Please take the time to read the following conditions carefully. They are the basis for the contract between us and will assist you with your future plans.
- CONTRACT Your booking is with European Study Tours Ltd. We are a Member of ABTA with membership number V4053. ABTA and ABTA members help holidaymakers to get the most from their travel and assist them when things do not go according to plan. We are obliged to maintain a high standard of service to you by ABTA’s Code of Conduct. For further information about ABTA, the Code of conduct and the arbitration scheme available to you if you have a complaint, contact ABTA, 30 Park Street, London, SE1 9EQ tel: 020 3117 0500 or www.abta.com A contract will only exist when we have received the required deposit and have acknowledged receipt of your completed booking form by the issue of our booking confirmation. The person signing the booking form accepts the following conditions on behalf of all party members and will be our sole point of contact for correspondence. The contract between us is governed by the Law of England and Wales and any dispute will be dealt with under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of England and Wales, except if you live in Scotland, when you may choose to have the contract governed by the laws of Scotland, and any dispute dealt with in the Scottish Courts.
- FINANCIAL SECURITY For tours which do not include air travel we hold a bond with ABTA. This arrangement means your money will be refunded or you will be brought back to the UK (where your contracted arrangements include return travel to the UK) if already abroad in the unlikely event of our being unable to provide your tour due to our insolvency. We hold an Air Travel Organiser's Licence issued by the Civil Aviation Auhtority (CAA) (ATOL number 3215). This means the tours inclusive of air travel are ATOL protected. We, or the suppliers identified on your ATOL Certificate, will provide you with the services listed on the ATOL Certificate (or a suitable alternative). In some case, where neither we nor the supplier are able to do so for reasons of insolvency, an alternative ATOL holder may provide you with services you have bought or a suitable alternative (at no extra cost to you). You agree to accept that in those circumstances the alternative ATOL holder will perform those obligations and agree to pay any money outstanding to be paid by you under you contract to that alternative ATOL holder. However, you also agree that in some cases it will not be possible to appoint an alternative ATOL holder, in which case you will be entitled to make a claim under the ATOL scheme (or your credit card issuer where applicable). For further information, visit the ATOL website at www.atol.org.uk
PAYMENT In order to confirm your tour, you must pay a deposit at the time of booking of £50 per person for coach and rail tours and £100 per person for air tours. Where a low cost airline is chosen as part of your arrangements, a larger deposit may be required to cover the full air fare cost. Any increased amount will be specified in our offer terms. If booking 10 weeks or less before departure full payment is required at the time of booking. If you wish to purchase the insurance policy we offer, all applicable premiums must also be paid at the time of booking. Please see clause 6 on the subject of insurance. The balance of the tour cost must be received by us not less than 10 weeks prior to departure. An interim payment may be required for some worldwide destinations. If we do not receive all payments due including any deposits and/or surcharge where applicable in full and on time, this will be a breach of the contract between us, entitling us to treat the booking as cancelled by you. In these circumstances, the contract between us will remain in force until you receive our written advice and cancellation invoice. If we do not cancel but your payments are late, you must pay a late payment penalty of £5 per person per week.
CANCELLATION In the event of cancellation by a paying member more than 2 weeks before your tour, the deposit may be transferred to a substitute member. However, we will charge an administration fee of £25, plus any direct costs incurred by us from our suppliers. For flight inclusive bookings, you must pay the charges levied by the airline concerned. As most airlines do not permit name changes after tickets have been issued for any reason, these charges are likely to be the full cost of the flight. However, if a transfer is not possible, please write to us immediately giving full details. The cancellation will be subject to the following charges, which is based on the total cost of the tour excluding insurance premiums and amendment charges - More than 70 days – All deposits paid. - 70-29 days before your tour: 60% - 28-15 days before your tour: 80% - 14 days or less before your tour: 100% Insurance premiums and amendment charges are not refundable. The date of effective cancellation is calculated on the day of receipt of written advice. If any cancellation brings the number of passengers below the minimum number required to qualify for a particular price, then the price will be adjusted accordingly. Please note that cancellation charges may be reclaimed, via insurance, provided that the cancellation occurs within the terms of the policy - e.g. necessary cancellation due to injury or illness of the party member or parent or parental redundancy, etc.
- PRICE INFORMATION The exchange rates used for calculating the price of our overseas tours and quoted below were published in “The Financial Times” on March 27th 2013 £1 = 1.1825 Euros/1.5114 US Dollars/1.4411 Swiss Francs. Prices for your tour will be confirmed at the time of making your booking, but could be subject to a surcharge on the following items: currency, government action, VAT, enforced increases in labour costs, aircraft fuel, overflying charges, airport charges and increases in air fares. In all cases where a surcharge is applicable we will absorb an amount equal to 2% of the tour price, excluding any insurance premium, amendment fees and changes in VAT. Only amounts in excess of 2% will be surcharged with a £1 per person administration charge. If this means paying more than 10% of the tour price you will be entitled to cancel the tour plus a full refund of all money paid (minus insurance premiums and any amendment fees incurred). Should you wish to cancel because of this, you must exercise your right to do so within 14 days from the issue date printed on the surcharge advice. You will be notified up to 30 days prior to departure if a surcharge is due on your tour.
- ALTERATIONS & AMENDMENTS BY YOU Should you wish to make any changes to your confirmed booking, you must notify us in writing as soon as possible. Where we can meet your request, a fee of £25 per amendment will be payable together with any costs incurred by ourselves and any costs or charges incurred or imposed by any of our suppliers in making the change. For tours by air it is the party leader’s responsibility to ensure that all names are given in full and exactly as shown on the individuals’ passport. This information is often required at an early stage of booking and some airlines may not permit name changes. Most however will treat name changes as cancellations and charge accordingly. We will pass these charges on to you. Once tickets have been issued or in the case of low cost carriers once names have been received, airlines will usually charge the full cost of the flight if a name is changed. If your final balance is overdue at the time of requesting this change this also must be paid in full before the change can be made.
- INSURANCE It is a condition of travel that you have adequate insurance in place for the duration of your trip. Details of the policy we offer are provided on request. If you decide not to purchase this insurance, you must give us details in writing of your alternative policy (insurer and policy number) within 14 days of booking. If you fail to do so, we will add the appropriate premiums for the personal travel insurance we offer to your confirmation invoice. These premiums must be paid as soon as possible as cover will not be effective until we receive all applicable premiums in full. Please read your policy details carefully and take them with you on your tour. It is your responsibility to ensure that the insurance cover you purchase is suitable and adequate for your particular needs. This applies even where insurance is included in the cost of your holiday. We do not check alternative insurance policies.
- IF WE ARE FORCED TO CHANGE THINGS The arrangements in our brochure or price list or on our website or when quoted to you, were given in good faith. Occasionally we have to make changes and we reserve the right to do so at any time. Most changes will be minor and all will be advised at the earliest possible date. In the unlikely event of it proving necessary to alter significantly or cancel your tour, we will offer a suitable alternative if available or 100% refund (within 14 clear days) if we are not able, in our opinion, to offer an alternative that is sufficiently comparable. Significant changes include the following changes when made before departure: a change of accommodation to that of a lower official classification or standard for the whole or a major part of the time you are away, a change of accommodation to an alternative resort for the whole or a major part of the time you are away, a change of outward departure time or overall length of time you are away of 12 or more hours and, in the case of inclusive tours, a significant change of itinerary missing out one or more major destinations substantially or altogether. Please note a change of airport, airline or flight time of less than 12 hours are not significant changes unless otherwise expressly stated. Compensation will be paid as below, per full fare paying passenger, if we have to make a significant change to your tour within 10 weeks of commencement:- 70-29 days: £3 per person 28-15 days: £5 per person 14 days or less: £7 per person Very rarely, we may be forced by ‘force majeure’ (see Clause 8) to change or terminate your tour after departure but before the scheduled end of your time away. This is extremely unlikely but if this situation does occur, we regret we will be unable to make any refunds (unless we obtain any refunds from our suppliers), pay you any compensation or meet any costs or expenses you incur as a result.
- FORCE MAJEURE Except where otherwise stated in these Booking Conditions, we regret we cannot accept liability or pay any compensation where the performance or prompt performance of our contractual obligations is prevented or affected by or you otherwise suffer any damage, loss or expense of any nature whatsoever as a result of ‘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, riot, civil strife, actual or threatened terrorist activity, industrial dispute, natural or nuclear disaster, adverse weather conditions, fire and all similar events outside our control.
- TRAVEL TICKETS & VOUCHERS These are valid in conjunction with the particular travel arrangements booked and the route specified. No refund can be made for lost, mislaid, unused, unendorsed or expired tickets, coupons or vouchers. Any details given are provisional and do not commit any airline mentioned to providing a service.
- LIABILITY We will only accept responsibility for any personal illness, injury or death which results from the negligent (as the word is understood in English law) acts or omissions of any servant or agent, or any supplier working on our behalf in the provision of services or facilities to you and whilst acting within the scope of their employment. We will also accept responsibility for those elements of the tour arrangements which are under our direct control, and for the acts and/or omissions of our employees, agents, subcontractors and suppliers. We can only be liable for the provision of special requests where we have confirmed their availability in writing beforehand. Please note, however, that we do not accept liability for any air or sea carriers whose individual conditions of carriage apply and are often subject to international agreements. We cannot be held responsible for the loss of enjoyment or additional expenses due to delays or changes in any travel arrangements or other services which are caused by circumstances amounting to ‘force majeure’ (see Clause 8). Our liability in all cases (except those involving illness, injury or death) is limited to 50% of the invoiced tour value per passenger in addition to a full refund. We cannot be held responsible for the failure or inability of any equipment or computer programme to recognise or correctly interpret or process any date as the true or correct date, or to continue to function correctly beyond that date. Should you or any member of your party have the misfortune to suffer illness, injury or death during the period of your tour arising out of an activity which does not form part of the arrangements made by us, we shall, where appropriate, give you every help that we can by way of initial assistance, including initial legal costs associated therewith, up to a maximum value of £5,000 per booking form. You must request such assistance within 90 days from the date of the misadventure and in the event of there being a successful claim for costs against a third party or there being suitable insurance policies in force, the costs incurred by us shall be recoverable from you.
- COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE If you have a problem during your holiday, please inform the relevant supplier (e.g. your hotelier) and our resort representative immediately who will endeavour to put things right. If your complaint is not resolved locally, please follow this up within 28 days of your return home by writing to our Customer Services Department at European Study Tours, 4 Post Office Walk, Fore Street, Hertford. SG14 1DL giving your booking reference and all other relevant information. Please keep your letter concise and to the point. This will assist us to quickly identify your concerns and speed up our response to you. It is strongly recommended that you communicate any complaint to the supplier of the services in question as well as to our representative without delay and complete a report form whilst in resort. If you fail to follow this simple procedure we will have been deprived of the opportunity to investigate and rectify your complaint whilst you were in resort and this may affect your rights under this contract. Please also see clause 1 above on ABTA.
- BEHAVIOUR We expect all clients to have consideration for other people. If in our reasonable opinion or in the reasonable opinion of any other person in authority, you or any member of your party behaves in such a way as to cause or be likely to cause danger, upset or distress to any third party or damage to property, we are entitled, without prior notice, to terminate the holiday of the person(s) concerned. In this situation, the person(s) concerned will be required to leave the accommodation or other service. We will have no further responsibility toward such person(s) including any return travel arrangements. No refunds will be made and we will not pay any expenses or costs incurred as a result of the termination.
- PERSONAL PROPERTY Your personal property, including baggage, is your own responsibility at all times, unless any loss or damage is due to our negligence or failure to carry out our responsibility.
- SUPERVISION When you book with us, you accept full responsibility for any damage or loss caused by you or any member of your group. Full payment for any such damage or loss must be paid direct at the time to the accommodation owner or manager or other supplier. If you fail to do so, you will be responsible for meeting any claims subsequently made against us (together with our own and the other party’s full legal costs) as a result of your or any member of your group’s actions. Party Leaders and/or other adults accompanying the party agree to adequately supervise all members of the party. It is the Party Leader’s responsibility to ensure that:
a) No party member under 18 consumes alcoholic beverages without prior written consent of the parent/guardian.
b) No party member smokes on coaches, in any accommodation, in any smokefree places or behaves in any other way which may cause a fire hazard.
c) All party members wear the lap belts provided for all journeys by coach. (Not always applicable to coaches sourced overseas).
d) No party member breaks a UK or local law.
16. TOURS BY AIR In accordance with EU Directive (EC) No 2111/2005 Article 9, we are required to bring to your attention the existence of a “Community list” which contains details of air carriers that are subject to an operating ban within the EU Community. The Community list is available for inspection at www.ec.europa.eu./transport/air. In accordance with EU Regulations we are required to advise you of the carrier(s) (or, if the carrier(s) is not known, the likely carrier(s)) that will operate your flight(s) at the time of booking. Where we are only able to inform you of the likely carrier(s) at the time of booking, we shall inform you of the identity of the actual carrier(s) as soon as we become aware of this. Any change to the operating carrier(s) after your booking has been confirmed will be notified to you as soon as possible. However, the UK departure airport, overseas arrival airport, carrier/airline and flight timings cannot be guaranteed (even when they have been confirmed in our Booking Confirmation Invoice). Nor can we guarantee the means of transport and timings for each leg of the journey but these will be as near as possible to those set out in our Booking Confirmation Invoice. We will provide transportation from your original departure point to the relevant airport if the original airport is changed. The UK departure airport, overseas arrival airport, carrier and flight timings shown in this brochure, on our website or in any other promotional material and detailed on your Booking Confirmation Invoice are for guidance only and are subject to alteration and confirmation. The latest route, timings and carrier will be shown on your tickets which will be despatched to you approximately two weeks before departure. You must accordingly check your tickets very carefully immediately on receipt to ensure you have the correct route, flight times and carrier. It is possible that UK departure airport, overseas arrival airport, carrier and/or flight times may be changed even after tickets have been despatched - we will contact you as soon as possible if this occurs. Any change in UK departure airport, overseas arrival airport, the identity of the carrier, flight timings, and/or aircraft type (if given) will not entitle you to cancel or change other arrangements without paying our normal charges except where specified in these conditions. If your flight is cancelled or delayed, your flight ticket is downgraded or boarding is denied by your airline in circumstances which would entitle you to claim compensation and/or another remedy from the airline under EC Regulation No 261/2004 - the Denied Boarding Regulations 2004, you must pursue the airline for any compensation due to you. All sums you receive or are entitled to receive from the airline concerned by virtue of these Regulations represent the full amount of your entitlement to compensation or any other payment arising from such cancellation, delay, downgrading or denied boarding. This includes any disappointment, distress, inconvenience or effect on any other arrangements. The fact a delay may entitle you to cancel your flight does not automatically entitle you to cancel any other arrangements even where those arrangements have been made in conjunction with your flight. We have no liability to make any payment to you in relation to the Denied Boarding Regulations or in respect of any flight cancellation or delay, downgrading of any flight ticket or denial of any boarding as the full amount of your entitlement to any compensation or other payment (as dealt with above) is covered by the airline’s obligations under the Denied Boarding Regulations. If, for any reason, you do not claim against the airline and make a claim for compensation or any other sum from us, you must, at the time of payment of any compensation or other sum to you, make a complete assignment to us of the rights you have against the airline in relation to the claim that gives rise to that compensation payment. If your airline does not comply with these rules you should complain to the Air Transport Users’ Council on 020 7240 6061 or via their website at www.auc.org.uk.
17. CONDITIONS OF SUPPLIERS Many of the services which make up your tour are provided by independent suppliers. Those suppliers provide these services in accordance with their own terms and conditions. Some of these terms and conditions may limit or exclude the supplier’s liability to you, usually in accordance with applicable International Conventions. Copies of the relevant parts of these terms and conditions are available on request from ourselves or the supplier concerned.
18. PASSPORTS, VISAS AND HEALTH REQUIREMENTS It is the Party Leader’s responsibility to ensure that all group members are in possession of all necessary travel and health documents before departure. All costs incurred in obtaining such documentation must be paid by you. We regret we cannot accept any liability if you are refused entry onto any transport or into any country due to failure on your part to carry correct documentation, or provide personal data on a timely basis for all party members that are required for border control or aviation security purposes. If any member of your group is not a British Citizen or holds a non- British passport, you must check passport and visa requirements with the Embassy or Consulate of the country(ies) to or through which you are intending to travel. If failure to have any necessary travel or other documents results in fines, surcharges or other financial penalty being imposed on us or any of our suppliers, you will be responsible for reimbursing us accordingly. For travel to or via the United States all passengers, including children must have their own machine-readable passport. Most British Citizens holding a British passport can travel under the Visa Waiver Program but there are some restrictions and the Party Leader must check these by looking at the US Embassy website at www.usembassy.org.uk. All persons travelling to the USA under the Visa Waiver Program must have obtained travel authorisation using the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA). You must have obtained authorisation at least 72 hours before departure. This requirement is in addition to the submission of passport information, which is still required. Each individual traveller must register online on the following website: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta. Party Leaders may wish to refer to the Department of Health leaflet T7.2 ‘Health Advice for Travellers’ which offers health information for all destinations. Copies are available from Post Offices nationwide. We recommend that all party members travelling within the EU have a valid EHIC (formerly E111). At present there are no mandatory health formalities for British Citizens for the destinations we offer but please bear in mind that requirements may change and you must check the up to date position in good time before departure. Further information can be obtained from the Department of Health website at www.dh.gov.uk/travellers or from www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk.
19. DELAYS AT PORT, INTERNATIONAL RAIL TERMINAL OR AIRPORT We regret we are not in a position to offer you any assistance in the event of delay at your outward or homeward point of departure. Under EU law you have rights in some circumstances to refunds and/or compensation from your airline in cases of denied boarding, cancellation or delay to flights. Full details of these rights will be publicised at EU airports and will also be available from Airlines. However, reimbursement in such cases is the responsibility of the airline and will not automatically entitle you to a refund of your holiday cost from us.
20. SPECIAL REQUESTS Any special requests must be clearly notified to us in writing. We do our best to meet any special requests made by you and ensure that these are forwarded to the appropriate persons. We cannot guarantee, however, that special requests will be fulfilled and failure to do so does not constitute a breach of contract. Special requests will only be held to form part of the contract between you and EST when they have been confirmed in writing to be guaranteed by EST.
21. EXCURSIONS On occasions, we are asked to arrange visits, activities and/or excursions which do not form part of our advertised or normally available programme. Unless we expressly agree to do so in writing, we cannot accept any liability for or in relation to such additional visits, activities and/or excursions. This is the case even if payment for these additional services is made directly to us. As such additional services are booked solely at your request, you are assumed to have satisfied yourself that they are appropriate, suitable and safe for your party as we are not in a position to make such an assessment.
22. MEDICAL PROBLEMS If any member of your group has any medical problem or disability which may affect your arrangements, the Party Leader must give us full details before confirming your booking so that we can advise as to the suitability of the chosen arrangements. The Party Leader must give us full details in writing at the time of booking and promptly update us of any changes. If we reasonably feel unable to properly accommodate the particular needs of the person concerned, we must reserve the right to decline their reservation or, if full details are not given at the time of booking, cancel when we become aware of these details.
23. DATA PROTECTION For the purposes of the data protection Act 1998, European Study Tours Ltd is a data controller. We have measures in place to protect the personal booking information held by us.. The contact details supplied, including postal address, telephone and email address, will only be used to fulfil tour administration and to communicate details of EST’s and associated companies products and services. The personal information supplied about party members will be used to allow our employees, agents, subcontractors and suppliers to provide the promised service to our normal high standards. It may also be provided to public authorities such as customs or immigration if required by them, or as required by law. You are entitled to a copy of your information held by us. If you would like to see this please contact us. We will charge a fee of £10 to respond to such a request.