Bookings & Confirmation

Q: Can I book a hotel without flights?
A: Yes, you will not require an IATA letter/proof of employment in this circumstance, however, you will be expected to prove your travel industry status on check-in at the hotel.

Q: Can I book flight only?
A: Yes - Subject to the individual airlines conditions. Bookings without accommodation or cruise elements are subject to an administration fee of £15pp for travel within UK/Europe and £19pp elsewhere.

Q: How do I get a quote on a hotel, cruise or flight?
A: Use the search engine on the relevant pages of this website.  The sections are marked clearly at the top of each page with the tabs for Stay, Fly and Cruise.

Q: Can I make a booking over the phone?
A: Yes!  Call our reservations line FREE on 0800 619 0707 or 01293 425000 (Mon-Fri 0830-1800).  Note that confirmation of employment may be required when booking certain airlines.  Your reservations agent will inform you if this is required.

Q: Can I check flight availability?
A: Of course!  Just call our reservations department FREE on 0800 619 0707 or 01293 425000 (Mon-Fri 0830-1800) and we can check the vast majority of the airlines inventory that we deal with using our GDS system.

Q: Can I check availability for accommodation?
A: We have a few resorts which are contracted to us on a 'free sell' basis which means we can offer instant confirmation for a potential booking.  However, the vast majority of hotels that we contract worldwide are on a request basis.  By not taking and managing an allocation at hotels means that we can ensure that we are driving down the cost as low as possible by allowing the hotel to confirm your accommodation only if it is available at the time of your request.

Q: How long does it take for airlines/hotels to confirm?
A: Most airlines offer immediate confirmation, some, however can only be requested 2 weeks before departure date ex UK. We request the hotel accommodation as soon as we receive your booking request in the vast majority of cases.  Normally we would hope to have confirmation by the next working day and certainly within 3 working days after receipt of your booking request.

Q: Is there a minimum occupancy for hotel reservations?
A: Our rates are per person based on 2 persons sharing unless otherwise annotated. This also applies similarly to cruises, safaris, excursions etc.

Q: What happens if my flights or hotels are not available?
A: We will endeavour to find an alternative carrier or the closest flight to the requested date of departure and similarly priced hotel accommodation.

Q: How am I protected if I book another tour operator's product through Touchdown?
A: The Air Holiday packages and/or flights for other tour operators shown, are ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority, as we act as agents for licensed tour operators. The names and ATOL numbers for these operators are displayed with each holiday shown. Bookings made this way, will be booked and CAA protected under the license and ATOL number of the company shown. We are also members of ABTA.

Eligibility, Tickets & Taxes

Eligibilty

Q: Which deals am I eligible for?
A: When you register on the Touchdown website, you will be asked which sector of the industry you work in (ie. travel agent / tour operator, airline employee etc...)  What you enter here will ensure that you see the relevant pricing and deals that pertains to your employment sector within the industry.

Q: What is an IATA letter?
A: It is a letter issued in accordance with IATA resolution 788,880 or 881 by your staff travel department , to request and confirm interline concession entitlement which we require when you book certain carriers.

Q: When should my IATA letter or letter of employment be issued by my employer and sent to Touchdown where required?
A: We require this at the time we confirm your flight to you as being available. If you are a Touchdown Plus member, this letter can be filed annually and will be kept on file and will be issued by Touchdown, as required on your behalf.

Q: Who can I take with me?
A: In most cases you can take your spouse or companion and your dependent children (aged under 21years).  Quite a few airlines allow you to take up to 3 companions.  Note that your companion need not be the person/s named in your staff travel's nominated partner scheme (if you are an airline employee), however, the staff member must accompany all companions on every flight sector booked.  However, from time to time, certain airlines run a "Friends & Family" booking window with us where your friends & family can book and travel unaccompanied.

Q: Which parts of air traffic control are deemed eligible under 'Air traffic control associations'?
A: Ukatts, Ukatets, IATCA (Ikatts Eire), Iatets, NATS, GATCO and EGATS for staff in UK and Eire, plus overseas ATC staff (many of which provide staff details to Touchdown on a regular basis confirming who works there / is a member).

Q: I am retired staff , can I still use these offers?
A: Retired AIRLINE staff can use many of them, subject to providing an IATA788 letter for offers where prudent.

Q: I am an unlicensed travel agent, can I still travel?
A: Yes.  A letter of employment is still required for certain carriers and extra checks will be carried out to verify agent credentials in the absence of licenses, if Touchdown are not satisfied with these then we reserve the right to refuse applications.

Q: I  am a Travel Trust Association (TTA) member, am I eligible?
A: You are eligible if you provide a TTA number and are employed as a travel agent. TTA members employed as tour operators should refer to 'Tour operators (unlicensed)' category.

Q: I am travel industry staff based overseas, am I eligible?
A: Yes.  Note that most of our flight inclusive deals originate from the UK.  BA and bmi however do permit reverse itineraries to the UK from European airports, please refer to the website for details.

Tickets and taxes

Q: Are all flight tickets issued on a confirmed basis?
A: Yes, we do not offer sub-load / space available / standby product.

Q: Are all your seats offered on scheduled services?
A: Yes, however, there are occasions when we offer staff discount for seats/packages on other tour operator products, for example Golden Caribbean and Neilson.

Q: Do your flights include taxes?
A: All prepayable taxes are included unless specified. Some local airport taxes are paid in the local currency where applicable and cannot be prepaid. PSC (passenger services charge) and fuel sucharge have been incorporated into the fares displayed on line. The fares due to the fluctuations in taxes and oil prices are subject to change at any time.

Q: What is the infant fare?
A: This can vary, but is approximately 10 percent of the fare plus taxes, however, sometimes it will be 10% of the normal fare. Prices on application, upon making a booking.
NOTE:  Infant bassinets cannot be confirmed at the time of booking, they can be requested, however. Assignment of bassinets, is subject to the payload on the day and would be at the discretion of the airlie operating crew. Maximum infant weight is between 11-13kg dependent on the airline.

Q: When will flight tickets be issued?
A: As soon as possible after receiving your payment for your tickets.

Q: Are transfers included in the price?
A: Only where stated on the applicable brochure.

APIS

Q: What is Advance Passenger Information (API, APIS) all about? 
A: Very soon it will be mandatory for all passengers to provide certain details to the airlines at check-in or prior to check-in. For data protection reasons this data must be submitted by the passengers or their designated lead traveller. Namely:
Passport number
Country which issued passport
Passport expiry date
Given names (as they appear on passport)
Last name
Gender
Date of birth
Citizenship. 
From 04October 2005 the US authorties will require the above info and a destination address within the USA (inc zip code) for all non US citizen passengers. This  information  must be collected from every passenger travelling to the USA before their flight
departs. The airlines involved are working to permit this facility as part of their website online check-in procedures which can normally be performed 24 hours prior to departure.
For passengers going to the USA, from 01 November 2010, certain data (SFPD) is required prior to ticketing, middle name and date of birth of all passengers will be required (as shown on the passport). For passengers already ticketed this data must be supplied on the relevant airline website at least 72 hours prior to departure, otherwise the US Governemnt may opt to cancel the booking! See our North America webpage for more info. Most airlines require APIS data to be submitted prior to travel, this can be done on the airlines' website, or if booking ticketed prior to 14 May 2010 at www.apis.uk.amadeus.com
 
Q: What is online check-in?
A: Many airlines are introducing and encouraging this facility which can normally be performed 24 hours prior to departure once you have confirmation that e-tickets have been issued. You will need your booking locator (PNR) and a surname to do this. This facility allows you to select seats ,check in and in some cases print your own boarding card from the comfort of your own home! Note that Touchdown cannot do this online on your behalf.

Staff based outside the UK
Q: I am travel industry staff based overseas, am I eligible?
A: Yes. Our flight inclusive deals originate from the UK. Also, a few hotel offers are for UK based staff only. Your reservations agent will be able to inform you if this is the case at the time of booking.


Meal Codes

Q: What the meal code abbreviations stand for?
A:
> RO = Room only
> BB = Bed and breakfast
> HB = Half board (Breakfast & dinner)
> FB = Full board (Breakfast, lunch & dinner)
> AI = All inclusive (All meals / snacks, soft drinks and locally produced alcoholic drinks)
> SC = Self catering (No meals, but facilities for cooking food are provided).