Foreign Office Travel Advice
We recommend that you seek advice from the Foreign Office regarding your holiday destination(s) before you book your holiday. You can easily contact them:
Alternatively, you can contact the ABTA Information Department on 0901 2015050
(calls are charged at 50p/minute).
Passport and visas
Know what? If you turn up for your flight with an
invalid passport or no visa when you need one, we
will be very sympathetic but...
YOU CANNOT BOARD THE FLIGHT.
You must have a full and valid passport. Some
destinations require you to have 6 months validity on
your passport from the return date of travel. You
should check with the Embassy for current
requirements as these are subject to change.
Visas are required by British citizens for a number of
our destinations, and a charge may be applicable -
for up-to-date information check with the relevant
embassy. It is your responsibility to ensure that
you have the correct travel documentation. All other
passport holders should check with the relevant
embassy or consulate.
UK Passport Information
If you haven’t yet got a passport, our recommendation is that you should
apply for one at least 10 weeks before your holiday departure date. The Passport
Service has to confirm your identity before issuing your first passport and everybody
aged 16 or over applying for their first passport will need to have an interview
as part of the application process. Please note that this new process will increase
the time it takes for your application to be processed. In all cases, the passport
office advises you not to book any travel arrangements until you have received
your new passport.
For full details of passport requirements for your chosen holiday please contact
the British Passport Office on 0870 521 0410 or www.ukpa.gov.uk The US embassy can be contacted on 0207 499 9000 or www.usembassy.org.uk.
The name on each person's ticket must match the name as stated in their passport.
When making your booking, please ensure the information given to us is correct.
Failure to do so may result in significant charges being incurred, as some airlines
treat an amendement as a name change and will charge accordingly.
All children, including newborn babies, must now have their own individual
Please Note: Some destinations require a letter of authority if children are
not accompanied by both legal guardians. Please check with us for further
information if this applies to you.
Travelling to the USA
Passports issued on or after October 26 2006 must include an integrated circuit chip capable of storing the biographic information from the data page, a digitised photograph and other biometric information. If your passport was issued on or after this date and doesn’t have this information, you WILL require a visa.
ESTA - Electronic System for Travel Authorization
It is mandatory for anyone travelling to or transferring through the US under the Visa Waiver Program, to obtain approval to travel no later than 72 hours prior to travel by completing an online process ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) scheme. The cost of an ESTA is currently approx $14 per person and can be obtained by visiting https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov or the Visit USA Website at www.visitusa.org.uk where further information on the scheme and up to date fee can also be found. Once completed & approved, the ESTA application is valid for two years and allows multiple visits without the need to reapply. Travellers can apply for an ESTA even if they have no firm plans to travel to the US.
Failure to obtain an ESTA could result in the passenger being denied boarding by the airline.
The ESTA is very similar to the automated visa that you purchase to enter Australia and is completely paperless.
*Under certain circumstances (eg. if you have a criminal record) you may require
a visa and you could be refused entry into the USA.
If your passport shows you are a British Subject you will need
a Visa. This particularly applies if you are Irish but have a British Subject passport. In both these cases, you must check with the US Embassy or nearest consulate.
Anyone in doubt and all other passport holders should check with a US Embassy or consulate.
To qualify for the US Visa Waiver programme you must NOT:
- Be suffering from any communicable disease, physical or mental disorder
or be a drug abuser or addict.
- Have been arrested or convicted for any offence or crime. This includes
spent convictions or an arrest not resulting in a conviction.
- Have ever been involved in espionage or sabotage, terrorist activities,
genocide or been involved in anyway with Nazi Germany or its allies between
1933 and 1945.
- Seeking work in the US, have been excluded or deported from the US, been
previously removed from the US or attempted to procure a visa or entry into
the US by fraud or misrepresentation.
- Been detained, retained or withheld custody of a child from a US citizen
granted custody of the child.
- Been denied a US Visa or entry into the US or had a US visa cancelled.
- Have asserted immunity from prosecution.
Advance Passenger Information
Virgin Atlantic, like other airlines, is obliged to transmit Advance Passenger
Information (API) about passengers prior to the departure of flights to the
Specifically, there is a requirement for all passengers to provide their country
of residence and (for non-US residents) details of their full address (street
name and number, city, zip code and state) for the first night's accommodation
in the US. Passengers travelling to the US continue to require a machine-readable
passport or valid visa.
If you have booked accommodation with us as part of your holiday booking, then
you do not need to contact Virgin Atlantic in advance of your flight, as we
will provide them with this information. However if you have booked a flydrive
holiday without accommodation or have booked your accommodation independently,
then you will need to provide Virgin Atlantic with this information yourself
at check in.
Please note this information is for Virgin Atlantic flights only, if
you are travelling with any other airline you may be asked to provide your accommodation
details upon arrival at check-in. This information will be shown on your hotel
accommodation voucher which you will receive with your tickets, so please ensure
you have this handy when checking in for your flight.
We would ask that all passengers continue to provide their valid travel documents
and details of their full US destination address for US Immigration. There is
no requirement for passengers to arrive at the airport any earlier than usual.
You can also find out more about API through the US Customs and Border Protection website by going to www.customs.gov/xp/cgov/home.xml
Take a look at the Virgin Atlantic website here to get the most up to date information on all the questions you ever need to know about the luggage you can take. There’s plenty of other information such as what sports equipment you can carry, the sizes, weights and any restrictions.
If youre travelling with any other airline, then take a look a look at the airlines own website.
Inoculations and Medical Precautions
As health requirements change, we recommend that
you consult your doctor well in advance of travel, for
the latest advice.
When we receive your deposit we'll email you an invoice showing the details of your holiday and charges and enclosing a summary of your insurance policy (if you have taken ours).
If you agree these, the balance should be paid 12 weeks before departure. Bookings made 12 weeks or less to the departure date must be paid for at time of booking the reservation.
We accept payment by cheque, credit card and debit card â€“ direct credit card payments to Virgin Holidays by VISA/MasterCard will incur a charge of 1.3% and for American Express 2.6% of the value of the transaction (these charge is correct at time of print and we reserve the right to increase/decrease these charges and you will be advised at the time of booking). Late bookings made within 14 days prior to departure may require ticket pickup at the airport. An administration charge of Â£25 per booking will apply.
After we’ve received payment of the balance, and approx 14 days before departure, air tickets, travel information, joining instructions, luggage labels and service vouchers will be sent to you or your travel agent.
Where an accommodation is requested, full payment must be made and we endeavor to have an answer within 48 hours of the request being received.
Early Booking/Bonus Offers
Please note, these offers are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at anytime. Where dates are mentioned, offer applies to stays taken and completed between the dates stated.
Please note that proof of marriage is required in order to benefit from the honeymoon offers available at selected hotels.
Insurance (this really is important)
You must, repeat must have proper travel insurance.
Not all activities/excursions featured in our brochure
are covered by a standard insurance policy. Please
check your policy carefully to ensure that you are
fully covered for all the activities/excursions in which
you intend to participate. If your activity/excursion is
not covered by your policy, it may be possible for you
to pay an additional premium to extend your cover to
include the activity/activities.
Unaccompanied Age Restrictions
For those wishing to travel unaccompanied by a parent or guardian the minimum
age is 18 years. However, some hotels and resorts do not allow under-21s in
a room by themselves - please check at time of booking for details or call 0870