CORONAVIRUS – TRAVEL UPDATE
Covid-19 Travel Credit Notes & Re-bookings
Where a customer has chosen to voluntarily cancel their booking then they would not usually be entitled to a refund in accordance with our standard terms and conditions. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic we are giving customers the option of either cancelling and re-booking their holiday at a later date or to take a Travel Credit Note for the value of the funds that we received. We offer these options on the basis that the customer is aware that neither the Travel Credit Note nor any re-booked holiday can be exchanged for a cash refund in the event of any future cancellations.
Covid-19 New Bookings made from 18/03/20
Customers making new bookings (or re-bookings) on or after 18 March 2020 do so in the knowledge that Covid-19 exists as a global pandemic and consequently should be aware that at the time of travel, some or all of the following could apply:
- You may travel to a destination even where the Foreign Office has advised against all but essential travel.
- If you cancel your holiday due to a disclination to travel, we will do our best to re-book your holiday to a later date subject to our standard terms and conditions, but you are not entitled to a refund under any circumstances.
We strongly advise that you take out travel insurance that includes sufficient cover related to Covid19 for example, ABTA’s ‘Travel Sure Platinum’ policy (https://www.abta.com/abta-travel-sure-travel-insurance)
Useful websites relating to the Coronavirus:
Virgin Atlantic: https://flywith.virginatlantic.com/gb/en/news.html
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line: https://www.royalcaribbean.com/gbr/en/cruise-ships/itinerary-updates
Norwegian Cruise Line: https://www.ncl.com/uk/en/travel-alert/coronavirus
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 www.ukpa.gov.uk or the US Embassy on 09042 450 100 or www.usembassy.org.uk If you are flying to or landing in any other country, please be sure and check the government website www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
All visitors must supply certain information online through the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) if they wish to enter the USA using the current Visa Waiver Program (the alternative is to obtain a Visa from the US Embassy). ESTA is operated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and currently charge $14 payable online for authorisation that will be valid for two years. A link to the ESTA website can be found on www.usairtours.co.uk for the latest information. We strongly recommend that you complete the online ESTA process as soon as you have booked (and at least a minimum of 72 hours before departure) because in the unlikely event that you do not receive an ESTA approval for travel, you will need to apply directly to the US Embassy for a Visa. In addition, The United States Customs and Border Protection require that all airlines collect and transmit certain passenger information prior to departure, using their Advanced Passenger Information Systems (APIS). The information required includes your country of residence, the full address (including the zip/postal code) for your first night’s accommodation in the US. Please ensure that you enter this information via your airlines website before leaving for the airport to ensure that you do not encounter any unnecessary delays. Finally you are also required to supply Secure Flight Passenger Data (SFPD) via our website that is passed to the US authorities for security reasons. It essential that this information is entered accurately within 72 hours of making your booking otherwise your airline may cancel your booking and you would not be entitled to a refund on any of your holiday or be entitled to compensation.
Your holiday price does not include travel insurance and it is vital that you purchase a policy that has sufficient cover for both medical expenses and costs relating to bad weather. Travel insurance provided by most credit card companies does NOT offer sufficient cover. We suggest that you visit our web page www.usairtours.co.uk/insurance and either purchase the recommended policy online as shown or see your travel about an alternative policy with the same or better cover.
Travellers who are more than 24 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.
With the increase in pre-flight security screening you are advised to be at the check-in desk at least 2 hours before the scheduled departure time. As the scheduled departure may be brought forward for operational reasons you must re-check your departure time either by using the ‘View your booking’ facility on our website www.usairtours.co.uk or calling the airline directly, 24 hours before departure. Please also allow sufficient time to get from the check-in desk to your departure gate at least 30 minutes before your departure time.
Name changes (including minor spelling) are not permitted by the airlines and will usually incur a cancellation penalty.
We are happy to request airlines to provide a range of items including pre-booked seats and special meal requests but these cannot be guaranteed and do not form part of our contract with you. While airlines will always try and seat all traveling members of the party together, this cannot be guaranteed and may be charged even after confirmation. Please also note that to offer the lowest priced fares, we will often quote special group flight seats and these seats cannot be pre-booked in advance and will be only be allocated at check in.
Unavoidable changes to scheduled flight times can occur, so we recommend that you reconfirm every flight with the relevant airline 72 hours prior to departure. If your itinerary consists of several different flights and you 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.
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 amounts charged please visit our website www.usairtours.co.uk/luggage or call the airline direct for specific details. Please be advised that these allowances are not guaranteed and should they vary, the airline has the right to charge a supplement at check-in for excess luggage.
Please ensure that when you receive your travel documentation, you check that you have all necessary tickets and ticket confirmation, car rental confirmation numbers, accommodation/tour vouchers, insurance certificate and itinerary, and take them with you when leaving home. If you believe them to be incorrect or you have queries, contact us immediately. It’s a good idea to photocopy your passport and other documents, keeping them separate from the originals, in case of loss.
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 settled locally.
Many 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 day, can only be paid locally and can be changed by the hotel from time to time – please contact your agent for the latest information if required. These fees are optional at certain hotels and mandatory at others and as not everyone wants to use these facilities, resort fees are not included in our rates unless we stipulate otherwise. A number of 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. Please note that your hotel will normally require you to give them a credit card when you check in so that you can charge items such as room service, mini bar, phone calls, restaurant meals etc to your room bill. It is standard requirement for the hotel to get an a pre-approved credit limit authority for a reasonable amount depending on your length of stay and standard of hotel. While the hotel will not be making any charges to your credit card until you check out, their pre-approved credit authority may reduce the available spending limit on your card. We suggest that you agree the amount of the pre-approval with the hotel staff and if necessary make arrangements to temporarily increase your card limit before leaving the UK.
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. All pictures shown represent the standard of travel products provided but we reserve the right to provide alternatively similar products depending on availability. The hotel reviews in this brochure 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. USAirtours 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.We recommend that you read the latest reviews and score rating on all the hotels that you have booked with us on the TripAdvisor website immediately after receiving our booking confirmation. If you feel there any of the accommodation confirmed is not suitable, please contact us immediately to make the necessary changes.
An increasing number of customers are now enjoying additional space by booking a home, villa or apartment. It is important to note that these properties are privately owned and furnishings and decorations are replaced far less frequently than in a hotel, particularly in our best priced but lowest category homes. Consequently you would expect to find signs of reasonable wear and tear throughout the property and so it is well worth paying the small upgrade cost to enjoy a higher standard of accommodation. For those renting private homes you may pay in advance for pool heat where available. Pool heat is designed to raise the temperature to approximately 10 degrees fahrenheit above the external temperature so at cooler times of year the pool will heat to luke warm. When the outside temperature falls below 60F the pool heaters automatically switch off and in such circumstances we are not able to arrange for pool heat refunds. Maintenance is the responsibility of the property owner who has arranged this through a local company but at busy times they can take up to 24 hours to respond to a call-out. An inventory is taken and the property is cleaned after each guest has checked out. There are occasions when certain properties cannot be used for operational reasons and consequently it may be necessary to substitute and similar or superior property at short notice. Should this occur we will always look to provide an alternative that is located as close to the original property booked whenever possible, depending on availability and season.You will be required to visit our website www.villacheckinonline.com to at 14 days prior to your departure date from the UK to register and pay the appropriate Property Protection Fee for your Booking.
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 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.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. When renting a car please ensure that you pre-book a vehicle that is large enough to accommodate all of your luggage as upgrading to a larger vehicle at the rental counter is expensive. We recommend that you also pre-book satellite navigation. Please note that if you chose to sign and purchase any additional items directly from the car rental company when you collect the vehicle, we are not subsequently able to address any related potential complaint should they occur. Please visit www.usairtours.co.uk/extras/car-hire for important information before you confirm your booking with us.
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 USAirtours 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.
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.
Cleanliness and health is generally of a high standard throughout the U.S.A., 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. If you feel this is a problem for you, please inform the local site manager to address it for you.
It is possible that your travel plans could get interrupted while overseas for a variety of reasons including adverse weather conditions, airport closures or flight cancellations. In circumstances where you are unable to travel, we will be happy to assist you and can re-book local accommodation when requested. However you will responsible for paying the hotel and any consequential additional costs. If the delay has been caused by a flight cancellation back to the UK on a European based airline, you should be able to reclaim reasonable additional expenses relating to hotel, meals and refreshments directly from the airline providing your keep your receipts. It is essential that you purchase travel insurance that covers you for any additional expenses incurred and consequential loss caused by weather delays or flight cancellations.
Before confirming your booking with USAirtours some customers (or their travel agent) 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 reason 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 USAirtours.
The information on these pages is valid as of 01/01/18 and replaces the previous information provided. As it can be updated at any time, we suggest that you revisit this section our website immediately prior to departure.