Frequently Asked Questions

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Bon Voyage

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Why Bon Voyage?

Bon Voyage was established in 1979 and remains as dedicated as ever to offering high quality, high value travel, arranged to suit your exact requirements. Our team of expert consultants are waiting to help you plan your perfect holiday and will tailor your arrangements into a detailed, illustrated itinerary with a costing at a guaranteed price.

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What security do I have booking with Bon Voyage?

In light of recent high-profile airline and tour operator failures, security and peace of mind have risen in importance for many customers. As members of ABTA, licensed by the CAA and holders of an ATOL Bond we can offer you the following categorical assurance: Your Money and your Holiday are SAFE when you book with Bon Voyage. In the highly unlikely event of our failure our bonds with the various national Travel Industry regulating authorities will ensure you enjoy the holiday you booked or receive a full and timely refund. We also include 'Scheduled Airline Failure Insurance' in the cost of every holiday.

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What Financial Protection do I have booking with Bon Voyage?

The air holiday packages (and flights) shown are ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is ATOL 2913. The price of our air holiday packages includes the amount of £2.50 per person as part of the ATOL Protection Contribution (APC) we pay to the CAA. This charge is included in our advertised prices. ATOL Protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services on this website. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. We are also members of the Association of British Travel Agents (membership number V6171). Monies paid to the company are therefore protected.
Bon Voyage Travel and Tours Limited is licensed by the International Air Transport Association, the governing body of scheduled airline administration.

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How do I book?

To reserve your travel arrangements please contact our team on 0800 316 3008.  We can often hold air seats for you on a 48-hour option while you make a final decision or if any part of your holiday has to be requested.  When a booking is confirmed we ask either for a non-refundable deposit (usually £125 per person) or the full payment if within eight weeks of travel or some special offers require full payment at the time of booking.  At this time we urge you to ensure you have adequate travel insurance.

You must be particularly careful to check names, which must be recorded exactly as in your passport for the surname, first given name and middle names.

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Will I pay a credit card charge?

Despite the escalating fees imposed upon Bon Voyage and all other sales merchants by the credit and charge companies we continue to absorb these costs and do not levy a credit card charge.

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Will the price increase after I book?

From the moment we receive your deposit payment the price of your holiday is fixed. We will guarantee not to apply any surcharges to the price quoted due to things like currency fluctuation etc (though of course government action resulting in increases of taxes etc must still be passed on). This allows you to plan your holiday well in advance with the certainty that the price agreed will be the price you pay.

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What is included in my air fare?

Our air fares are inclusive of Airport tax, Current fuel surcharges, Security charges, UK Government Departure Tax, and Scheduled Airline Failure Protection.

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What is included in my car hire?

Our car hire is inclusive of Unlimited Mileage, Collision Damage Waiver, Liability Insurance, Sales and State taxes and Airports fees.  If you opt for the Enhanced package then this will also include up to 3 additional drivers and the first tank of fuel.

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What is included in my Hotel price?

On pre-paid hotel bookings, taxes and surcharges will be included in the rate however some hotels may also charge resort fees and car parking as an additional fee payable locally.  Hotels usually require a security deposit or equivalent financial guarantee upon check-in.

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Do I need travel insurance?

We consider adequate travel insurance to be essential. Due to changes in the rules governing the sale of all insurance, Bon Voyage Travel & Tours Ltd has decided not to go through the complex process of training and licencing each of our travel experts in the finer points of insurance selling; Instead we would rather invest that time in training them about the amazing destinations in North America so they are better able to help our customers find their perfect holiday. For this reason we hope you will understand that we are not able to recommend any particular insurance policies.

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Do I need a Visa to go to America?

Holders of full 10-year British passports who are “British Citizens” (full passports are valid for only five years if issued to a child under 16 yars) may travel visa-free to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program providing they are travelling for holiday purposes and for a duration not exceeding 90 days.  Travellers wishing to travel under the Visa Waiver Program must apply for authorisation under the new E.S.T.A process.  British passport holders designated “British Subjects” DO require a Visa. 

All travellers will need to be in possession of their own 10 year machine-readable passport. 

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What is the Visa Waiver Program?

The VWP enables nationals of certain countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for up to 90 days without obtaining a US visa.

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What is a machine readable passport?

A machine readable passport has the holder's personal details eg name, date of birth, nationality and passport number contained in two lines of text at the base of the photo page. This text may be read by machine. Almost all passports are now machine readable.

Passports must be valid for six months beyond your return date.

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What is APIS?

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) require data from you prior to our arrival in the USA through a mechanism known as the Advance Passenger Information System (APIS).  Airlines have to pass on passport and citizenship details as well as the following information for non US citizens arriving in the US –

The address (first night) where you will be staying whilst visiting the US containing

  1. Number and Street
  2. City
  3. State
  4. Zip Code (Postal Code)

In order to avoid delays for our clients at the airport of departure we have set up a form on our website www.bon-voyage.co.uk/apis so that the necessary information can be passed to the airline BEFORE you check-in.

We ask you to take a few minutes to complete the form which we will then process on your behalf as this will save waiting for the information to be manually entered by airline check-in staff on the day of travel.

If you have not booked your accommodation with Bon Voyage please be aware of the requirements and note that travellers who are unable to provide an address may be denied boarding at the airport.  Our team will be happy to recommend and book your ground arrangements for you.

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What is the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)?

ESTA is a new Internet-based automated system developed to enhance the security of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).  ESTA will verify an individual`s eligibility to travel to the United States without a visa and determine if an individual poses a security risk.  It will also eventually help streamline the entry process for foreign travellers by allowing DHS to discontinue use of paper I-94 form at ports of entry, though for the time being visitors will continue to complete both.

Please use this link to apply on-line  - ESTA link

If you have booked your travel arrangements through Bon Voyage and do not have access to a computer, please call our team who will action this for you.

Important Note regarding ESTA. Some websites charge for assisting with your ESTA application. Such charges are entirely unwarranted, and these websites should be avoided. The United States government charges $14 for Esta applications. The process is quick and under normal circumstance you should not need any assistance to complete your application.

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Where do I clear Customs and Immigration?

Customs and Immigration are always cleared at your first point of entry into the US.  If you are taking an onward connecting flight you will also need to re-check your baggage onto the next flight. 

Baggage on all other connecting flights (internal and inbound)  will be checked through to your destination.

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What is the Luggage Allowance when travelling to America and Canada?

Luggage Allowances

Trans Atlantic flights

Economy Class 2 bags weighing up to 23kg per piece/person of which ONE is FREE and a second is charged.

Premium Class 3 bags weighing up to 32kg per piece/person of which TWO are FREE and a third is charged.

Baggage Charges (where applicable) are approximately £45 or $70 per piece.

If your itinerary involves a connecting CHANGE OF FLIGHT within North America (as part of a through ticket) no further charges apply to that part of the trip.

North America domestic flights

For a trip originating from the UK that includes a STAY at an intermediate city rather than a connecting CHANGE OF FLIGHT to the final destination, baggage charges will apply. When you resume travel the airline will charge $25 for your first bag and $35 for a second bag. The same charges apply to any flight within North America which is not part of a through journey from or back to the UK.

Bon Voyage can provide up to date details for your specific itinerary upon request.

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What am I allowed in my hand baggage?

Security restrictions mean that liquids (e.g toiletries, drinks) in containers of more than 100ml capacity must either be packed in checked baggage or purchased after the airport security check point.  With the prior agreement of the airline, essential medicines for the period of the trip may be permitted in quantities above 100ml, providing you can produce supporting documentation from a relevant qualified medical professional.

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How long before a flight do I need to check – in ?

For all long-haul destinations - we advise to check-in 3 hours prior to departure. If you have checked in on-line then this is reduced to 2 hours prior to departure.

For Internal flights – we advise to check-in 1.5 hours prior to departure. 

We also recommend calling the airline a few days before your return flight to check flight numbers times have not changed (you will find a list of freephone numbers for the airlines in a local telephone directory).

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Can I check-in on line?

Many airlines now offer this service, information regarding this will be sent out with your documents.

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When will I receive my travel documents?

Travel documents are generally sent to you 10-14 days prior to the date you travel.

You will be issued with an e-ticket for the flight segment of your holiday.  This means your booking is stored electronically,  you must however always check you final itinerary sent to you for the latest flight times and numbers. 

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What if I have special requirements?

Disabled passengers – we are able to give advice to disabled passengers to assist in choosing a holiday to meet your requirements.  Please provide full details of your disability at the time of booking so that suitable accommodation can be recommended.  We will also advise the airline of any assistance required during your flights.

Extra leg room seats – For those wanting seats with extra leg room, we recommend upgrading to Premium or Business class.  Whilst in economy some seats do have extra leg room, these cannot be pre-booked and are only allocated on the day of departure.

Special requests – we shall pass your special requests on such as Vegetarian meals, non smoking rooms, etc,.  however, whilst we will do our best we cannot guarantee that all requests will be met. 

Special occasions – if you are travelling on Honeymoon or special birthday, please advise at the time of booking and we can pass this information onto the airlines, hotels and suppliers. 

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Can I fly if I am pregnant?

Airline rules on pregnant women flying can vary.  Most airlines permit pregnant women to fly until the end of the 36th week of pregnancy, however after 28 weeks the airline will require a letter from a doctor confirming your pregnancy is without complication and they are happy for you to fly.  Please let us know so we can check this for you.

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I am going on Honeymoon, can I travel in my new married name?

Your Passport and travel documents should all match  and therefore we recommend you travel in your maiden name and change everything after your Honeymoon.  We can still advise the airline and hotels of the special occasion but do recommend taking your marriage certificate.

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How do I call home?

Whilst in America the code to call the UK is 011 44 – then omit the first zero then dial the remainder of the number, e.g 011 44 (0) 2380 248248.

Hotel phones and mobiles can be an expensive way to call home so we recommend the  E-kall Global Prepaid Phonecard.  Details of this will be sent out with your documents.

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Driving in the USA?

Do I need an International Drivers' Licence?

No you do not, you must however take both parts of your drivers licence – the card and paper document.

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Is there a minimum or maximum age to hire a car in the US?

The primary renter of the vehicle must be 25 years of age, additional drivers aged between 21-24 will pay an additional fee of $25 per day plus tax.  There is no maximum age limit to hire a car in the US.

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