Our Covid-19 Cancellation Policy for Flight Inclusive Tours
Valid for bookings made between 1 September 2021 and 31 October 2021 for travel in 2021 or 2022
Kipling Tours understands how challenging it can be to plan and promote a school tour under the present circumstances, with rules changing every week and countries being brought in and out of the different traffic light colours. We want to make things as simple for you as possible so you can book your tour with confidence. Our Covid Cancellation policy is designed to give you that peace of mind and give you clarity.
For tours which include flights we are able to book flights with most airlines no more than 11 months ahead of departure, which means that many flights for Summer and Autumn 2022 are currently not yet for sale. When we actually commit to a flight booking, all airlines require us to pay a non-refundable deposit at that time. Once we have paid this deposit the airline will generally not refund us unless the flights are cancelled by the airline. The amount of deposit per passenger we have to pay varies from airline to airline and route to route but typically ranges between £25 – £65 per person. This applies to legacy carriers such as British Airways, Icelandair and Lufthansa. For no frills airlines such as Easyjet and Ryanair, different terms apply.
For Bookings made between 1 September 2021 and 31 October 2021 and for travel in either 2021 or 2022 we can offer the following flexible cancellation terms:
You Cancel Before Flights are Booked
If you wish to cancel the tour after you have booked, but before we have booked and paid for your flights, we will not have made any financial commitment on your behalf to the airline and we will provide a full refund of any monies paid. We will not book flights without first securing your approval that you wish to proceed.
Cancel Up to 91 days before departure
Once we have confirmed your flights and paid a deposit to the airline, you can cancel the tour and request a refund of all monies paid less the non-refundable flight deposit, up to 91 days before departure if:
• The Foreign Office are advising against all but essential travel to your destination
• There is Department for Education guidance in place against overseas residential trips
• There is a requirement to quarantine at your destination which cannot be avoided
• There is a UK hotel quarantine requirement in place for passengers returning from your destination (red list countries)
• There is a national or regional lock down in the UK which prevents your group from travelling to the departure airport
• There are regulations in the destination country which would make group travel impossible
At the time you make your booking with us, we will advise you of the non-refundable flight deposit that we have to advance to the airline, and this will form part of your contract with us. Not all airlines are covered in this policy so please speak to one of our advisors to discuss your options.
Please note this policy applies to ‘whole group’ bookings and our normal cancellation penalties will apply if individual tour members drop out. No retrospective adjustment will be made on account of individual drop outs.
You Decide to Postpone the Tour After Booking
Tour postponement is always an option that we will be able to offer you, no matter what the scenario. However, once we have paid a deposit for flights, it is not always within the terms of the airlines contract to permit us to move the booking free of charge. Therefore, postponement can result in some additional costs consequent on moving the flights to new dates which may be as much as for tour cancellation. However, we would always do all we can to minimise any such costs and would always liaise with you before making any further financial commitment on your behalf.
Cancellation Less Than 91 Days Before Departure
Our flexible cancellation terms apply up to and including 91 days before departure. Once we reach 90 days before departure, our standard cancellation penalties will apply and the following terms will come into force:
1. The Foreign Office advise against all but essential travel to your destination
If there is Foreign Office advice against travel to your destination and your departure date is also imminent (within 2 weeks) then we would work with you to either postpone your trip to another suitable date or, if you didn’t want to postpone, we would cancel your tour and issue you with a full refund. A refund is only available if Foreign Office advice pertains when departure is imminent and to avoid doubt we would not make a decision to cancel a tour more than 30 days before travel. The point at which a tour will be cancelled in these circumstances is at our absolute discretion.
2. Arrival quarantine at your destination
Some countries currently have requirements to quarantine on arrival for 5 days or more. There is an expectation that with the vaccine roll-out these requirements will gradually be lifted. However, if there was a requirement to quarantine on arrival to the extent that your tour was not possible to operate, or it severely curtailed the itinerary, we would offer you the option either to postpone your trip to future dates or, if you were unable to postpone, we would cancel your tour and provide a full refund. A decision regarding this would be made around two weeks prior to departure.
3. UK quarantine in place for returning passengers
Now that UK quarantine has been removed for fully vaccinated adult passengers and for all under 18’s returning from countries that are not on red list, we will not be able to offer any refund 90 days or less before travel as a result of your wish to cancel due to passengers not being fully vaccinated and thus needing to quarantine on return.
4. Department for Education Guidance against overseas residential trips
Like other Tour Operators we follow Foreign Office advice. Therefore we will not be able to provide a refund 90 days or less before departure where the DfE are advising against overseas trips but the Foreign Office are not advising against travel to your destination and there are no other limiting restrictions which prevent us from operating the tour. In such circumstances, the tour would be able to go ahead as planned. Department for Education advice against travel does not invalidate insurance cover.
5. National Lockdown Restrictions in the UK
If there is a full national lockdown in place where overseas travel is prohibited by law, then we would offer you the option either to postpone your trip to future dates or, if you were unable to postpone, we would cancel your tour and provide a full refund.
6. Other Covid-19 Restrictions
If it is not possible to operate your tour without contravening Covid-19 regulations in the destination country we would offer you the option either to postpone your trip to future dates or, if you were unable to postpone, we would cancel your tour and provide a full refund. This condition particularly applies to choral and concert performing tours where local restrictions may prohibit or severely limit the extent and size of such performances.
Bookings with Easyjet and Ryanair
Different policies apply with bookings where the tour flights are with Easyjet or Ryanair. With legacy carriers such as British Airways, Icelandair and Lufthansa we are able to secure a group booking by paying a modest deposit as outlined above. However, with Easyjet and Ryanair we have to pay for the flights in full at the time we book them and we will only be refunded if the airline actually cancel the flights itself. Many Easyjet and Ryanair flights are now operating routinely to a wide range of European destinations where the Foreign Office are advising against travel or which are on the UK Government’s Amber list meaning you have to quarantine on the return if not fully vaccinated. Although these no frills airlines currently allow us to move the bookings to new dates as much as a year ahead, they will not refund us on account of Foreign Office advice or quarantine restrictions. For that reason we encourage you to consider legacy carriers such as British Airways, Icelandair and Lufthansa for your flights. The airfare may sometimes be higher than can be achieved with a no-frills carrier, but you have the advantage of only being tied into to a small up-front deposit.
If for reasons of cost or convenience your tour includes flights with Easyjet or Ryanair, for bookings made during the validity of this Covid policy from 1 September to 31 October 2021 we will only accept your booking if you agree in writing to postpone the tour should the initial tour dates not be possible due to whichever Government travel advice or restriction may apply. Please discuss with our sales team how this approach may be structured.
Kipling Tours are working with a number of schools who have booked tours travelling between October 2021 and April 2022 with Easyjet flights but who have agreed alternate dates if they are unable to travel as planned, and we are able to move the tour accordingly.