We source, inspect and select a wide variety of privately owned homes, villas and apartments for our customers throughout the USA. They are all furnished and decorated in accordance with the owner’s personal tastes and range in quality and appearance from older value-for-money more lived-in properties through to impressive modern luxurious properties at the prestigious top-end of our range. All of the home pictures shown in this brochure are of properties that we rent but are examples and do not reflect the exact home that you will stay in. If you are looking for homes with the ‘wow factor’ we suggest that it is worth paying a little extra and book a property from our ‘Premium Collection Range’.
Checking Travel Documentation
To ensure that there have been no misunderstandings regarding your travel requirements we confirm everything in writing. It is therefore essential that you carefully check your documentation to ensure that all details are correct and this should include that the spelling of all passenger names matches those shown in corresponding passports, travel dates, airline details, accommodation name and address. Should any details be incorrect or missing you must contact us immediately and no later than 24 hours after receipt to inform us so that we can make the necessary amendments, otherwise we cannot be held responsible for any additional or consequential losses to resolve the matter.
Passports & Visas
It is your responsibility to ensure that your documents are accurate and in order when travelling overseas. All visitors to the USA must have their own machine readable full and valid passport that should expire no earlier than 90 days after your arrival date in the USA.
Travel to the USA either requires a Visa issued in advance by an American Embassy and details can be found at http://london.usembassy.gov/niv/apply.html or alternatively you may apply to travel under an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation) under the U.S. Visa Waiver Scheme. Only certain nationalities (including being a British citizen) are authorised to apply for an ESTA and full details can be found at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/ and the current cost is $14 per person that allows multiple visits within a 2 year period from authorisation.
Whether you do intend to apply for a visa or an ESTA, we strongly recommend that you obtain this before booking your travel arrangements as the majority of the travel products sold are not refundable or changeable in the event that you cannot obtain the required authorisation to travel.
Prior to the issuing of airline tickets we also need to collect and pass on certain information as required by the United States Customs and Border Protection department under their Secure Flight Passenger Data program (SFPD).
Unless we receive the required SFPD information on or before that last airline ticket issue date, the airline will cancel the booking and you will not be entitled to receive a refund on any part of your trip booked through us.
The price of your holiday does not include travel insurance and it is essential that you purchase a policy that has sufficient cover for both medical expenses and additional costs relating to bad weather and travel delay. In our opinion, the free travel insurance offered by some credit card companies does not provide sufficient cover and we suggest that you purchase an appropriate policy from either your travel agent or directly from an insurer.
Pre-booking Airline Flight Seats
Customers will usually be able to select particular seats on their flight free of charge as are part of their online check in process that usually opens 24 hours before your flight departure time. Certain airlines will allow customers to pre-allocate particular seats further in advance for which an additional charge is made per person for each flight. In some cases the airline may require airline tickets to be issued before advanced seats requests can be made but to ensure that our prices remain competitive and for operational reasons we are not able to issue tickets any earlier than four weeks before departure. Where flights seats have been booked as part of an ‘allocation’ to keep prices to a minimum, tickets may not be issued until a week before departure. On all flights the airline reserves the right to cancel and reallocate flight seats (even after confirmation) for their own operational reasons which is beyond our reasonable control.
Checking in for Flights Online
We recommend that you check in online for each of your flights through your airline’s website as soon as this service opens which is usually opens 24 hours before your flight departure time. This will enable you to check for any operational flight detail changes (flight times may be brought forward or delayed) and will usually give you the opportunity to select the seats that you wish to travel in.
Airport Check In
Please allow sufficient time to ensure that you check in your luggage no later than two hours before your flight departure time and be at your departure gate no later than 30 minutes before your flight departure time or the airline may prevent you from boarding even though your travel arrangements may be non-refundable. If you decide or fail to fly on any booked flight on your itinerary you must inform the airline immediately or they will automatically cancel the remainder of your flights and you will not be entitled to any refund.
Passenger Names Changes
Name changes (including minor spelling alterations) are not permitted by airlines and will usually incur a cancellation penalty.
Reserved Flight Seats, Meal and Special Requests
Where an airline accepts in-flight request for items including pre-reserved seating and dietary meals, these should be made to us at the time of booking and will passed through to the airline for action. The fulfilment of such requests are never guaranteed and may be changed (even after confirmation) for a variety of operational reasons.
Depending on your airline and class of travel, you will be allowed to check in a certain amount of free luggage based on the weight and dimensions of each piece when flying internationally. However there is not normally any free allowance when flying within the USA and the checked luggage fee must be paid directly to the airline. For details of the allowance costs please visit your airline website.
Accommodation Check-in/Check-Out Times
These times may vary but generally you will be required to check out no later than 11:00 but may be able to request a ‘late checkout’ at the front desk for which there would normally be an additional charge paid locally. To allow sufficient time for cleaning and repairs new guests can usually check in from 16:00 on their day of arrival.
Triple & Quadruple Hotel Rooms
A third or fourth person may share a hotel room either by using the existing bedding or requesting a rollaway camp bed and or baby cots (crib) for which a charge will be made and payable locally.
Hotel Resort Fees & Charges
An increasing number of hotels are now introducing ‘Resort Fees’ to cover the cost of items including free newspaper delivery, in room safe, gym use etc.
These fees are usually between $15 and $30 per room per day and must be paid locally unless we have specified on our written confirmation that they are included within our total price. In some cases the Resort Fee may be optional and so you should discuss this with the hotel staff at check in to ensure that it is not added to your bill at check out. Hotels will also usually charge a daily fee for car parking.
Credit Card Deposits
Accommodation providers, car rental companies, cruise lines and other suppliers will normally require you to provide them with a valid credit or debit card when you check in. This enables them to charge the card for purchases that you may make e.g. for room service, restaurant or bar bills, phone calls, car rental satellite navigation or damage etc. The local supplier will usually take an authorisation for a ‘pre-approval’ amount on your card that will not debit your card but will reduce the available credit spending limit. Consequently we suggest that you contact your credit card company prior to leaving the UK to request a temporary increase in your credit limit.
Online Check In - Private Homes and Apartments
Whether you are checking into a hotel or private home, you are required to register certain information at check in to comply with Florida State Law. As a number of UK flights arrive in Florida too late for guests to register during normal office hours, a visit is required to the registration office the following morning which wastes valuable holiday time.
Consequently all of our guests are now required to check in online at our dedicated website www.villacheckinonline.com any time after the initial booking and no later than 72 hours prior to arrive. During the online check in process guests will be required to pay a non-refundable £50 property protaction plan which will provide you with a maximum of £1000 accidental damage protection.
Private Pool Homes
A number of properties we rent include a private ‘plunge’ pool which is designed for guests to cool off and consequently would not be considered large enough for lap swimming. However a number of our featured resorts also have a central club house with a standard size swimming pool that you can request when booking.
Private Pool Furniture
The size of private pool decks are limited and consequently the pool furniture provided will usually consist of at least a table with four chairs but this is unlikely to reflect the number of guests in the party.
Private Home Games Room
Certain homes in our higher standard category come with a ‘games room’ that utilises the adjoining garage (which may not be air-conditioned) containing a minimum of either a pool table or table tennis or table football.
Private Pool Alarms
As a required safety measure, any doors to the pool deck area are usually permanently alarmed to prevent them from being left open and ensure that small children cannot access the pool without appropriate supervision. The alarm cannot be disabled even if there are no small children in the party.
Private Pool Heating
During the summer months, private pool temperatures will usually be warm enough for most guests but pool heating may be requested for an additional daily cost prior to arrival as the water heating time usually takes a minimum of 24 hours.
The private pool heaters are only designed to raise the water temperature to approximately 10 degrees Fahrenheit above the external air temperature.
Consequently cooler weather will mean cooler water temperature that some guests may find too cold to swim in, even though the pool heater is working correctly. We are not able to give pool heat refunds should the external air temperature prevent water heating to the required level.
Should the outside air temperature fall below 60F the pool heaters will automatically shut off. If you feel that the pool heater is not working correctly please contact us immediately and we will arrange for a pool engineer to visit although at busy times of year this could take up to 24 hours to arrange.
Certain grades of accommodation include an external Jacuzzi that is connected to the private pool. It is not a separate ‘hot tub’ and so the Jacuzzi water temperature will be the same as the swimming pool. Consequently pool heat would have to be requested and paid for prior to arrival if guests wanted to warm the water for the Jacuzzi.
Private Home Refurbishment
Our private home owners will refurbish and upgrade their properties every few years depending on rental usage. Consequently you will find all of our homes clean and presentable but are also likely to find more signs of wear and tear on our value-for-money older homes, particularly with the soft furnishings including carpets, chairs and window blinds. If you are looking for homes with the ‘wow factor’ we suggest that it is worth paying a little extra and book a property from our ‘Premium Plus Resort’ home range.
Private Home Cleaning
Homes are cleaned prior to arrival and on check out regardless of the length of holiday duration. A mid-stay clean can be requested at extra cost at the time of booking.
Unless you have chosen to stay in an older value-for-money home where all building construction has been completed in the resort, newer resort developments throughout Florida are likely to have ongoing construction taking place. Construction usually only takes place Monday to Friday between the hours of 07:00 and 16:00 and is designed to minimise guest disruption but it is likely to be both audible and visible during the day.
When you book your villa holiday with us you will have the choice of a villa allocated on arrival, or within a specific named resort or be given a specific property address. There will be a small number of occasions during the year that for unforeseen operational reasons we will not be able to provide the particular property location as originally confirmed. This could be for a variety of reasons including unplanned required maintenance, quality issues or health and safety concerns. In these circumstances we will provide accommodation in an alternative location of the same or better standard of the original quoted in accordance with our booking conditions.
Problems or Issues While on Holiday – Customer Care Phone Line
USAirtours enjoys excellent Customer Satisfaction scores but should any problem or issue occur that affects your enjoyment, we want to do everything that we reasonably can to resolve the matter. Consequently we provide our own 24 hour Freephone Customer Care line on your documentation and providing that you call us directly on that number (and not any alternatives provided within the home) as soon as any issue arises, it gives us the opportunity to get things resolved quickly. If you decide to check out early you will not be entitled to a refund or financial contribution toward any alternative accommodation.
Should any problem arise, please do not wait until you have returned home to the report any issue as we cannot be held responsible for resolving problems long after they occur.
Driving in the USA is easy and due to the limited public transport system in Florida we would always recommend that you rent a vehicle providing the driver is a minimum of 21 years of age (drivers under 25 must also pay a daily surcharge). The first passenger shown on your confirmation will be the name given to the car rental company as the designated driver who will be required to present a full national drivers licence (including the paper licence in addition to your photo licence card) along with a credit card in their own name without which the vehicle cannot be collected. Any other designated drivers will also be required to present their driving licenses when collecting the vehicle.
Consequently it is essential that you inform us of the name of the driver(s) at the time of booking. The car types shown in this brochure are a guide and alternatives may be substituted by the car rental company at any time depending on demand and availability. Please take particular care to check your car rental agreement before signing it at the car rental counter to make sure that there are no unwanted optional extras as these cannot be refunded at a later date.
Car Rental Vehicle Upgrades
Please be sure to book a vehicle that is not only large enough for your party size but also for the amount of luggage that you take (the vehicle required to transport you from your home to your departure airport will be a good guide).
For parties of four or more we would always suggest that you book a minivan or larger or for extra convenience book a second smaller vehicle too.
Upgrading your vehicle at the time of booking will always cost less than waiting to do this at the rental counter.
Car Rental Satellite Navigation
There is nothing more frustrating and stressful than getting lost and wasting valuable time looking for your destination (particularly when trying to locate your rental home). Consequently the small extra required for Satellite Navigation will be a very wise investment and this should be requested at the time of booking because it will not always be available if you wait to request this at the rental counter. While we offer a choice of car rental companies, not all of them offer satellite navigation as an option so we recommend Hertz as our preferred car rental partner.
Care in the Water
Please do not swim in the sea when warning flags are flying and ensure that you check the water depth of any pool before diving or jumping in. We suggest that any swimming is avoided if under the influence of alcohol.
Bugs and Insects
Accommodation cleanliness is generally of a high standard throughout the USA but at certain times of the year in humid climates and particularly in Florida, it is common to see harmless bugs and insects in and around your living accommodation. Consequently we recommend that you keep doors and windows closed but should you have any concerns please contact us immediately so we can arrange for any issues to be dealt with promptly.
Duplicate Airline Bookings
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 through another travel company. Should that occur we will not be aware of the earlier reservation and the airline reserves the right to automatically cancel any duplicate reservations including confirmed bookings made through USAirtours. In such circumstances if we were unable to re-book your flights in the required class, your flight costs would be reimbursed but the remainder of your holiday items would be non-refundable. Consequently please ensure that any airline reservations made though other companies are cancelled prior to booking with USAirtours.