Booking conditions, advice and information

1. Financial security
The Independent Travel Company Ltd (hereafter referred to as the company) are members of ABTA (The association of British Travel Agents No.D7129). The Company’s air holiday’s are also ATOL Protected either by the tour operator shown on your invoice or since we hold an Air Travel Organisers Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority (ATOL5690). In the unlikely event of our insolvency or the insolvency of your tour opperator the CAA will ensure that you are not stranded abroad and will arrange to refund any money that you have paid to us for advance booking, For further information visit the ATOL website at www.atol.org.uk

2. Payments
Deposits are required at the time of reservation and are non refundable. Full payments or balances are usually due 10 weeks prior to departure. Failure to pay the balance payment may result in the cancellation of your travel arrangements and loss of all payments made to that date. It is the liability of the customer to pay balances by the due date specified on the confirmation invoice.

3. Price guarantees
All travel arrangements paid for in full are guaranteed against surcharges. The Company is unable to guarantee the price of travel arrangements secured with a deposit only. Although highly unlikely, changes in prices can occur due to changes in taxes, exchange rates and fuel costs as well as other factors. Increases due to taxation and fuel surcharges will be passed on to the customer even if your travel arrangements have been paid in full.

4. Cancellations
ALL cancellations need to be advised in writing and all documents returned to the Company. Upon receipt of these items a cancellation invoice will be posted to you. Cancellation charges for flight, hotel and car hire reservations, unless stated to the contrary in writing are: Cancellations notified prior to ticket/document issue and 10 weeks before departure: LOSS OF DEPOSITS. Cancellations notified after ticket/document issue or within 10 weeks of departure: 100% CHARGES APPLY. Please note that certain tickets need to be issued at the time of booking which can be up to 11 months before departure and are totally non refundable. Partial cancellations may result in the per person price increasing for the remaining passengers. Charges relating to partial cancellations will be calculated upon request.

5. Amendments
Where amendments to reservations are permitted the Company will charge £25.00 per person above any costs charged by the Tour Operator, Airline, Hotel, Car Rental Company or any other travel supplier unless otherwise agreed in writing by The Company. Amendments and cancellations to reservations whilst away are the sole responsibility of the customer and in normal circumstances refunds will not be paid for unused or cancelled travel arrangements.

6. If The Company or Operator Cancel Your Holiday
Although it is unlikely, The Company and other tour Operators reserve the right in any circumstances to cancel your holiday if more than 8 weeks prior to departure, in which event you will be refunded all monies paid. Travel arrangements cancelled within this period will be for reasons of force majeure in which event you will be offered alternative arrangements or a full refund.

7. Complaints and disputes
In spite of all due care and attention to your travel arrangements, problems do occasionally occur. Problems and complaints whilst away should be notified to the Operators representa- tive or directly to the Airline or travel supplier. Should none of these be available then you should immediately contact The Company in order that the problem may be rectified whilst you are away. In the unlikely event that the problem does not get resolved and you wish to complain to the Operator or to The Company then you must detail your grievance in writing within 28 days of your return. Failure to follow the above procedures will absolve the Company of all responsibility in the settlement of any subsequent related claim. Should a problem or complaint not be dealt with amicably, the customer may be referred to arbitration under a special scheme organised by ABTA. Details of this scheme can be obtained from ABTA.

8. Product accuracy
Details relating to all travel arrangements are correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of reservation. Airlines work under “Condition of Carriage” which affords them the right to change flight timings, routings and aircraft types and seating configuration. Likewise, facilities at hotels may also change. In all circumstances the Operators liability and The Company’s liability shall be limited to advising, where possible, any major changes and to offer assistance in ensuring your travel arrangements are not inconvenienced or disrupted.

9. Documentation
It is the client’s responsibility to obtain necessary passports, visas, driving licences, health certificates and all other necessary documentation required for travel to any country that they need to travel via or to in their travel itinerary reserved through The Company or Operator. The Company will provide general guidance where possible but the customer MUST make appropriate enquiries with the relevant authorities. Where more than one passenger is travelling this responsibility lies with the lead named person (first name on the Company’s invoice). The Company can only provide guidance on Health information. It is the customer’s responsibility to ensure that all health criteria for countries to the visited have been met. Please call the medical line number listed below and contact your GP or further information.

10. Travel Insurance
It is not mandatory to be insured on travel arrangements booked with The Company. We do however strongly recommend customers purchase travel insurance organised by the The Company through our insurance agents. Where insurance has been purchased through the Company we will endeavour to assist where possible with questions relating to cover details. The schedule of cover and terms and conditions relating to this are set out in a leaflet provided with the policy and these should be read prior to travel. Failure to declare all material facts may result in the cancellation of your policy and in claims not being met by insurers. It is the responsibility of the customer to ensure corroborative evidence is collected from the airline, police, or local representative etc In order that your claim can be considered.

11. Car Hire
All car hire provided by the Company is done so on the condition that drivers are a minimum of 21 years * of age and hold a current clean driving licence and that the named driver has a valid credit card registered in his or her name. Refunds will not be paid to customers who are unable to hire their vehicle due to the failure of the above conditions.*Other conditions may apply

12. Special Requests
The Company will do all possible to assist customers’ special requests such as seating, vegetarian meals, airport assistance, specific hotel rooms etc. and these requests will be passed on to our suppliers. The Company is not however responsible for any requests that are not met and we will not accept bookings on the condition of special requests being met.

13. Credit Cards
The Company reserve the right to charge customers for the use of credit cards. Credit cards must be registered to the lead passenger on all tickets and confirmations will be sent to the credit card holders registered address. We strongly recommend that all customers travelling to North America have a credit card.

14. Force Majeure
This shall include but not be limited to acts of God, acts of Government, war or threat of war, terrorist activity, riots, epidemics, civil strife, strikes, closure of airports or similar events beyond the control of the Company.

GENERAL INFORMATION
a. Luggage Allowance
The weight system
This system is used in all areas except where the ‘piece’ system is used.
The Free Baggage Allowance
The normal Free Baggage Allowance is:
First Class 40kg (88lb),
Business Class 30kg (66lb)
Economy Class 20kg (44lb)
Note: These are the normal allowances. Some carriers may have differing allowances, particularly on domestic routes. Please confirm with carriers.
Children are entitled to the same free baggage allowance as adult passengers, Infants not entitled to a seat are only allowed one fully collapsible stroller or pushchair.
The piece system
The Free Baggage Allowance
The normal Free Baggage Allowance is:
First and business class passengers
2 bags (pieces) where the total of the three dimensions does not exeed158 cm (62 inches)
for each bag.
Economy class passengers
2 bags (pieces) where the total of the three dimensions for any one bag does not exceed 158 cm (62 inches and where the total for both bags does not exceed 273 cm (107 inches).
Maximum weight of any one bag is 32kg (70lb) except within North America where it is 23kg(50lb). (Note: domestic airlines within the USA may apply a Free Baggage Allowance based on weight or piece system).
Children are entitled to the same free baggage allowance as adult passengers. Infants not entitled to a seat are allowed one checked bag of which the total dimensions should not exceed 115 cm (45 inches) plus one fully collapsible stroller or pushchair.
Articles considered as a single piece of baggage
The following articles, irrespective of their actual dimensions, may be considered as a piece of baggage at 135 cm (53 inches):
one sleeping bag or bedroll, one rucksack/knapsack/backpack
one pair of snow’ skis with one pair of ski poles and one pair of ski boots
one golf bag, golf clubs and a pair of golf shoes
one duffle type bag or B-4 type bag
one suitably packed bicycle
one pair of standard water skis or slalom water ski
suitably packed fishing equipment comprising of not more than two rods, one reel, one landing net, one pair of fishing boots and one fishing tackle box
certain sporting firearms (subject to airline conditions of carriage)
any portable musical instrument not exceeding 100 cm (39 inches) in length
Where the piece system applies
-between the USA/US Territories and all countries
-between Canada and Europe, Middle East, Southern Africa, South Asian Subcontinent, the
Far East except Guam and South West Pacific, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Mexico,
Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay.
-between the Far East and Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Panama, Paraguay, Peru,
Uruguay, Mexico, USA.
-between Guam /Saipan and Japan, Okinawa, Hong Kong, Korea Republic, China, Taiwan,
Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, India.
-between Pago Pago and South West Pacific.
Note: some Governments have not approved the ‘piece’ system. The Free Baggage
Allowance from some such countries to USA /Canada is therefore based on the weight
system.
b. Airport and Hotel Check In
Check in times vary between airport and airlines used. Generally you should check in at least 3 hours prior to departure for international flights and 2 hours prior to departure on domestic flights. Reserved seat numbers are never guaranteed by airlines and emergency exit row seating is only allocated on the day of departure at the check in desk to persons over 16 years of age and who are 100% physically fit. Unless travelling with British Airways or told otherwise all passengers should re confirm their onward or return flights with the airline locally. Most airlines will advertise toll free contact numbers in local telephone directories.
With regard to hotel check in – this is normally 3pm and 11am for check out. These times may vary from hotel to hotel and each hotel reserves the right to alter these times.
c. Travel documents
The Company will endeavour to dispatch all documents to the customer at least 14 days prior to departure. Due to exceptionally busy periods and delays with the post office it may however not always be possible to achieve this. Once you receive your documents you should check that all of the details are correct and contact ube unsure of anything to do with your travel arrangements.

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