Travel with Confidence – COVID-19 Booking Policy
Our COVID-19 Policy
We appreciate that COVID-19 has caused disruption to international travel and you may have queries or concerns about your rights and our obligations. To try and answer such questions we have built this policy document to explain the options that will be available to you concerning COVID-19.
For bookings made after 1st April 2022 (“New Booking!”) you can move your entire booking (and any deposit paid) to an alternative destination and/or departure date upon request. This applies to your initial deposit only and will cease to be available once further payment(s) are made or have become due, or you book when full payment is required at the time of booking.
INSURANCE – this applies to school/youth groups only
AXA, ABTA and the School Travel Forum have put together a specialist youth groups individual insurance package. You can read the policy in full by requesting it from us but the highlights are:
- If passengers test positive for COVID-19 or have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus, then they are insured for a 100% refund if they cannot travel.
- If a passenger’s tour is extended as a result of contracting COVID-19, their medical expenses are covered, as they would be for any illness/injury that takes place whilst abroad. A member of school staff to chaperone them will also be covered.
- Free access to a travel companion app, which includes a medical translator, hospital locator, emergency numbers, medical assistance and lots more.
- All the other inclusions you would expect from a travel insurance policy.
This is only available through STF member tour operators. Costs (at the present time but subject to change) are £2.25 per person per day for tours to Europe and £3.26 per person per day for the rest of the world. Please also see https://travelsure.abta.com/stf/
PACKAGE TOUR REFUNDS
If you have booked a tour package from us, and we cancel due to COVID-19, we will provide you with a full refund within 14 days of us cancelling. You will also have the option to accept an alternative tour of comparable standard from us, if we are able to offer one (we will refund any difference in price if the alternative tour offered costs less than your original tour package, but any increase in price will be payable by you). Please refer to Paragraph J of our Booking Terms and Conditions for more information.
PACKAGE TOUR FINANCIAL PROTECTION
All of our package tours are financially protected under our ATOL license (number 9864) which is issued by the Civil Aviation Authority. This means that if we are unable to provide any of the travel services included in our ATOL Certificate, due to our insolvency, an ATOL holder may be able to provide those services to you. However, if this is not possible, you will be able to recover a full refund from the Trustees of the Air Travel Trust. For more information regarding the financial protection we have in place, please refer to Paragraph P of our Booking Terms and Conditions.
We will provide you with a full refund, where requested by you, if the local Government/authorities at your destination(s) put mandatory quarantine restrictions in place which mean that your entire group/party will be legally required to quarantine on arrival. For the avoidance of doubt, this right shall only trigger if such quarantine restrictions are in place less than 7 days before the date of departure and are expected to continue to be in place upon arrival at your destination(s).
You can move your entire New Booking to an alternative if, within 7 days before the date of departure, the UK Government introduces quarantine restrictions which mean that your entire group/party will be required to quarantine upon return to the UK.
DEPARTURE FOR EDUCATION ADVICE – this applies to school groups only
You should ensure that you have adequate travel insurance for all circumstances and in particular where the Department for Education issues advice/guidance against international school trips prior to your departure date and you choose to cancel as a result. Where you choose to act on such advice it will not automatically entitle you to a refund from us and any booking we make with you is made on this understanding.
You can request to postpone your New Booking to an alternative date if, within 7 days before departure, the UK Government announces local or national lockdown restrictions that will apply to you prior to departure or upon your return to the UK.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
- Timely Payment: any option to request a refund, to postpone/move a trip or to change the destination, as referred to within this COVID-19 Promise Policy shall only trigger if you make all payments required for your booking on time, as per the terms of Paragraph D of our Booking Terms and Conditions and your booking confirmation/invoice. If you do not meet these payment deadlines, our standard cancellation charges shall apply, as per Paragraph J of our Booking Terms and Conditions.
- Entire Group: any option to request a refund, to postpone/move a trip or to change the destination, as referred to under this COVID-19 Promise Policy, shall only be available if the request to cancel or make changes is made for the entire group/party included in the New Booking.
- Individuals: if any individuals choose to cancel their place in a New Booking (or a New Booking that has been amended under this COVID-19 Policy), our standard cancellation charges under Paragraph H of our Booking Terms and Conditions will apply to that individual. Since the cost of our tour packages are based on the numbers travelling when the booking is made, we will recalculate the price of the tour package and communicate the revised price to you as per Paragraph G of our Booking Terms and Conditions if any individuals cancel their place.
- Postponements/Date Changes or Change of Destination: where this COVID-19 Policy permits you to change your destination and/or departure date: A. Your New Booking can only be moved to a departure date that falls before the end of the academic year that follows your original New Booking (i.e. before 30 June of the following academic year). B. You remain responsible for the costs of making such changes (including, but not limited to, any increase in price if the alternative destination and/or departure date costs more than your original New Booking, which we will advise you of before you decide to make any such change). Paragraph G of our Booking Terms and Conditions shall apply.
- Refunds: where reference is made within this COVID-19 Policy to the option to request a refund, we will refund you within 14 days of receiving your written request.
- Cancellation: if you cancel your New Booking and request a refund for any reason that is not covered under this COVID-19 Promise Policy or our Booking Terms and Conditions, our standard cancellation fees contained in Paragraph H of our Booking Terms and Conditions shall apply.
- Changes: if you request to postpone or change the destination of your New Booking for any reason that is not covered under this COVID-19 Policy or our Booking Terms and Conditions, our standard charges as set out in Paragraph G of our Booking Terms and Conditions shall apply.
- Subject to Availability: any requests by you to move your New Booking to an alternative destination and/or date, where permitted under this COVID-19 Policy are subject to availability.
If you find yourself in any of the scenarios set out above and would like to exercise any of the options to you in this COVID-19 Policy, the Tour Leader must make a written request to email@example.com
COVID-19 Policy Amendment
We reserve the right to extend the validity of this COVID-19 Policy, or to issue new policies for future bookings, at any time.
End. Updated 1 April 2022.