Terms & Conditions: For Travel to Cuba

Vacation Express USA Corp. ["Vacation Express"] is selling hotel-only, escorted People-to-People DOT [United States Department of Transportation] Public Charter tours ["People-to-People Tours"], and scheduled air-only to Cuba. For People-to-People Tours and People-to-People Tours including air charter services, Vacation Express is selling them as an agent of Cuba Travel Services, Inc. ["CTS"], the travel service provider and Public Charter Operator of the People-to-People Tours. For Cuba hotel-only sales and scheduled air-only, Vacation Express is selling the hotels and scheduled airfare.

Please read these Terms and Conditions carefully as they contain very important information about booking a travel product and/or service with Vacation Express. When you book a travel product and/or service with Vacation Express to Cuba, you expressly accept these Terms and Conditions, without modification, intend to be legally bound by them and acknowledge and agree that they become part of your contract with Vacation Express. To the extent that any travel products and/or services are booked through this website, the Vacation Express Contact Center or your Travel Agent, you agree that these Terms and Conditions apply to all transactions. However, if you purchase a People-to-People Tour which includes air charter services, then the terms and conditions for such public air charter service are contained in CTS’ Public Charter Operator-Participant Agreement [“CTS Operator-Participant Agreement”] which must be signed by you with CTS, and will supersede these terms and conditions in case of any conflict. For all air services, whether charter or scheduled, your airline ticket[s] will contain additional terms and conditions as well as the terms of carriage which will apply to you. Please read these conditions carefully, as they are important to you and affect your legal rights. Carriage and service performed and tickets issued are subject to the terms and conditions referred to on such tickets, the rules under the Warsaw or Montreal Conventions [as applicable], and other applicable laws and regulations and will supersede these terms and conditions in case of any conflict.

1) Price: The price, as indicated on your itinerary may include a flight as well as applicable airfare taxes [except for departure taxes]. Other services/products and accommodations are included in your price only if they are indicated on your itinerary. All reservations are locked into the price published once booked. From time to time, Vacation Express may offer discounts or special offers. Such discounts and special offers are applicable to new reservations only and may not be applied to an existing reservation. If you choose to cancel your existing reservation and make a new reservation, the deposit from the cancelled reservation will not be refunded and cancellation fees will apply as set out below.

2) Taxes and Departure Taxes: You must pay a Cuban departure tax in the amount of $25 per person. If you purchased a People-to-People Tour with air charter service, then this departure tax is included in your price. If you purchased hotel-only, scheduled air-only or People-to-People Tour only [without air charter service] or a combination thereof, then you are responsible to pay such Cuban departure tax. The amount of taxes and charges specified in these Terms and Conditions are subject to change. Vacation Express reserves the right to pass on to the travelers any increases in the taxes and charges after any reservation is made. Every effort will be made to advise travelers of any increases in taxes prior to departure.

3) Reservations/Deposits: For Hotel-Only reservations made more than 45 days prior to departure, a deposit in the amount of $100 per person is due to Vacation Express within 2 days of booking. Final payment is due 45 days prior to departure. All Hotel-Only reservations made 45 days or less prior to departure require full payment to be confirmed by 9pm Eastern Time the same day as the reservation is made.

For Scheduled Air-Only reservations, the full value of the air ticket must be paid in full at time of booking.

For hotel and scheduled air packages, the full value of the air ticket must be paid in full at time of booking. If reservations are made more than 45 days prior to departure, for the hotel portion a deposit in the amount of $100 per person is due to Vacation Express within 2 days of booking. Final payment is due 45 days prior to departure. All reservations made 45 days or less prior to departure require full payment to be confirmed by 9pm Eastern Time the same day as the reservation is made.

For People-to-People Tours Only or People-to-People Tours including a charter flight, if the reservation is made more than 95 days prior to departure, a deposit in the amount of $250 per person is due within 2 days of booking. Final payment is due 95 days prior to departure. All People-to-People Tours reservations made 95 days or less prior to require full payment to be confirmed by 9pm Eastern Time the same day as the reservation is made.

Please note: The deposit amounts may change at any time without notice. Groups, Early Booking Bonus, bookings made during peak periods and other special bookings have different deposit amounts, payment and cancellation policies.

Payments may be made by credit card, check or money orders. All checks and money orders must be made payable to Vacation Express or to your travel agent. No checks are accepted less than 21 days prior to departure. Office closes at 9:00pm Eastern Time on weekdays and 4:00pm Eastern Time on weekends. Please forward payments to: Vacation Express, 3495 Piedmont Rd, Building 11, Suite 400, Atlanta, Georgia 30305 USA. Bookings made that do not meet the deposit and final payment requirements set out in these terms and conditions will be cancelled without refund. If you booked your reservations through a travel agent, then please remember that it is the obligation of the agent of record for a reservation to obtain a credit card imprint, proper authorization and a signature from the cardholder. Vacation Express is not liable for chargebacks due to non-payment in cases where these forms of authorization were not obtained by the agent of record.

4) Groups: If you are traveling as part of a group of 15 or more adults, different deposit, payment and cancellation policies may apply. See your group contract for details.

5) Hotel-Only Changes: : If the departure date is 46 days or more, there is a $50 per person fee for any changes, including name substitutions, made once initial payment has been received by Vacation Express. If the departure date is 45 days or less, a change in departure date, hotel or number of travelers will be treated as a cancellation, and cancellation charges will apply. Name changes are subject to hotel acceptance and change fees. It should be noted that name changes are not widely accepted in Cuba.

6) Hotel-Only Cancellation: For most hotels, a $100 charge per person will apply if the cancellation is made 45 days prior to departure. If cancellation is made 31-44 days prior to departure then a charge equal to 50% of package price will apply. If cancellation is made 30 days or less prior to departure then a charge equal to 100% of the price of the travel product/service will apply. If final payment is not received 45 days prior to departure then Vacation Express has the right to cancel your reservation without refund of any deposits.

7) Scheduled Air Cancellations & Changes: Schedule airfares may carry advance purchase requirements and are subject to change until ticketed. There are no fees for airfare cancellations made within 24 hours of purchase. Regular cancellation penalties will apply to the hotel portion of scheduled air bookings. Once scheduled air tickets are issued, no changes are allowed and are non-refundable. Rebooking scheduled air if airline permits rebooking, with an airline imposed change fee, is possible if the reservation is cancelled with the airlines at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled departure time.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, select airfare may be non-refundable, non-changeable and carry no residual value if there is a need to cancel. Some of these tickets also do not allow for seat assignments and are not eligible for elite status upgrades. Please check the terms and conditions of your applicable airline as their terms and conditions will take precedence over the terms and conditions set out in this section.

Airfare with Frontier Airlines will not be confirmed for 24hrs and may be rejected by the airline. If rejected, travelers may re-book different airfare with another carrier.

8) People-to-People Tour Cancellations: If cancellation is made 95 days prior to departure then a $250 per person charge will apply. Any cancellation made less than 95 days prior to departure will be 100% non-refundable. If full payment is not received 95 days prior to departure, Vacation Express has the right to cancel your reservation without refund of any deposits.

9) People-to-People Tours operated by CTS: If you purchase a People-to-People Tour which includes a charter flight, such flight is operated by either American Airlines or Swift Air, LLC as indicated on the itinerary. The charter flight purchased together with the People-to-People Tour are subject to the terms and conditions of the CTS Operator-Participant Agreement which must be executed by each traveler along with a Visa Application Form and the Self-Certification Form for travel to Cuba. When traveling on a CTS People-To-People Tour which includes a CTS charter flight, your payment is protected by a security agreement that has been obtained from WSFS, 309 Lancaster Ave, Malvern, PA 19355. In conjunction with People-to-People Tours, the purchase of the Travel Insurance Plan as detailed below is emphatically recommended. Travelers must be at least 13 years old to participate in the CTS People-To-People Tour offered by Vacation Express. Vacation Express reserves the right to decline to accept any traveler as a member of the tour, or to cancel a tour if necessary.

10) Charter Flights: All air charter services are subject to government and/or DOT approvals. The operation of air charter service is being conducted pursuant to Part 380 of the DOT Charter regulations. Under the charter flight agreements, unless you file a claim with the charter operator or with the banks set out above within 60 days after termination of the charter flight by the charter operator, then charter operator and the banks shall be deemed released from all liability to you.

11) Designated Carrier: Charter flights that may be purchased with People-to-People Tours are scheduled to be operated by American Airlines or Swift Air, LLC.

12) Flight Times: Flight times are not guaranteed and are subject to change. It is your responsibility to confirm your flight time with your carrier. Nonstop and single plane service are not guaranteed. International flights are subject to the respective foreign governments granting landing rights for the flights. If the air carrier cannot obtain these rights, the flight will be canceled and a full refund will be made to you automatically. The air carrier, CTS and/or Vacation Express reserve the right to substitute other aircraft/airlines if necessary. Meal and beverage service is at discretion of carrier and alcoholic beverages are generally not included.

13) Charter Operator Cancellation: Charter flights will not be canceled by the operator of the Charter flight less than 10 days prior to scheduled departure unless for circumstances that make it physically impossible to operate the flight. In the event of such cancellation, you will receive a full refund within 14 days of cancellation.

14) Hotel Substitution and Description: Subject to Section 15, Vacation Express reserves the right to substitute any hotel for any reason. Vacation Express assumes no liability for hotel overbookings resulting in inconvenience and/or substitute accommodations being provided, whether of a similar or lesser quality and location. Description of services included and rates are based on inclusions/prices at print time and are subject to change without notice. Vacation Express will not be responsible or liable if any of the services, features, or facilities described in any form of media or on any website which cease to be available or fail for any reason. Any resort credits provided by a hotel are provided at the hotel’s sole discretion and are subject to the hotel’s terms and conditions. Vacation Express shall not be held responsible for the use or nonuse of the resort credits.

15) Major Changes: A major change consists of: [1] change in departure or return dates [unless the result of a flight delay]; [2] a delay of more than 48 hours; [3] a change in the origin or destination city; [4] a change in hotel accommodations to a property that is not named in any Vacation Express or affiliated companies brochure, website or other media; or [5] a price increase occurring more than 10 days prior to departure that increases the price paid by more than 10%. Notice of a major change or cancellation must be given to all travelers at least 10 days prior to departure or within 7 days of Vacation Express obtaining knowledge of the change or cancellation. If Vacation Express becomes aware of a major change less than 10 days prior to your scheduled departure, Vacation Express will notify you or your travel agent as soon as possible. If you are notified of a major change that you are unwilling to accept, you will have 7 days to cancel without charges [but not later than the departure date] and a full refund will be made within 14 days of your cancellation. If notification of a major change is received after departure, you may reject the major change and receive a pro-rated refund of the package price for the portion of the trip that you reject.

16) Travel Insurance Plan: Vacation Express offers one form of travel protection: Travel Insurance Plan [TIP]. The price of the TIP for Hotel-Only or People-to-People Tour packages is US$119.00 per adult and US$89.00 per child [age 2-12]. The TIP is underwritten by U.S. Fire Insurance Company and the travel protection coverages are in excess of all other valid and collectible insurance or indemnity, and shall apply only after such other benefits have been paid. Below is a brief description of the benefits included within the TIP. For full details please click on the links at the end of this section.

Trip Cancellation: TIP allows you to cancel for any uncovered reason and receive a refund [in original form of payment] equal to 75% of the unused non-refundable prepaid expense, less any TIP fee paid, provided that you cancel your trip 48 hours or more before your scheduled trip departure time and that your premium payment is received within 14 days of initial deposit/payment for your trip. TIP allows you to cancel for any covered reason and receive a refund [in original form of payment] equal to 100% of the unused non-refundable prepaid expense, less the TIP fee, provided that your premium payment is received within 14 days of initial deposit/payment for your trip.

Please note: This policy may not be purchased after you have made final payment for your travel services.

For more details on this plan, please click HERE.

For schedule of benefits, please click HERE.

17) Documentation: Passengers traveling outside the United States are required to carry proof of citizenship. All U.S. citizens must have a valid U.S. passport. The passport must be valid for six months after the return date of your travel. Minors 17 and under traveling alone or with a single parent may be required to have additional documentation on flights to Cuba. It is your responsibility to secure the current requirements for your particular itinerary and carrier. In accordance with stricter security measures, it is required that all married passengers whose last name differ from their identification credentials must also provide a copy of their Marriage License Certificate upon check-in for flights to Cuba. Travelers must check with the consulate of their intended destination, U.S. authorities and the air carrier[s] to obtain information on required documentation for entry to Cuba and re-entry to the U.S. A self-certification form or specific OFAC license is required for each traveler. If the traveler is under 18 years of age at the time of self-certification, then the form must be completed by his/her parent or legal guardian. A visa is required for U.S. travelers for travel to Cuba. If you are participating in a CTS operated People-to-People Tour which includes public charter air service, CTS will obtain a visa for you and you must complete and return the CTS Reservation Form and Operator-Participant Contract and Visa Application Form. If you purchased hotel-only, scheduled air-only or a People-to-People Tour only [without air charter service] or a combination thereof, then you are responsible for obtaining your own visa. The above information regarding documentation is subject to change. It is your responsibility to obtain current requirements needed for your carrier and travel to Cuba. Vacation Express will not be liable for such passengers denied boarding, entry or re-entry due to lack of proper documentation and such passengers will not be entitled to a refund.

18) Health: Vacation Express recommends that travelers contact the Center for Disease Control or health provider for specific vaccinations, information for travelers with special needs and timely updates for other health news. Vacation Express will not be liable for your failure to meet the required health regulations in order to complete your travel arrangements

19) Baggage: For flights to Cuba, 44 pounds is the maximum total weight that is included with your flight for all of your checked and carry-on baggage. Most carriers now charge for luggage, so please check with the carrier on your reservation. Limitations on checked baggage [not to exceed 44 pounds] may apply during peak travel seasons so please check with your carrier. Any overweight or oversized luggage [larger than suitcase size] will be carried, if at all, subject to load restrictions and at additional charges by the carrier. For international flights the air carrier's liability is limited to the limitations set out in the Montreal Convention. . The air carrier's liability excludes cloth, canvas, vinyl, and soft-sided, or fragile baggage, jewelry, cameras, and photographic equipment, electronic equipment, cash, medicine, sporting equipment, and other valuable or fragile items. All claims are subject to proof of amount of loss, and, to preserve the passenger's rights, should be presented directly to the carrying airline in writing immediately upon discovery of the claim and prior to leaving the airport terminal. No baggage claim will be accepted after baggage has been removed from the terminal building at the airport. Oversized/non-standard checked baggage will be carried based on space availability on the aircraft.

20) Airport Check-In: Check-in commences approximately three hours prior to departure and we highly recommend that you check-in at this time as the check-in process for flights to Cuba are much longer than the check-in process for flights to other destinations. For cut-off/check-in deadlines, please check with your carrier. You are required to have obtained your boarding pass and to have presented all checked baggage before the carrier’s cut off/check-in deadline. For security reasons, you will be denied boarding if you have not checked in within that time. . For charter flights, you must check-in a minimum of one hour prior to scheduled departure, otherwise you will be denied boarding. Passengers must be available at the boarding gate by the boarding gate deadline time noted on your boarding pass. Failure to respect the deadline may result in the reassignment of any pre-reserved seats [refunds not applicable] and the cancellation of your reservations. Please note that Vacation Express will not provide refunds or compensation for unused seating upgrades or provide any compensation as a result of a passenger being denied boarding. Should you be denied travel, it is your responsibility to make alternate arrangements. It is your responsibility to arrive at the airport on time and following check-in, to proceed to the correct departure gate by the time specified on your boarding pass. Vacation Express cannot be held responsible if you miss your flight by failing to comply with these requirements

21) Hotel Check-in and Check-out Conditions: The check-in time for most hotels is 3:00 pm and check-out time can be as early as 11:00 am, regardless of your arrival or departure times. Please refer to your hotel accommodation voucher for actual check-in and check-out dates as this may differ from your departure and return date. Check-in policies differ by hotel and will therefore vary. Many hotels will offer hospitality areas for travelers who may be without their room for some time; however this arrangement is solely at the discretion of the hotel. Travelers wishing to make arrangements for a late check-out and baggage storage must arrange this service directly with the hotel. We do not accept responsibility for any inconvenience or loss arising from these types of arrangements. Some hotels may require you to leave a credit card imprint or cash deposit upon check-in to provide security for miscellaneous charges such as telephone calls.

22) Special Needs Travelers: Travelers with special needs who will require special services or assistance while traveling, including handicap adapted rooms and/or wheelchair accessible rooms, must advise Vacation Express at the time of booking. In order to ensure that you are properly assisted, we request that you advise of any and all specific needs that you may have. Please contact us at 404-321-7742 for further assistance.

23) Responsibility and Limitation of Liability: Each of Vacation Express, its agents and subagents’ act as an agent for you in relation to travel services and/or products purchased by you including, but not limited to, accommodations, transportation [including, but not limited to, ground and air transportation], and tours. Vacation Express makes no guarantees or warranties, express or implied, regarding any such services. All of these travel services and/or products purchased by you and provided in your itinerary are furnished by independent contractors over which Vacation Express and its agents and subagents exercise no control. Although Vacation Express has taken reasonable steps to ensure proper arrangements are in place for your travel plans, we cannot be held responsible for the acts or omissions such independent contractors. Vacation Express, its parent, subsidiaries, affiliates, agents, subagents and each of their respective officers, directors, employees, agents and representatives shall not be liable for any injury, loss or damage whether mental, emotional or physical howsoever sustained, resulting or arising from any act, error, omission or negligence of any company or person, agent, employee or subcontractor supplying any of the travel services and/or products as part of your travel plans.

Vacation Express, its parent, subsidiaries, affiliates, agents, subagents, suppliers and each of their respective officers, directors, employees, agents and representatives’ liability for any loss, damage or injury, whether to property, physical or mental, arising from their own acts, omissions or negligence, is limited to the amount you paid to Vacation Express for the services with respect to which you are claiming.

The sole and exclusive responsibility and liability of any airline used in Vacation Express' services shall be in accordance with and limited by the contract of a carriage in the your ticket, the applicable tariffs, and the provisions of the Montreal Convention.

24) Force Majeure: Vacation Express, its parent, subsidiaries, affiliates, agents, subagents, suppliers and each of their respective officers, directors, employees, agents and representatives will not be responsible or liable for any loss, damage or injury of any nature and of any kind in whole or in part resulting from a force majeure condition including without limitation: act of God, fire, volcanic eruption, environmental pollution or contamination, inclement weather, earthquake, flood, water or power shortages or failures, tropical storms or hurricanes, dangers of the sea, breakdown of machinery or equipment, riots or civil commotions or disturbances and any other acts of similar nature, theft, pilferage, sabotage, arrests, strikes or other labor disruptions, restraints of rulers or peoples, expropriations, acts of terrorism, war, insurrection, strikes, epidemics, restrictions, government health advisories or warnings or alerts of any kind or nature, acts of governments or other authorities de jour or de facto, government seizures, refusal or cancellation or suspension or delay of any government authority or any license, permit or authorization, damages to its facilities, or by reason of any other cause or causes of any similar nature or any other factor unforeseen by Vacation Express that impacts negatively on or hampers its ability to fulfill any of its contractual conditions. In the event that any of these conditions apply, Vacation Express shall be excused, discharged or released from its performance to the extent such performance is so limited or prevented, without liability of any kind.

25) Methods of Contact: You authorize Vacation Express and its affiliated companies to contact you from time-to-time via e-mail, phone or text message at the e-mail address or telephone number[s] provided by you when booking your reservation. Please note that message and data rates may apply. The purpose of the communications is to discuss the status of your travel products and/or services purchased by you and tell you about additional products and services for which you may qualify, specials or promotions and other business purposes. This consent is not a condition of purchasing any goods or services and may be revoked by you at any time.

26) Post Travel Concerns: Any claims for refund or post-travel concerns must be sent to your travel agent in writing [with receipts or supporting documents] within 30 days of your return. If you booked directly with Vacation Express, any claims for refund or post-travel concerns must be sent in writing [with receipts or supporting documents] within 30 days of your return to Vacation Express, 3495 Piedmont Rd, Building 11, Suite 400, Atlanta, GA 30305 or faxed to 404-248-1237 Attention: Customer Service. Unused tour documents and components [whether voluntary or caused by airline delay or cancellation] are non-refundable. No responsibility is accepted for expenses or lost travel time incurred due to delay, aircraft reroute, change in schedule or any other causes. Vacation Express offers refunds under these Terms and Conditions with the express understanding that the receipt of that refund by a traveler waives any additional remedies. All requests for refunds must be sent in writing, certified mail, return receipt requested. Postmark date determines date of notification.

27) Miscellaneous: In the event any paragraph of these Terms and Conditions shall be declared invalid or void by any court, such declaration shall not invalidate the entire agreement and all other paragraphs of these Terms and Conditions shall remain in full force and effect. The parties agree any claim or litigation arising out of or relating to this these Terms and Conditions, or the breach or validity thereof, shall be brought in Fulton County, Georgia, the location of Vacation Express' corporate offices, and the governing law shall be the laws of the State of Georgia. You agree that in the event that any civil proceeding, arbitration, mediation or action of any kind, is commenced by you against Vacation Express or any of its agents, affiliates, officers, assignees or employees, the limit on any damages [which includes but is not limited to damages, interest, court costs, attorney fees, expenses of litigation, and punitive damages] shall be the amount you paid Vacation Express for the services which is the subject matter of these Terms and Conditions.

Vacation Express is selling escorted people-to-people tours as an agent of Cuba Travel Services, Inc. ["CTS"], the travel service provider and operator of the people-to people tours. The people-to-people tours may include public air charter service in which case are subject to the terms and conditions of the CTS Public Charter Operator-Participant Agreement which must be executed by each passenger along with a Visa Application Form and the Self-Certification Form for travel to Cuba. If you purchased hotel-only, scheduled air-only or a People-to-People Tour only [without air charter service] or a combination thereof, then you are responsible for obtaining your own visa.

*COMPLIANCE WITH U.S. LAW: U.S. law prohibits U.S. travelers from traveling to Cuba for tourism. U.S. travelers can only go to Cuba for one of 12 authorized reasons, including family visits and people-to-people educational activities. The 12 categories are listed in the Cuban Assets Control Regulations [CACR] at Section 515.560 (a)(1)-(12) and described in more detail in those identified sections of the CACR, HERE. It is the U.S. traveler’s sole responsibly to understand and comply with existing restrictions under U.S. law. Each U.S. traveler is required under U.S. law to retain records of their travel to Cuba for five years. The U.S. government could ask you to produce those records.

*CUBA TRAVEL CERTIFICATION: Each U.S. traveler must complete a written certification, available HERE, identifying the travel category that authorizes his or her travel to Cuba in order to allow Vacation Express to book that travel. Vacation Express must obtain this certification and retain it for five years, as required under Section 515.572(b) of the CACR. Should you have any questions about the requirements of U.S. law relating to your travel to Cuba, please consult a lawyer.