We’re all guilty of it … clicking the “I have read the Terms & Conditions” box without going further to read through the pages and pages of legalese. For one thing, it’s difficult to understand the terminology, let alone feel we have the time to scroll through and understand this legally binding contract. Secondly, we know we won’t get any further purchasing the much desired or needed product without first checking the box … so we just do it!
After 35 years in the travel business, I have found it’s not uncommon for travellers to ignore reading the terms and conditions, especially those purchasing services online. It is imperative as a licensed travel advisor, that I review the terms and conditions with clients so they understand the risks involved. The words “Force Majeure” are generally in every contract and a huge part of discussions in today’s evolving travel industry. Trust is a big part of buying travel services which is why using a professional travel advisor can help save you time, money and disappointment.
Here are some of the clauses to pay special attention to:
- Where the company/supplier is registered will determine the laws and any affiliations governing your travel contract
- What currency is being quoted and any allowable increases
- Penalties for cancellations and changes to the agreement
- Eligibility and exclusions to best match who the intended traveler should be (eg adult only)
- How best to prepare and any information packages to be supplied
- What are the necessary travel documents required (passports, visas, vaccinations)
- What Travel Insurance coverage is required
- What are the Roles and Responsibilities of the travel supplier in mitigating risks
- And the final and key clause is the Limitation of Liability & Release
Next time you purchase travel services, pay attention to the Terms & Conditions BEFORE you put money down. Ask your travel professional if you have any questions. You have a right and a responsibility to ask. When you click on the little box, you are stating that you have read and understood the terms and conditions. Now more than ever this will be a part of any travel you purchase.
As I frequently tell my clients, the Internet doesn’t care about you the way I do!