year, particularly in humid climates it is likely that you will see certain harmless insects inside your living accommodation. In these circumstances we recommend that you keep door and windows closed, but if you feel further action is required please contact us immediately on our 24 hour Customer Care line and we will arrange for our onsite representative to resolve the matter.
Travel Delays & Emergencies
Duplicate Airline Bookings
Before confirming your booking with USAirtours some customers may have made an earlier reservation with the same airline on the same flight with another company. Should that occur we will not be aware of the earlier reservation and the airline reserves to right to automatically cancel any duplicate reservation including confirmed bookings with USAirtours. If for any we were unable to re-book your reservation in these circumstances, we will refund any payment received for the flight portion before ticket issue, but the balance for any non flight elements would be non-refundable and we would not be liable for any additional costs. Please ensure that any reservations made are cancelled prior to booking with travelplanners.