Booking Conditions

Alternative Aquitaine Agency Booking Terms & Conditions for Self-Catering Accommodation

The following booking conditions form the basis of your agreement with Alternative Escapes Ltd, trading as Alternative Aquitaine.  Please read these carefully as they set out our respective rights and obligations. Please note: Alternative Aquitaine act only as an agent in respect of all bookings we take and/or make on your behalf.  We accept no liability in relation to any contract you enter into or for any accommodation or other services or arrangements you purchase (“arrangements”) or for the acts or omissions of any supplier(s) or other person(s) or party(ies) connected with any arrangements.  For all arrangements your contract will be with the supplier(s) of those arrangements. The terms and conditions of the supplier(s) of your confirmed arrangements will also apply to your booking.  These terms and conditions may limit and/or exclude the supplier's(s’) liability to you.  Copies of these conditions (if any) are available on request from us. In these booking conditions, “you” and “your” means all persons named on the booking (including anyone who is added or substituted at a later date).  “We”, “us” and “our” means Alternative Escapes Ltd trading as Alternative Aquitaine.

1. Making a booking
You must complete our booking form.  This must be signed by the first named person on the booking (the “party leader”) who must be authorised to make the booking on the basis of these booking conditions, for all persons named on the booking. By signing the booking form, the party leader confirms that he/she is so authorised.  The party leader is responsible for making all payments due for the booking.  The party leader must be at least 25 when the booking is made. The booking form must then be sent to us together with the payments referred to in clause 2 below.  If you have made a provisional booking you must send us your signed booking form and the payments referred to in clause 2 below within 3 working days of a provisional booking being made.

Subject to the availability of your chosen arrangements, we will confirm your booking on behalf of the supplier(s) concerned by issuing a confirmation statement. This statement will be sent to the party leader.  It will identify the supplier(s) of your arrangements by name.  Please check this statement carefully as soon as you receive it.  Contact us immediately if any information which appears on the confirmation or any other document appears to be incorrect or incomplete as it may not be possible to make changes later. 

2. Payment
For bookings made more than 12 weeks before the rental starts a minimum deposit of 25% (in some cases it is higher according to the accommodation provider's booking conditions) of the total cost of the booking must be paid at the time of booking, plus £25 booking fee.  The balance of the cost of your arrangements must be received by us not less than 8 weeks prior to the date your arrangements are due to start.  This date will be shown on the confirmation statement. For bookings made 12 weeks or less before the rental starts payment is required in full, plus £25 booking fee. If we do not receive all payments due (including any surcharge where applicable) in full and on time, we are entitled to assume on behalf of the supplier(s) concerned that you wish to cancel your booking.   In this case you must pay the cancellation charges shown in clause 4 depending on the date we (on behalf of the supplier(s) concerned) reasonably treat your booking as cancelled.

3. Your contract
A binding contract between you and the supplier(s) of your chosen arrangements comes into existence when we despatch your confirmation statement to the party leader.  You and we both agree that English Law (and no other) will apply to any and all agreements you have with us and to any dispute, claim or other matter of any description which arises between us (except as set out below). We both also agree that any dispute, claim or other matter of any description which arises between us must be dealt with by the Courts of England and Wales only unless, in the case of Court proceedings, you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland. In this case, proceedings must either be brought in the Courts of your home country or those of England and Wales. If proceedings are brought in Scotland or Northern Ireland, you may choose to have your contract and any dispute, claim or other matter of any description which arises between us governed by the law of Scotland/Northern Ireland as applicable (but if you do not so choose, English law will apply). 

4. Alteration or cancellation by you 
If you need to cancel a confirmed booking you must contact us by e-mail (or letter). Your notice of cancellation will only be effective when it is received by us (on behalf of the supplier(s) concerned).  As our suppliers generally incur costs from the time your booking is confirmed, cancellation charges will be payable.  The cancellation charges are based on the number of days before your confirmed arrangements are due to start that we are advised of your cancellation. Where the cancellation charge is shown as a percentage, this is calculated on the basis of the total cost payable by the person(s) cancelling, excluding amendment charges.  Amendment charges are not refundable in the event of cancellation. 

Generally you can expect the following cancellation charges to apply, according to the period before departure within which written notification of cancellation is received by us:

> Bookings made more than 12 weeks before the rental starts: 

  • More than 56 days                           cancellation charge per booking: deposit only 
  • 56 days or less                                cancellation charge per booking: 100% 

> Bookings made 12 weeks or less before the rental starts:

  • 84 days or less                                cancellation charge per booking: 100% 

It is essential you have effective travel insurance to cover you against these costs (please also see clause 16).

5. Other changes by you 
If you wish to make a change to a confirmed booking, the supplier will generally be happy to do so, so far as is practicable, but not usually within 56 days of arrival.  You will however have to pay an administration fee of £75 per booking together with any other costs incurred or imposed by the supplier in making the change. However after that date any changes will be treated as a cancellation and will be subject to the charges shown above. 

6. Alteration or cancellation by the supplier 
We will inform you as soon as reasonably possible if the supplier needs to make a significant change to your confirmed arrangements or to cancel them. We will also liaise between you and the supplier in relation to any alternative arrangements offered by the supplier but we will have no further liability to you. As we act as agents only, any assistance we provide will be on a goodwill basis only. N.B. As we only act as an agent we may not be notified of any changes before you travel, however, where we are, we will tell you as soon as possible. We make all reasonable efforts to ensure that the descriptions provided are correct but we cannot accept responsibility for any errors in descriptions where those errors have been made by a supplier.

7. Price 
The contract public prices on our website are set in GBP or, in a minority of cases, EUR.  Suppliers reserve the right to increase or decrease the prices of unsold accommodation at any time.  Once the price of your arrangements has been confirmed at the time of booking and your confirmation statement has been issued it will not, subject to the correction of errors, be increased or decreased except in the following circumstances: we and our suppliers reserve the right to increase prices at any point after your confirmation statement has been issued until your holiday balance has been paid in the event of any costs increasing as a result of any changes in any applicable Government taxes and/or levies.  Furthermore, as we act only as agent for the supplier(s) of the accommodation we feature, we reserve the right to pass on to you in full all additional costs and charges of whatever nature imposed by the supplier(s) concerned, in accordance with its own terms and conditions.

8. Our Responsibility 
Alternative Aquitaine acts only as an agent in respect of all bookings we take and/or make on your behalf (see introductory paragraph above for further details).  As agent, our responsibilities are limited to making your booking in accordance with your instructions. In the event of our failing to do so or your otherwise proving liability on our part (on whatever basis), our maximum liability is limited to the commission we are entitled to in relation to the services concerned in the event of your suffering loss or damage as a result. We do not exclude or limit any liability for death or personal injury which arises as a result of our negligence or that of our employees whilst acting in the course of their employment.

9. Force Majeure
Except where otherwise expressly stated in these booking conditions, the supplier of your confirmed arrangements cannot accept liability or pay any compensation where the performance or prompt performance of any obligations to you is prevented or affected by or you otherwise suffer any damage, loss or expense of any nature as a result of "force majeure".  In these booking conditions, "force majeure" means any event which the supplier(s) in question could not, even with all due care, foresee or avoid. Such events may include actual or threatened war, riot, civil strife, terrorist activity, industrial dispute, natural or nuclear disaster, adverse weather conditions, fire, oil slicks and all similar events outside the supplier(s) control.

10. Swimming Pools
Where swimming pools are protected by fence and gate, cover or alarm, it is your responsibility to ensure that the swimming pool protection is correctly used at all times. You must be vigilant at all times when infants or non-swimmers are in your party, even when swimming pool protection is in place. 

11. Complaints
We hope you will have no reason to complain but if you do, please bring it to the attention of the supplier(s) of the arrangements concerned promptly. Most problems can be resolved on the spot. If the matter is not dealt with to your satisfaction, please contact our head office in the UK by telephone, email or fax so that we may be able to help you promptly. If you leave it until you vacate the accommodation, we may not be able to help you at all. If the matter cannot be settled whilst you are on holiday, please contact us in writing as soon as you return home, giving your booking reference number. We will liaise with the supplier(s) concerned to try and resolve your complaint and will respond as soon as possible but please note that as an agent, any assistance we provide will be on a goodwill basis only. Local events may take place in the vicinity of any property increasing noise levels temporarily but neither we nor the supplier can accept responsibility for any disruption caused. 

We are a Member of ABTA, membership number [P7076]. We are obliged to maintain a high standard of service to you by ABTA’s Code of Conduct. We can also offer you ABTA’s scheme for the resolution of disputes which is approved by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute. If we can’t resolve your complaint, go to www.abta.com to use ABTA’s simple procedure. Further information on the Code and ABTA’s assistance in resolving disputes can be found on www.abta.com. You can also access the European Commission Online Dispute (ODR) Resolution platform at http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr/. This ODR platform is a means of registering your complaint with us; it will not determine how your complaint should be resolved.

12. Passports Visas and Health Advice 
Unless you tell us otherwise, we are entitled to assume that all members of your party are EU citizens who hold or will hold full EU passports prior to travel, or that you will have a visa to enter France.  All passports must be valid for at least three months beyond the date of your return. EU citizens currently do not require a visa to enter France. If you or any member of your party is not an EU citizen or holds a non EU passport, you must check passport and visa requirements with the Embassy or Consulate of the country(ies) to or through which you are intending to travel.   At the time of printing there are no specific health requirements for EU citizens travelling to France.  It is your responsibility however to ensure you are aware of all recommended vaccinations and health precautions in good time before departure. Passport visa and health requirements can and do change however and you must check the up to date position in good time before departure.   Neither we nor the supplier can accept any liability if you are refused entry onto any transport or into any country due to failure on your part to carry all required documentation.  

13. Accommodation
Your confirmed accommodation can only be occupied by those persons named on the booking or subsequently advised and confirmed by us on behalf of the supplier concerned prior to the commencement of your holiday. In addition, suppliers generally require clients to comply with certain conditions of occupancy, and you can expect the following to apply: 

  • The number of occupants must not exceed the maximum occupancy indicated. 
  • If additional people are found to be in occupation, the supplier may terminate the contract immediately and require all occupants to leave. No refunds shall be due in these circumstances and we and the supplier will not pay any expenses costs (including return travel costs) or losses you may incur as a result. 
  • Generally suppliers will not permit tents in the grounds of the rental property. 
  • The accommodation will be cleaned prior to your arrival and should be left in the same condition at the end of the holiday. 
  • You agree not to bring pets or other animals into the accommodation unless specifically authorised to do so, nor to smoke in the property. 
  • Time of arrival at the accommodation is usually between 5pm and 7pm. It may be possible to arrive after 7pm at some properties but this is strictly by advance arrangement directly with the accommodation supplier. If you are delayed in arriving, it may not be possible to arrange access until the following day. Any costs incurred as a result are your responsibility. 
  • You must vacate the accommodation by 10am on the day of departure.

14. Behaviour
When you book through us, you accept responsibility for any damage or loss caused by you or any member of your party.  You should ensure you have appropriate travel insurance to protect you if this situation arises. (Please also see clauses 15 and 16 below). If in the reasonable opinion of any accommodation supplier, you or any member of your party behaves in such a way as to cause or be likely to cause danger, upset or distress to any third party or damage to property, that supplier is entitled, without prior notice, to terminate the holiday of the person(s) concerned.  In this situation, the person(s) concerned will be required to leave the accommodation.  The supplier will not have any further responsibility toward such person(s) including any return travel arrangements.  No refunds will be made and the supplier will not pay any expenses or costs incurred as a result of the termination. Please note: you must respect local laws concerning noise. French Law prohibits noise and disturbance after 10pm.

15. Security Deposits
A security deposit is also required for each booking.  Details of the amount, when it should be paid and any other administration issues will be included in your Arrivals Pack.  Where we accept the security deposit from you we do so as agent for the supplier.  The supplier (or us on behalf of the supplier) will only return a security deposit after the accommodation has been inspected at the end of your stay. The security deposit may be returned on departure or within 28 days after the holiday (depending on the supplier’s policy). Should any damage be caused to the accommodation or its contents or any extra cleaning be required, you will be required to reimburse the cost of repair or pay for any replacement items or extra cleaning required. Such costs will be deducted from the security deposit. As agent only we do not and will not get involved in any disputes between you and the supplier involving security deposits. The insurance that you arrange for your holiday must cover you and all of your party against losses arising from damages and breakages. 

16. Insurance 
We consider it essential that you have adequate travel insurance in place when you make your booking through us. Your travel insurance must at least cover:

  • Personal injury and illness 
  • Theft of money and personal belongings 
  • Cancellation of the holiday 
  • Late arrival and additional costs incurred as a result 
  • Accidental damage to third party property 

Please note that some suppliers will not permit entrance to the property unless you can show them your valid insurance documentation. It is your responsibility to ensure that the insurance you purchase is adequate and appropriate for your particular needs. Please read your policy details on receipt and take them with you on holiday. 

30.11.17

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