When you’re running a Travel Agency business, there are industry-specific risks involved, so it’s important to have a strong contract in place with your customers.
Having a lawyer draft your Travel Agency Agreement will ensure that your business and its reputation are protected against legal risks.
Generally, a Travel Agency Agreement will cover important matters such as what services are included as part of your package, payment obligations, cancellation fees and limiting your liability for anything that could go wrong on the journey.
What Type Of Terms Are Included In A Travel Agency Agreement?
Travel Agency Agreements cover all the key terms you’ll need covered in your relationship with your clients.
The Agreement varies depending on the specific services provided by the travel agent and the terms under which they operate. However, below are some of the main things that Travel Agency Agreements usually cover.
Agency and Third-Party Terms
Travel agents provide an intermediary service between the traveller (the client) and travel service providers (like airlines, bus, rail and cruise line companies, accommodation providers such as hotels, and tour companies).
A Travel Agency Agreement will make it clear that:
- The client authorises the travel agent to make bookings on their behalf
- The terms and conditions of the travel service provider will apply to all bookings made by the travel agent on behalf of the client, including terms relating to cancellations and refunds
- If a refund is applicable for a booking made by the travel agent on behalf of the client, the travel agent will only credit the refund back to the client once they’ve received it from the travel service provider
- The travel agent is not liable for any loss or damage suffered by the client if the travel service provider is in breach of their obligations under their terms & conditions. This limits the liability of the travel agent, and ensures that if the travel service provider gives misinformation (i.e. they promise to provide certain activities as part of a tour but fail to do so), the client will need to pursue the travel service provider and not the travel agent.
As a travel agent, it is important to ensure that the client is responsible for making sure they have a valid passport (and, if applicable, visa), insurance, travel documents (such as airline tickets) and that they meet any health requirements.
If you don’t clearly state that these obligations are on the client and something goes wrong, the client may try to put the responsibility back on your business. This could be a costly mistake to make!
Pricings for travel-related bookings, such as flights, change frequently depending on availability, currency fluctuations, fuel price variations, and tax and airfare increases.
Travel Agency Agreements should make it clear that the agency may need to vary or withdraw its pricing at any time, and that pricing is only guaranteed once the client has paid for the booking in full.
It’s always a good idea to make sure that the client knows what their rights and obligations are regarding booking changes or cancellations.
Usually, a Travel Agency Agreement will state that the client is liable for any additional fees that the travel agent may incur where the client requests changes to bookings, including changes of names, dates or destinations.
If you’d like our help drafting a Travel Agency Agreement, feel free to get in touch! We’ve helped many travel agency businesses get off the ground and ensure that they’re legally protected.
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