In these booking conditions, a 'package' means a combination of at least two of the following three components when booked with us at the same time:
The following booking conditions apply to all bookings with or through us (including those where we act only as agent) except where otherwise specified. Where we act as agent the service provider/principal's booking conditions also apply to your travel arrangements. These will be provided to you.
Bookings can be made in person at our offices or by phone, letter, fax or email. When booking, you must pay a deposit of 10% of the total cost of your holiday together with the deposits specified in clause 19 where applicable (or full payment if booking within 10 weeks of departure). In addition, if you decide to purchase the insurance policy we offer, all applicable insurance premiums must also be paid at the time of booking. On receipt of these monies, we will, subject to availability, issue a confirmation/invoice. The balance of the price due must be received by us not less than 10 weeks prior to departure. All arrangements including airfares are subject to availability at the time you book.
Where you make your booking in person, a binding contract will come into existence when we despatch the confirmation/invoice. For postal, fax, telephone & email bookings, the contract will only come into existence at the end of five days from the date we despatch the confirmation invoice to give you time to consider these booking conditions. If you do not contact us before this point to withdraw from the booking, you will be deemed to have accepted these booking conditions. The contract and all matters arising from it are governed by English law and the jurisdiction of the Courts of England and Wales. You may however choose the law and jurisdiction of Scotland or Northern Ireland if you wish to do so(unless referred to arbitration under clause 6).
As soon as you receive the confirmation/invoice, please check the details carefully and inform us immediately if anything appears to be incorrect as it may not be possible to make changes later. We regret we cannot accept any liability if we are not notified of any inaccuracy in any document within 10 days of our sending it out (5 days for tickets). Please note the date by which the final payment is due. No further reminder will be sent. No tickets will be sent out until final payment is received in full. If payment is not received in full and on time, we/the principal to the contract have the right to treat your booking as cancelled by you. In this case, cancellation charges as set out in these booking conditions will be payable.
If, after we have issued the confirmation/invoice, you want to change your booking, we will endeavour to assist providing a written request signed by the person who made the booking is received at our offices. It is not always possible to make changes. We will charge an amendment fee of between £10.00 to £50.00 (depending upon the amount of work involved) if a requested change can be made. In addition, you must pay any additional costs incurred by us and any costs or charges incurred or levied by any service provider. Airlines also generally charge an amendment fee of at least £50.00 for changes to itineraries made prior to receipt of full payment. Once ticketed, any amendments often incur 100% cancellation charges. In this event, you will have to pay the full cost of the airline ticket again if you wish to make an amendment.
Where you book a “package”, you or a party member who is prevented from travelling (e.g. as a result of serious personal illness, death or serious illness of a close family relative, jury service, redundancy or unavoidable work commitments) may transfer their place on the booking to someone else (introduced by you) providing they notify us not less than two weeks before departure. In this event, the above mentioned amendment fees, costs and charges will be payable before the transfer can be effected. This is entirely dependent on availability and where airline tickets are concerned an entirely new booking will be required as these are always non-transferable.
We must receive any notice of cancellation in writing and the cancellation will take effect from when this written confirmation is received. The following sliding scale of charges will be applied depending on when the notification is received:
Please note that all insurance premiums paid for insurance arranged by us on your behalf and any amendment charges are non refundable in the event of your cancellation. If the reason for your cancellation is covered by the terms of any insurance policy you have purchased, you may be able to re-claim any applicable cancellation charges (less any excess). Cancellation charges must however be paid before they can be claimed from insurers.
If you have a problem during your holiday, you must immediately notify both our representative/agent (where there is one) and the service provider concerned (e.g. airline, hotel, Tour Company etc). If it is not possible to do so or you remain dissatisfied, please telephone us or send a fax or email Bridge & Wickers. We aim to answer such messages by return but please bear in mind that, although our offices are open 6 days a week, time may pass before a reply can be despatched.
If you remain dissatisfied after your return home, you must write to us giving your original booking reference and all the relevant information within 28 days of the end of the arrangements in question.
Problems can only be resolved if we and the service providers are made aware of them as soon as they occur. For all complaints and claims which do not include personal injury, illness, or death, we regret we cannot accept liability in relation to any complaint or claim which is not notified in accordance with this clause.
Disputes arising out of, or in connection with, this contract which cannot be amicably settled may be referred to arbitration, if the customer so wishes, under a special Scheme arranged by the Association of British Travel Agents, and administered independently by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
The scheme provides for a simple and inexpensive method of arbitration on documents alone with restricted liability on the customer in respect of costs. Full details will be provided on request or can be obtained from the ABTA website (www.abta.com).
The Scheme does not apply to claims for an amount greater than £5,000 per person. There is also a limit of £25,000 per booking form. Neither does it apply to claims which are solely in respect of physical injury or illness or their consequences. The Scheme can however deal with compensation claims which include an element of minor injury or illness subject to a limit of £1,000 on the amount the arbitrator can award per person in respect of this element.
The application for arbitration and Statement of Claim must be received by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators within nine months of the date of return from the holiday. Outside this time limit arbitration under the Scheme may still be available if the company agrees, but the ABTA Code does not require such agreement.
Except for arrangements sold by us as agent for the service provider concerned, the prices shown in our brochure and on the internet were calculated at the time of going to print on the basis of then known costs and exchange rates.
We and the service providers have the right increase or decrease the prices of unsold holiday and travel arrangements at any time. The current price will be confirmed at the time of booking, although we reserve the right to correct errors thereafter.
The price of your travel arrangements can be varied due to changes in transportation costs such as fuel, scheduled airfares and any other airline cost changes which are part of the contract between airlines (and their agents) and the tour operator or organiser]. Also [government action such as changes in VAT or any other government imposed changes] and [currency changes in relation to an exchange rate variation].
In the case of any small variation, an amount equivalent to 2% of the price of your travel arrangements, which excludes insurance premiums and any amendment charges, will be absorbed or retained. For larger variations this 2% will still be absorbed for increases but not retained from refunds. In either case there will be an administration charge of £1.00 per person together with an amount to cover agents’ commission. If this means that you have to pay an increase of more than 10% of the price of your travel arrangements, you may cancel your travel arrangements and receive a full refund of all monies paid, except for any amendment charges. We will consider an appropriate refund of insurance premiums paid if you can show that you are unable to transfer or reuse your policy. Should you decide to cancel for this reason, you must exercise your right to do so within 14 days from the issue date printed on your final invoice. Whether you cancel or not you will also be entitled, on the terms set out in respect of major changes in paragraph 5, to accept an offer of alternative travel arrangements from us if we are able to do so and compensation as set out below. Please note that travel arrangements are not always purchased in local currency and some apparent changes have no impact on the price of your travel due to contractual and other protection in place.
It is unlikely we will have to make any changes to your booking but we do plan some arrangements many months in advance and we therefore reserve the right to make alterations to and correct errors in brochure or on the internet and other details both before and after bookings have been confirmed. Most changes will be minor ones. Occasionally, it may be necessary to make a significant change. A significant change is one made before departure which materially affects (on the basis of the information you have given us at the time of booking) the confirmed arrangements we have agreed to provide or arrange. Such changes will usually include a change of your departure or return by more than 12 hours, of your departure airport (except as between London Airports) to one that is more inconvenient to you, a change of accommodation to that of a lower category or standard for the whole or a significant proportion of your holiday, a change of accommodation area for the whole of significant proportion of your holiday, withdrawal of the only or all swimming pool(s) at your accommodation of an extended period and in the case of tours, a significant change of itinerary. Minor changes include a change of your departure or return time by 12 hours or less, or your departure airport between Gatwick and Heathrow or the other London Airports (and vice versa), a change of accommodation to other accommodations of the same standard or category in the same area that you have booked or a change of accommodation to that of the same standard or category for any period during your holiday. If it is necessary to make a significant change before departure, we will advise you as soon as practicable. If there is time before departure we will then offer you the choice of:
If it is necessary to notify you of a significant change 10 weeks or less before departure, we will in addition pay you compensation as set out below subject to the following exception. Compensation will not be payable where a change is made as a result of unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control, the consequences of which could not have been avoided even with all due care. For significant changes, any liability we have is limited to offering the above choices and the compensation payments (where applicable) set out below. No compensation is payable if we make any change more than 10 weeks before departure. We cannot be responsible for any costs or expenses you may incur as a result of any change. No compensation is payable for minor changes. Minor changes do not entitle you to cancel or change to other arrangements without paying our normal charges.
Period before departure within which compensation a significant change or cancellation per person is notified to you:
Service providers generally reserve the right to change arrangements both before and after a booking has been confirmed. We will notify you of any changes as soon as we are notified of them but we cannot accept any liability in relation to any change.
Occasionally, it may be necessary to cancel confirmed arrangements. We must reserve the right to do so. However, we will not cancel less than 10 weeks before departure unless you have failed to make payment in full and on time or we are forced to do so as a result of circumstances outside our control. Where your arrangements are cancelled other than due to your default in payment, we will offer you the choice of purchasing alternative arrangements from us of a comparable standard if available (if the alternative arrangements are less expensive than the original ones, we will refund the difference, if they are more expensive, you will have to pay the difference) or receiving a full and prompt refund of all monies you have paid to us. In addition, if we cancel 10 weeks or less before departure, we will pay you compensation as set out in clause 8 (a) above subject to the following exceptions. Compensation will not be payable where we are forced to cancel as a result of unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control, the consequences of which we could not have avoided even with all due care or where we cancel because an insufficient number of people have booked your chosen arrangements - in this case, you will be notified not less than 10 weeks before departure. In all cases our liability is limited to offering the above choices and the compensation payments (where applicable) set out in clause 8(a). No compensation is payable where we cancel more than 10 weeks before departure. We cannot be responsible for any costs or expenses you may have as a result of any cancellation.
Very rarely, we may be forced to curtail your arrangements after the date of departure where circumstances amounting to “force majeure” as defined in clause 10 below occur. In this very unusual situation, we regret we cannot make any refunds (except where refunds are obtained from any supplier), meet any costs or expenses you may incur as a result or pay any compensation.
Service providers generally reserve the right to cancel arrangements at any time. We will notify you of any cancellation as soon as we are notified of it but we cannot accept any liability in relation to any cancellation.
Except where otherwise expressly stated in these booking conditions we regret that we cannot accept liability or pay any compensation where the performance of our contractual obligations is prevented or affected by reason of circumstances amounting to “force majeure”. In these booking conditions, 'force majeure' means any event which we or the supplier of the service(s) in question could not, even with all due care, foresee or avoid. Such events may include war or threat of war, riots, civil strife, terrorist activity, industrial dispute, natural or nuclear disaster, adverse weather conditions, fire and all similar events outside our control.
(Please note, clauses 11a, 11b, 11c and 11e below only apply to 'packages').
Please note that the timings of air, sea road and rail departures given in booking are estimates only and are subject to change. Latest timings will be shown on your confirmation/invoice. Timings may be affected by operational difficulties, weather conditions, passengers failing to check in on time and other factors outside our control. For flights, the actual flight times will be those shown on your tickets (unless otherwise advised) which will be despatched to you approximately 2 weeks before departure. You must check all tickets very carefully to ensure you have the latest timings. You must in addition ensure you read and observe any instructions sent with your tickets, for example reconfirming your flights at least 3 days before departure where possible. Please note, even when we sell flights as principal (rather than agent), we do not enter into an agreement for carriage by air but rather only undertake to reserve accommodation on board the airline advised at the time of booking or such other airline as may be substituted. Where we sell flights as part of a 'package' or as principal, we are not always in a position to confirm the airline, aircraft type and airport of destination which will be used in connection with that flight. Where this information is provided at the time of booking, it is subject to change. Any such change will not entitle you to cancel or change to other arrangements without paying our normal charges. Please also note that in relation to flights, an infant must be under two years of age on the date of their return flight to be entitled to the infant fare level which is usually 10% of the IATA published fare.
We strongly recommend that you take out full, comprehensive travel insurance both for protection against misfortune that can occasionally occur and for your own peace of mind. We can offer excellent travel insurance packages, details of which are available from us on request.
Tickets and travel documents, unless collected from us, are usually despatched by normal Royal Mail services. If you require the added speed and security of data post or courier delivery, this can be arranged and the net cost of this bill be added to the final invoice. We cannot accept any liability for late or lost tickets if normal post is used.
Details of the passport, visa and health requirements as applicable to British citizens holding a full ten year British passport are shown on the confirmation/invoice. Should you need to obtain a full 10 year British Passport you must allow a minimum of 6 weeks for processing with the relevant authorities. Non British citizens and British citizens not holding a full British Passport must consult their Embassy, Consulate or the British Foreign Office to check the applicable requirements. Clients with any existing medical problems should consult their own doctor. Requirements may change and you should check the up to date position in good time before departure. It is your responsibility to obtain proper and detailed medical advice and to ensure that you have the correct passport and visas to gain access to or pass through any country or region included in the travel arrangements which you purchase. If you fail to do either, we have no liability to you for any cost, loss or damage which you suffer as a result and nor will we refund the cost of any unused portion of your travel arrangements.
If you return any unused ticket(s) to us for refund, we will submit them to the relevant airline for refund. Once we receive the refund from the airline we will forward it to you less any applicable cancellation or administration charges. You should note that the airline refunds for part used tickets and the return half of the tickets are always less than the pro-rata proportion of the fare paid and, in some cases, may have no refund value at all. Refunds usually take 10 to 12 weeks, but in some cases, may take longer. Refunds in respect of all other unused services are not generally possible.
If you have any special request, please inform your travel consultant at the time of booking. Although we will endeavour to pass any reasonable requests on to the relevant supplier, we regret we cannot promise that any request will be complied with unless we have specifically confirmed this in writing. Confirmation that the special request has been noted or passed on to the supplier or the inclusion of the special request on your confirmation or any other documentation is not confirmation that the request had been met. Unless and until specifically confirmed, all special requests are subject to availability. If you have any medical problem or disability which may affect your booked arrangements, you must advise us in writing at the time of booking giving full details. If we feel unable to properly accommodate your particular needs, we must reserve the right to decline/cancel your booking.
We regret we are not in a position to offer you any assistance in the event of a delay at your outward or homeward point of departure. Any airline concerned may however provide refreshments etc.
For all land arrangements, a 10% deposit of the total value of non flight product charges must be paid at the time of confirmation of your booking.
Bridge & Wickers is a fully bonded travel agency. Your money is protected whilst in our hands through our membership of ABTA (W7956). Our Air Travel Organisers Licence (ATOL 6611) gives financial security for all travellers who book with us as principal by ensuring monies paid to us are refunded or repatriation is arranged should we be unable to provide the contracted arrangements due to insolvency.
Please be assured that we have measures in place to protect the personal booking information held by us. This information will be passed on to the principal and to the relevant suppliers of your travel arrangements. The information may also be provided to public authorities such as customs or immigration if required by them, or as required by law. Certain information may also be passed on to security or credit checking companies.
If you travel outside the European Economic Area, controls on data protection may not be as strong as the legal requirements in this country. We will only pass your information on to persons responsible for your travel arrangements. This applies to any sensitive information that you give to us such as details of any disabilities, or dietary/religious requirements. (If we cannot pass this information to the relevant suppliers, whether in the EEA or not, we will be unable to provide your booking. In making this booking, you consent to this information being passed on to the relevant persons.) Full details of our data protection policy are available upon request.