Page 128 - Discover America
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IMPORTANT INFORMATION - BEFORE YOU FLY
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 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
ESTA, APIS & SFPD for travel to the USA
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.
Travel Insurance
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.
Expectant Mothers
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 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
Name changes (including minor spelling) are not permitted by the airlines and will usually incur a cancellation penalty.
In-Flight and Special Meal Requests
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.
Children Under 18 years 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.
Reconfirming Flights
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.
Luggage
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.
Travel Documentation
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.
Check-In / 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 settled 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 and charges
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
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