Customer support

To help you prepare for your journey, experienced members of our Aviation department have put together this guide, which we hope you'll find useful.

Airline Tickets

It is no longer necessary to hold a ticket for air travel. You can check-in using your passport and the airline booking reference, which can be found in your tour documentation. This is all that the airline needs to retrieve your booking details.

APIS (Advanced Passenger Information System)

The Advanced Passenger Information System is an electronic data interchange system originally established by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. It is now a requirement that when travelling to or from certain countries, passenger information is provided prior to check-in. If this is not submitted you may not be able to fly.

The list of countries that require APIS is updated regularly and this information is available on the Internet.

The information required is:

  • Full Name (first, middle and last)
  • Gender
  • Date of birth
  • Country of residence
  • Travel document type (e.g. passport)
  • Travel document number
  • Expiry date and country of issue of the passport

If you have not already provided your details, please call one of our Customer Service Team, who will submit this information on your behalf. Please call 0844 318 0002.

Upgrades

On most full service international flights it is possible to upgrade to a more comfortable cabin. The upgrade options available, and what each includes, will depend upon the airline and the aircraft type. Typically the benefits of upgrading to a premium economy or higher class of cabin include:

  • Extra leg room
  • Extra baggage allowance
  • Choice of seat
  • Enhanced meal service
  • Smaller cabins with fewer seats
  • Access to airport lounges
  • Priority check-in and boarding
  • More cabin crew per head
  • Improved in-flight entertainment choices

Please refer to our brochure for more information on the upgrade options available to you and then call 0844 567 3322 and ask to speak to our dedicated upgrade team, who will be happy to check prices and availability for you.

Special requests

Should you have any special requests, e.g. meals, please let us know when you book and we will pass these on to your airline. Whilst we will do our best to ensure your request is met, please note that special requests cannot be guaranteed. Further details on in-flight meals can be found later in this guide.

If you have any medical requirements e.g. additional oxygen, require mobility or wheelchair assistance, are visually impaired or hard of hearing, or need to take a guide or assistance dog, then please inform us when you make your booking, and we will be happy to liaise with the airline on your behalf.

To speak to us about any special request, or to discuss taking medical equipment such as a wheelchair or CPAP machine, please call our Customer Service Team on 0844 318 0002.

Please give us at least three working days to allow us to assist with your special request.

Airline Alliances and Frequent Flyer Programmes

If you are a member of any frequent flyer programme, please let us know when you make your booking, or call our Customer Service Team who can add these details for you. Please call 0844 318 0002. Alternatively you can ask the airline to enter your details at the time of check-in.

Many airlines enter into co-operative partnerships to form worldwide alliances. A number of the airlines we use are members of global alliances and if you are flying on a partner airline of your frequent flyer programme, you may still qualify for points. The websites below give a current list of co-operating carriers:

One World British Airways, American Airlines, etc. www.oneworld.com
SkyTeam KLM, Air France, Delta etc. www.skyteam.com
Star Alliance Lufthansa, United Airlines, etc. www.staralliance.com

'No Frills' and Charter Airlines

Scheduled airlines with limited service on board are frequently referred to as 'no frills' airlines. We use these airlines (and sometimes charter aircraft) as they offer our customers, many of who live outside the London area, the best opportunity to travel direct from a local airport. Should your flight be operated by a 'no frills' or charter airline, you will have been advised of this at the time of booking.

Meals are not included on a 'no frills' airline. If you require a meal on a 'no frills' airline, it may be possible to pre-book meals at an additional cost, or to buy a meal on board on the day. You can pre-book through the airline's website. Please ensure you have your airline booking reference to hand. Alternatively food and drink that has been purchased after passing through security can be taken on board the aircraft.

Some 'no frills' airlines allow you to pre-book your seats or select priority boarding. These services incur an additional cost and details can be found on the airline's website. Please ensure you have your airline booking reference to hand to access your flight booking.

Seating

Whilst all airlines do try to accommodate seating requests, no seat allocation is ever guaranteed.

As a group tour operator we buy most space on aircraft in blocks to gain the best fares. We will of course advise airlines of any seating requests, however many airlines apply a block seating policy over which we have no control. Regrettably we cannot guarantee allocated seating in our main group space, even if you are a member of a frequent flyer programme.

If you upgrade your flights we may be able to advise allocated seating although this is dependent on the policy of each airline. Some airlines (both full service and no frills carriers) allow pre-allocated seating at an additional cost.

Flight Schedule and/or Route Changes

All flight schedules are advised to us by the airline. Whether the carrier offers a scheduled, charter or 'no frills' service, the flight times are subject to change. Occasionally, and more often on a regional departure, an airline may withdraw a route. Regrettably flight and/or route changes are beyond our control. Should this happen we will secure an alternative flight as close as possible to your existing arrangement. In the event of a major change our Customer Service Team will call to discuss the alternative options with you.

ATOL Certificate

All of our holidays are covered by an ATOL bond. This is regardless of when you booked, but if you booked with Travelsphere after October 2012, you will have been sent an Air Travel Organisers' Licensing (ATOL) certificate. This certificate shows that, in the unlikely event we cease trading before you depart, your money is protected, and, should this happen while you are abroad, you will be brought home. Our ATOL number is 1091, which if you wish, you can authenticate on the Civil Aviation Authority's website.

The certificate details the names of who is protected, the holiday and international flight information it applies to, and who is protecting your trip (this will read 'Page & Moy Travel Group Air Holidays Limited'). The certificate also details what you should do in the unlikely event the company ceases trading.

Should there be a change to your international flight details (e.g. the flight number), you will receive an updated ATOL certificate.

For more information please visit the CAA website.

Departure Airport

Your final documents, which are sent approximately two weeks prior to your departure, will include information about your departure terminal. Whilst this and the flight details are correct at the time of writing, they are subject to change and we would recommend that you check with the airline, or the airport, before leaving home.

Information about the airports' facilities can be found on the appropriate websites as detailed below:

London Heathrow www.heathrowairport.com
London Gatwick www.gatwickairport.com
Manchester www.manchesterairport.co.uk
Birmingham www.birminghamairport.co.uk
Newcastle www.newcastleairport.com
Glasgow www.glasgowairport.com
Edinburgh www.edinburghairport.com
London Stansted www.stanstedairport.com

Checking-in

Online check-is not normally available on flights we have booked for you. This is because they are usually held with the airline as group bookings and access is not allowed due to data protection regulations.

The time by which you are required to check-in will depend upon the length of your flight. If you have connecting flights then check-in times are in accordance with those of your first flight. For example, if you are flying to South America, but have a connection in Madrid or Amsterdam, you should check-in at the time recommended for Europe as this is your first destination. Your full itinerary including check-in times will be sent with your final documentation. Your Tour Manager or local guide will be able to advise on any local or inbound flights in your itinerary.

It is your responsibility to check-in at the recommended time. If you are denied boarding as a result of checking in late, we will of course assist you in getting to your holiday destination. We are not however able to refund any monies paid to us for your holiday, nor are we able to pay any additional costs (e.g. flights, hotels, transfers etc.) incurred in getting you to your holiday destination.

Depending upon the reason for the delay e.g. mechanical breakdown, you may be able to make a claim through your holiday insurance relating to delays to outward departure. Please refer to your insurance policy document for further details.

Airport Representation

At London Gatwick and London Heathrow our representatives are on hand to offer assistance in and around the check-in area. If you require any help please don't hesitate to contact our representatives, or the airline staff, who should be able to provide you with any information and assistance you may need.

If the airline staff are unable to help you, or one of our representatives isn't available, we offer a 24-hour holiday helpline. Should a problem arise at check-in, or if you are delayed on your way to the airport, please call us as soon as possible on +44(0)1858 414077.

Carry-on Baggage

Your personal baggage allowance is printed in your flight itinerary. This allowance will either be advised by weight in kilograms, or number of pieces.

If the baggage allowance given is a weight, then this is the maximum weight per person that you will be allowed to check into the aircraft hold. Some airlines allow you to check in more than 1 piece of baggage, as long as the total combined weight does not exceed your personal allowance. Other airlines allow only a single piece within this allowance. Further details can be found on the airline's website.

If the baggage allowance given is a number of pieces, you should limit the number of bags that you check in to the number stated. Normally a maximum weight per bag will also apply and this is in line with the airline's Health and Safety guidelines. Further details can be found on the airline's website.

Please Note: If you are travelling on a cruise where at least one part of your journey involves a flight, you will need to adhere to the baggage allowance for that airline.

If your holiday involves more than one flight with one or more airlines, then the lowest baggage allowance will apply. For example if your domestic flight has an allowance of 20kgs, and your international allowance is 23kgs, you should keep within the lower allowance.

If you exceed the weight/piece allowances the airline will charge you for any excess at the airport. Information about charges for excess baggage can be obtained from the airline's website, or by calling them directly.

Airport Security

Airport security is there to ensure the safety of all passengers. Once you have checked-in you should keep your boarding pass and passport ready and make your way to the security check where all hand baggage will be x-rayed.

Prescription medicines should be carried in their original packaging so that security and customs staff can identify the contents. If possible, you should also carry a copy of your prescription (or a letter from your doctor), so that it can easily be identified as medication prescribed for you.

Some airports use non-invasive body-scanning technology as an extra level of security. This is absolutely normal and nothing to worry about.

If you are travelling to, or via, the USA, customs and security must be cleared at your first point of entry. Upon arrival and after immigration you will need to collect your baggage and clear customs and security. At this point you will re-check your bag for any onward flight. The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) advises passengers to leave baggage unlocked or use a special lock that security personnel can open. These locks are widely available for purchase. If you don't, airport staff may have to force open your baggage to inspect the contents. Compensation is not available if your bags are damaged in this process. If your baggage is inspected, a card will be inserted into the bag to advise it has been checked.

Boarding

Many airports no longer make departure announcements. Please keep an eye on the departure information boards around the airport to find out which gate your flight will depart from. If you are not already at the gate when your flight is ready to board, you should make your way directly to the relevant gate. It can take 15 - 20 minutes to reach some departure gates, so please ensure you allow enough time. You will be required to show your passport and boarding pass before boarding the aircraft.

UK Regional Connecting Flights

A regional connecting flight is when you fly on a domestic route to either London Heathrow or London Gatwick before starting your holiday with us.

If you are connecting to an international flight you do not usually have to clear security in London, but can make your way through Flight Connections. If you need to change terminals the free Flight Connections bus runs between terminals approximately every10 - 15 minutes.

If you are returning home and connecting to UK flights (including the Channel Islands and Ireland) you must go through immigration, reclaim your bags and pass through customs before checking-in for your onward flight.

Indirect Flights

Wherever possible we offer direct flights to your destination. Sometimes this might not be possible, either because no carrier operates a direct routing, or the flight times might not be appropriate. In these cases your flight may be routed via a non-UK airport. In such instances you will probably need to change aircraft but in most airports this is a simple process and all airports have signs in English.

Transferring Between Flights

It is often possible to check your baggage through to its final destination, particularly if the same airline operates both flights. Please ensure you advise the check-in agent of your final destination and ask if your baggage can be checked all the way through.

If when you checked-in at your departure airport you were given boarding cards for all of your flights and your baggage was checked through to your final destination you can simply disembark your first flight and go to the boarding gate for your onward flight. Follow the 'Transfer' or 'Flight Connections' signs and look at the information screens for details of where and when your next flight is boarding.

If your baggage has been checked to your final destination, but you don't have a boarding card for your next flight, you should proceed to the Transfer Desk (you will not need to use the main check-in desks). When you arrive at the Transfer Desk you can check in using your passport and e-ticket reference number, collect your boarding card for your onward flight and then proceed to the departure gate.

If your baggage is only checked through to the transfer airport and you were not issued with a boarding pass for your onward flight, you must collect your baggage, clear security and possibly customs if you have arrived on an international flight. After this you should proceed to the designated terminal and check-in desks for your onward flight. You can then check-in using your passport and e-ticket reference number.

Airport staff members are always on hand to assist with any queries you may have, should you not have a Tour Manager to guide you from one flight to the next.

Please note that when making a connection through the United States you will be required to collect your baggage and clear customs at the first point of entry.

Minimum Connection times for Connecting Flights

The minimum recommended connection times are:

  • If baggage is checked through - minimum transfer time is 2.5 hours
  • If baggage needs to be reclaimed and re-checked in - minimum transfer time is 3 hours
  • Change of airports from Heathrow to Gatwick or vice versa - minimum transfer time is 5 hours

Whilst it may seem that we have allowed a long time for your domestic connection, these guidelines will, in the event of a minor flight delay or other unforeseen problems, allow enough time for you to make your connecting flight.

In-flight Meals

On many airlines meals and other on board refreshments are complimentary. Full meals are generally served on long-haul flights. If you have special dietary requirements e.g. vegetarian, gluten-free meals etc., please advise us when you make your booking, so we can forward a request to the airline on your behalf (at least three working days' notice is required by all airlines). On shorter European flights some carriers serve light meals or snacks on board and do not offer the option for special dietary requirements. Please refer to your airline's website for the meal service you can expect on board. We would also like to advise you that the majority of in-flight meals include cuisine that originates from the airline's home country.

Air Passenger Rights

As of February 2005 each air passenger came under the protection of EC Regulation 261/2004. The regulation protects passengers in the event of denied boarding, flight cancellation and if the flight is delayed. The regulation states the specific amount of compensation that each passenger should receive from the airline. It applies to all passengers and all flights departing from an airport located in the territory of a European Member State, regardless of the nationality of the airline. It also applies to flights from anywhere else in the world with a destination within a European Member State, where the airline is registered in a European county.

Flight Cancellation and Delay

If the flight for which you had a confirmed reservation is cancelled, or if on arrival at the airport you discover that you have been transferred to another flight, we will do our best to ensure you are well looked after. In most cases, depending upon the length of the delay, airlines are responsible for providing you with meals and/or hotel accommodation. You may also be entitled to compensation from the airline. In situations where the airline is unable to assist you, we will try to arrange meals and/or hotel accommodation for you. You must pay the cost of this, although you may be able to make a claim through your holiday insurance.

Airlines have a legal obligation to ensure that a notice is clearly displayed at check-in informing passengers of what they need to do in the event of cancellation, delay or denied boarding. If you are affected by any of these (with delays of more than two hours), the airline is also required to give you written notice informing you of your rights to compensation and assistance.

The Civil Aviation Authority's website is very informative about your rights.

Conditions of Carriage

Each airline has its own conditions of carriage, so it's worth checking on the website of the airline you are travelling with for specific details. However, IATA (the International Air Transport Association, which manages booking and ticketing for most scheduled airlines worldwide) publishes general conditions of carriage, which are applicable on almost all flights.

And finally..

We hope that the information contained in this guide has been useful in answering any questions you may have. More specific information on your exact itinerary varies by airline and airport, so if you would like to know more, please consult the relevant websites.

We hope you enjoy your flight!

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