Packages and Schedule Changes
Like group tours, packages tend to have fixed itineraries, with ground transportation and hotels booked in advance. But like independent travel, there's no organized group; clients are on their own, free to do as they please at each destination, but they still have the convenience and reliability that come with booking through a tour operator.
Vacation packages are designed for those traveling independently. They include a combination of two or more travel services (for example, hotel accommodations, car rental, air transportation) that are offered at a package price.
Many vacation packages offer a choice of components and options, thereby enabling you to customize the package to your tastes, interests and / or budget.
Airlines and tour operators reserve the right to make schedule changes to flight times, airlines, and aircraft, within a twenty-four hour period of the planned departure and arrival times. This provision is a commonly located on the back page of the supplier brochure in the fine print terms and conditions of sale.
You may read, “We, or any other travel agency, cannot guarantee the published flight times. We strongly suggest that you consider an overnight prior to departure when making connecting flight arrangements to a charter package-holiday.” This way, in the unlikely event of a major schedule change, you will not be out of pocket for change fees and penalties to connecting tickets.
In some cases, it is written, “We will send you a revised itinerary in writing upon notification of a schedule change by the supplier. Within two weeks of departure, we will call you to advise schedule changes, mail, and / or email.” Sometimes it becomes impossible to reach customers who may be out of town, or if the phone numbers provided were wrong, or incomplete. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the traveler to reconfirm all flight times directly with the airline within twenty-four hours of departure (in both directions). This is the only way to ensure that you will be aware of any schedule changes that could cause you to miss your flights. Many people skip this step, and in rare cases, it can be a costly mistake, as one-way tickets at the airport are very expensive.
Rule 240 is a term that describes the obligations that an individual airline has for late or stranded passengers, for delays caused by airlines. Individual airlines have filed conditions of carriage with the U.S. Department of Transportation stating their respective Rule 240 provisions. Rule 240 does not include flight delays or cancellations that result from bad weather or other factors that are outside of the airliner’s control.
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Concepts and TerminologyConfidential, TRX Inc.7 November 2007