Why should I read this page?
Because it is very important. Our Trading Charter forms a key part of our agreement with you and forms the basis of a legally binding contract between you as the lead name making the booking, anyone else in your party and us.
When you make this booking as the lead name you undertake that you have the authority to accept, and do accept, on behalf of your party the terms of these booking conditions. This contract is made subject to the terms of these booking conditions, which are governed by English Law, and the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts. These contract Terms and Financial guarantees will not apply to any holiday involving any type of flight.
How and when do I make this contract with you?
We welcome you making contact with us in a number of ways. You can write to us, phone us, e-mail, visit our website or use a nominated agent. Whichever way you contact us the contract is made when your booking is entered on to our reservation system and we issue a confirmation of booking. We will send you, or your agent the confirmation of your booking within seven working days. Please check this confirmation very carefully to ensure all the information is correct and tell us, or your agent, immediately of any errors.
If I use an agent who does my money belong to?
Your agent will hold your deposit on your behalf until we issue a confirmation of your booking. The agent then holds this money on our behalf. The agent holds the balance you pay on your behalf until the date the balance is due. The agent will forward to us.
Can you change the price of my holiday after you have issued the booking confirmation?
Yes we can, but only in very limited circumstances. The price of your holiday is subject to change for an increase or decrease in any of the following costs:-
- Transportation costs including fuel (including fuel tax), ferry operator fares and tolls, embarkation or disembarkation fees at terminals.
- Exchange rates applied to the particular holiday booked.
- Dues and taxes (including the rate of VAT).
Even in this case, we will absorb an amount equivalent to 2% of the holiday price, which excludes any insurance premium, and any amendment charges. Only amounts in excess of this 2% will be surcharged, but where a surcharge is payable there will be an administration charge of £1 per person together with a separate amount to cover your agent’s commission. If this means paying more than an extra 10% on the holiday price, you will be entitled to cancel your holiday with a full refund of all money paid. Should you decide to cancel because of this, you must exercise your right to do so within 14 days from the issue date printed on the revised invoice. Alternatively, you may prefer to take a comparable alternative holiday, if available, details of which will be provided with the revised invoice. We will not surcharge you after the date that your balance is due unless the change relates to any amount set by or payable to a Government of a country forming part of the holiday and even then no surcharge will be imposed less than 30 days pre-departure. Where there is a decrease in the above costs the price of your holiday will be reduced and a refund given. The prices terms and dates will be those used for applying any increase. In addition to sterling we use the following currencies in calculating our holiday prices.
Below are the equivalent exchange rates to £1 sterling from XE.com dated 30th June 2006. Please note that some apparent changes may not affect the price of your holiday due to contractual protection which we have in place.
Euro Zone Euro £1 = 1.42
Switzerland Swiss Franc £1 = 2.17
Can I change my holiday arrangements?
After we have issued our booking confirmation we will do our best to accommodate any changes you may want to make but we cannot guarantee to do so. Any changes must be notified to us in writing and signed by the person who signed the booking form or the lead name to whom the booking confirmation has been sent. If we are able to make the changes an amendment fee of £5.00 may be payable plus any additional charge for the facilities requested. Any significant alteration after the balance due date will be treated as a cancellation of the original booking and will be subject to the cancellation charges detailed below. A significant alteration would include a change of departure date, holiday or hotel, or number of people traveling.
Can I transfer my booking to someone else?
You can transfer your booking to someone else provided you give us reasonable notice. This person must be able to satisfy all the conditions for the holiday and a change cannot normally be made later than fourteen days prior to departure. We will make an administration charge of £20 per person for every transfer we make plus any reasonable additional costs caused by the transfer. You will remain responsible for ensuring that the holiday is paid for by the balance due date.
How can I cancel my holiday?
You, or any member of your party, may cancel at any time provided that the cancellation is made by the person who signed the booking form or the lead name to whom the confirmation has been sent and is communicated to us in writing via the office at which you made your original booking. You will have to pay cancellation charges set out in the scale below to cover our estimated loss resulting from the cancellation. If you are insured against cancellation you may be able to recover the charges from your insurers. Your cancellation will take effect from the date when either the travel agent or we receive your written confirmation of your cancellation. You must also return any tickets or vouchers that you have received. A reduction in room occupancy may increase the charges for the remaining passengers by the application of supplements for low occupancy of rooms. We will tell you before your booking is confirmed if there have been any changes since the brochure was published.
1-7 days 0% returned (may be able to transfer to new day trip)
8-21 days 50% returned
21-28 90% returned
What happens if you change my holiday?
The arrangements for your holiday will usually have been made many months in advance. Sometimes changes are unavoidable and we reserve the right to make them. Most of these changes are likely to be minor and we will do our best to keep you informed. If, after booking and before departure, we make a significant change to your holiday you will have the option of withdrawing from the holiday without penalty or alternatively you may transfer to another holiday without paying an administration fee. In either case we will pay you compensation according to the scale set out below.
A significant change would involve a change in departure date, time or return time of more than twelve hours or departure town, location of resort or quality of hotel, (excluding single overnight hotels on touring holidays). We reserve the right to use on the short sea crossing between England & France either ferry or Channel tunnel. If you withdraw from the holiday because we have made a significant change or if we have to cancel your holiday for any reason other than non-payment by you we will offer you the choice of:
- A comparable replacement holiday if available; or:
- A replacement holiday of lower quality together with a refund of the price difference; or:
- A full refund of the money you have paid.
When we have notified you of the changes and options available, you must tell us your decision as soon as possible and within any timescale we may need to set bearing in mind the need to safeguard the holiday arrangements of other customers.
Scale of Compensation
We will pay you compensation for significant changes on the following scale: Period before departure in which significant change is notified to you or your agent. Compensation for short breaks of below four days will be paid at 50% of the above. Payment of compensation according to the scale set out above will not affect your statutory right to claim further compensation if, in all the circumstances, you remain dissatisfied. Compensation will not be paid where the change is made as a result of events beyond our control including war or threat of war, riot, civil strife, terrorist activity, industrial disputes, fire, quarantine, epidemic or health risks, natural or nuclear disasters, port and terminal closures and/or adverse weather conditions. You are entitled, if appropriate to be compensated by the Britannia Coaches for the non-performance of the contract except where:
a) The package is cancelled because the number or persons who agreed to take it is less than the minimum number required, and you were informed of the cancellation in writing within the period indicated in the description of the package. If, after departure, we need to make a change to a significant proportion of your holiday we will do our best to make suitable alternative arrangements at no extra cost to you. If it proves impossible to make suitable alternative arrangements or if you have reasonable grounds for refusing the alternative offered, we will arrange transport back to your point of departure or to an alternative location that we agree to.
What is the extent of your liability?
We accept responsibility if you or any member of your party is killed or injured as a result of an activity forming part of your holiday arrangements which you booked with us before your departure; or if any part of your holiday arrangements, booked with us in the UK, is not as described in the brochure or not of a reasonable standard; if the failure in your holiday arrangements or any death or personal injury is due to any fault on our part or that of our agents or suppliers whilst acting in the course of their employment. We do not accept responsibility if the failure, death or personal injury is not caused by any fault of ours or of our agents or suppliers or is caused by you or someone not connected with your holiday arrangements; or if the failure, death or personal injury is due to unusual or unforeseen circumstances which, even with all due care, we, or our agents or suppliers, could not have anticipated or avoided. Where you, or any member of your party, participate in sports or any other activity that involves an element of risk whilst on holiday and this has been arranged completely independently of Britannia it should be understood that participation is at the individual’s own risk and it is their own responsibility to obtain the relevant insurance. For claims which do not involve personal injury, illness or death, the most we will have to pay if we are liable to you is twice the price the person affected paid for their holiday (not including insurance premiums and amendment charges). We will only have to pay this maximum amount if everything has gone wrong and you have received no benefit from your holiday.
Britannia do not accept any liability for any changes or delays to any form of transportation where this does not form any part of the holiday you have booked with us. If you or any member of your party is killed, injured or becomes ill as a result of transport by ship, train or coach, any liability which we may have to pay compensation is limited in line with the Athens Convention (applies to transport by ship), the Berne Convention (applies to transport by rail) and the Geneva Convention (applies to transport by road). You can get copies of the relevant conventions from us if you ask. You should also note that these conventions may limit or remove the carrier’s liability to you and the amount which the carrier has to pay you. If we make any payment to you or any member of your party for death, personal injury or illness, you will be asked to assign to us or our insurers the rights you may have to take action against the person or organisation responsible for causing the death, personal injury or illness. Our suppliers (such as accommodation or transport providers) have their own booking conditions or conditions of carriage, and these conditions are binding between you and the supplier. Some of these conditions may limit or remove the relevant transport provider’s or other supplier’s liability to you. You can get copies of such conditions from our offices, or the offices of the relevant supplier.
What do I need to do if I have to complain?
If you have a complaint during your holiday you should tell the driver/representative or supplier at the earliest opportunity so that they can do their utmost to resolve the problem immediately. If they are unable to resolve the problem to your satisfaction you should complete a Holiday Report Form which is available from the driver/representative. You will be given a copy of this report which you should keep. If, on your return from holiday, you remain dissatisfied you should write within 28 days to Customer Services, Britannia Coaches North End Burymead Road Hitchin Herts SG5 1RT. In your letter you will need to quote your booking reference number, holiday number, departure date and the number of the Holiday Report Form which you completed at the time. If you do not tell us at the earliest opportunity about a problem giving rise to your complaint we cannot take steps to investigate and rectify it. In deciding how to respond to your complaint we will take into account the date you first drew the problem to the attention of our driver/representative or supplier.
There is a seating plan of the coach for each holiday, but it is possible that on occasions operational reasons will require a coach with a different configuration to be used. We therefore reserve the right to alter a coach-seating plan and allocate seats other than those you have booked.
Requests for particular seats can be made on most holidays when booking but because allocations are made on a first come, first served basis you are recommended to book early. When your booking is confirmed you will be offered the best seats that are available at that time. If you know someone who may want to book later but sit near you please discuss this with the booking clerk at the time you make your booking. Specific seats will not be allocated on coaches which operate on feeder services between joining points and main holiday departure points. These vehicles may not have the facilities of the main tour coach.
Health & Safety on holiday
In some foreign countries, standards of infrastructure, safety and hygiene may be lower than those to which we are accustomed in the UK. You should therefore exercise greater care for your own protection. Further information can be obtained from your GP or from your travel agent who can provide you with the leaflet “Health Advice for Travellers” published by the Department of Health. Some people may be at risk from discomfort or deep vein thrombosis (DVT) if they remain immobile on a journey for a long period of time. If you are planning to undertake a bus or coach journey of more than 3 hours you should consult your doctor if you have ever had DVT or pulmonary embolism, a family history of clotting conditions, cancer or treatment for cancer, a stroke, heart or lung disease or if you have had major surgery in the past 3 months. We reserve the right to refuse any booking in the absence of a doctor’s certificate confirming that you are fit to travel. During the journey we will provide comfort stops as frequently as possible. During these stops you are encouraged to get off the coach and walk around. Exercise reduces any discomfort, which may be caused by periods of immobility. During any journey you should drink alcohol only in moderation as it leads to dehydration.
We want all our passengers to have a happy and carefree holiday. But you must remember that you are responsible for your behaviour and the effect it may have on others. If you or any member of your party is abusive or disruptive or behaves in a way which, in our reasonable opinion, could cause damage or injury to others or affect their enjoyment of their holiday, or which could damage property, we have the right, after reasonable consideration, to terminate your contract with us. If this happens we will have no further obligations or liability to you. The coach driver/representative, ship’s captain, or authorised official of other means of transport is entitled to refuse you boarding if in their reasonable opinion you are unacceptably under the influence of drink or drugs or you are being violent or disruptive. If you are refused boarding on the outward journey we will regard it as a cancellation by you and we will apply cancellation charges according to the scale shown. If the refusal is on the return journey we have the right to terminate the contract and will have no further obligations or liability to you.
No smoking policy
We operate a strict no smoking policy on all our coaches. We make frequent comfort stops. The no smoking policy of other carriers and suppliers will vary and will be supplied on request if you contact Britannia Coaches.
We do not allow pets to be taken on our holidays. Registered Assistance Dogs will normally be accommodated on UK holidays but not on overseas holidays.
Pick up point, itineraries, travel documents and passport You are responsible for ensuring that you are at the correct departure point, at the correct time, with the correct documents and we cannot be held liable for any loss or expense suffered by you or your party because of an incorrect passport or late arrival at the departure point. If you are a British citizen travelling outside the United Kingdom you must have a full UK passport valid for a minimum of three months after your scheduled date of return. Non-UK citizens must seek passport and visa advice from the consulates of the countries you plan to visit prior to making a booking for one of our holidays. The name on the passport must match the name on the ticket. If someone in your party changes name after the booking is made you must tell us immediately so that we can issue the ticket in the new name. When you have paid the balance we will send you or your booking agent all the necessary labels so that you receive them in good time for your holiday. Certain travel documents may have to be retained by us and your driver/ courier will then issue them to you at the relevant time. If you lose a travel document after it has been issued to you we will require you to meet the direct cost charged by the carrier/supplier for the issue of a duplicate or replacement. Britannia Coaches reserve the right to modify itineraries to conform with requests from the competent authorities in the United Kingdom and any other sovereign state through which the tour will operate. Included excursions are detailed on the relevant brochure page and refunds will not be made for any excursion not taken. Optional excursions may be booked and paid for in resort but these will not form part of the package booked with us. Admission fees to buildings, grounds etc. are not included in the price of the holiday unless otherwise stated on the relevant brochure page.
What happens if I am delayed?
Your travel insurance may cover you for some delays. In addition where you are delayed for more than six hours in any one day we will seek to minimise any discomfort and where possible, arrange for refreshments and meals.
What assistance will you give me if things go wrong when it is not your fault?
If you, or any member of your party, suffer death, illness or injury whilst overseas arising out of an activity which does not form part of your package travel arrangements or an excursion arranged through us in the UK, we shall at our discretion, offer advice, guidance and assistance. Where legal action is contemplated and you want our assistance, you must obtain our written consent prior to commencement of proceedings. Our consent will be given subject to you undertaking to assign any costs, benefits received under any relevant insurance policy to ourselves. We limit the cost of our assistance to you and any member of your party to £5000 per party.
Unfortunately, many hotels overseas do not provide adequate facilities for guests with mobility problems or who suffer from other disabilities. But whether you are planning a holiday overseas or in the UK, please notify us before you book if you or any member of your party has special needs or suffers from any disability. We are keen to plan arrangements for your holiday so that special needs and requests can be accommodated as far as possible. If you will need assistance or special facilities in the hotel, or may have difficulties in taking part in excursions or boarding and travelling on the coach or other means of transport you must let us know in advance. Not all the holidays may be suitable for you. We want you to enjoy your holiday and will try to help you select an appropriate trip. If you need advice or further information either you or your booking agent should contact customer service. It is a condition of making your booking that we are advised in writing of any disability which requires special attention, e.g. wheelchair access to a bedroom. We will, in turn, confirm back in writing our acceptance or otherwise of your requirements. If you need advice or further information either you or your booking agent should contact Customer Services.
If you will require a special diet please tell us before booking, or as soon as you are medically advised, and send us a copy of the diet. We will notify the hotel or hotels on your holiday but please note that some hotels may not have facilities to cope with special diets and we cannot be held liable for their failure to do so. Where we think this is likely to happen we will tell you prior to your booking confirmation being issued so that you can exercise your right to cancel your holiday booking without charge. Any extra costs incurred must be paid to the hotel by you prior to departure from the hotel. You should also detail any other requests, for example, low floor rooms, particular rooms or locations on the special requests section of the booking form. If you have special requests not shown on your confirmation, please advise us immediately. We will pass your request to the relevant supplier but this does not necessarily mean that your request will be fulfilled. If a request can be fulfilled you may incur an extra charge payable either to us or direct to the hotel. Please note that requests cannot be guaranteed unless we confirm on your booking confirmation that this is a guaranteed requirement.
Single occupancy of rooms when available may be subject to a supplementary charge and this will be shown on the brochure page.
Some of our hotels arrange additional entertainment, which could include music, dancing, film shows, bingo, etc. Where this is part of the holiday, details are given on the respective brochure page. The nature and frequency of the entertainment provided is at the discretion of the hotel and therefore not guaranteed. It may be withdrawn if there is a lack of demand or for operational reasons.
Some facilities such as indoor or outdoor swimming pools or leisure facilities may from time to time be withdrawn for routine maintenance or may be subject to seasonal availability. The provision of these facilities is therefore not guaranteed.
Data Protection Act
In order to process your booking and to ensure that your travel arrangements run smoothly and meet your requirements we, and your travel agent, need to use the information you provide such as name, address, any special needs/dietary requirements etc. We take full responsibility for ensuring that proper measures are in place to protect your information. We must pass the information on to the relevant suppliers of your travel arrangements such as hotels, transport companies etc. The information may also be supplied to security or credit checking companies, public authorities such as customs/immigration if required by them, or as required by law. Additionally, where your holiday is outside the European Economic Area (EEA), controls on data protection in your destination may not be as strong as the legal requirements in this country. We will not, however, pass information on to any person not responsible for part of 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 cannot provide your booking. In making this booking, you consent to this information being passed on to the relevant persons. Please note that where information is held by your agent, this is subject to your agent’s own data protection policy. Your data controller is the Office Manager. You are entitled to a copy of your information held by us. If you would like to see this, please contact us. We retain your full contact details and other information in secure files and electronic storage facilities. We may use this information to contact you by mail, telephone or electronic means. We will provide you with details of other goods and services including those of selected third parties. If you do not wish to receive the further information about products and services from ourselves please write to the data controller.
HOLIDAY INFORMATION not part of contract
- PERSONAL POSSESSIONS – Our Luggage Labels should be securely attached to your suitcase at all times. We ask you to keep luggage to one medium suitcase not exceeding 15 kilos per person, but a small holdall can also be taken on the coach. Soft suitcases are more susceptible to damage without any negligence on the part of the staff. We must point out that most insurance companies will not cover personal belongings left in an unattended vehicle. Also, do not leave valuables in the coach saloon while it is unattended. We cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage to personal belongings otherwise.
- HEALTH – Under normal circumstances most Western European countries do not require visitors to be inoculated or vaccinated, and at time of going to press none were required for the countries visited in out itineraries. However, we will indicate any known vaccination or health requirements where possible for each country visited, if the need arises. If you are unsure, you are advised to check with your own doctor before travelling.
- THE TRAVELLER’S GUIDE TO HEALTH (Leaflet SA40) – This leaflet gives essential health information including emergency treatment in European Community countries and an application for the Medical care Form E111. It should be obtained from the Department of Social Security at least one month before departure.
- ITINERARIES – No courier, driver or servant of the Company is authorised or empowered to vary or alter the components of any itinerary or contents of any holiday listed in this brochure except to vary days of excursions where inclement weather may adversely affect the operation of excursion.
If your holiday involves any travel by air your contract will be with the ATOL Holder named on the individual brochure page. These contract terms & financial guarantees will not apply to any holiday involving any type of flight. Instead, you will be supplied with the full booking conditions of the ATOL holder arranging your holiday. Your booking agent will have a copy or alternatively you can request one prior to booking your holiday from Britannia Coaches Northend Garage Burymead Road Hitchin Herts. SG5 1RT
SIMPLEUNCOMPLICATED COVER One size fits all! Our policy can be taken out by all ages and, as with our holidays, we’ve made sure that there are no hidden restrictions. A summary of our comprehensive cover is detailed below.
A £40 excess applies to Return to Home, Medical Expenses, Additional Expenses, Cancellation, Curtailment, Holiday Abandonment, Personal Property and Personal money. A £10 excess applies to Loss of Deposit, as well as Cancellation, Curtailment and holiday Abandonment where holidays cost less than £100. There is no excess for claims made in respect of children.
The above is a Summery of Cover only. Full terms and conditions are as per the Statement of Cover, a copy of which is available upon request.