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General Holidays Information

ACCOMMODATION GRADING

The star ratings used on hotels throughout the brochure are the official ratings awarded by the national tourist authority, where available. Where, in our judgement, a hotel deserves a grading higher than the normal grading, Topflight have awarded a ”Plus” symbol to indicate this. Where official ratings are not available, we have awarded a Topflight star rating to guide you with your choice of accommodation. In Andorra there is no official grading of hotels or apartments. The management of Topflight have vetted all named accommodation and awarded them stars to indicate, in our opinion, the standard of these properties in comparison to other properties within Andorra and France only. Standards of hotels in Andorra and Bulgaria don’t necessarily compare with hotels in Austria or Italy. Variations of facilities and standards within the same hotel or apartment category can be significant. In our opinion the difference in price charged by Topflight will be a fair reflection of this.

Please Note:

All accommodation named in our brochure has been inspected by our local agents or by the management of Topflight, and is of good standard. However, don’t always expect things to be the same as you are used to in Ireland as customs and service usually differ from country to country. For instance, twin beds in Europe may consist of two separate mattresses and duvets contained in one large frame. Most hotels have rooms that will take an extra bed, if required. These beds may be foldaway beds or sofa beds. Soap is not always included in rooms. Linen may be changed only once a week. Single rooms are available on request and a supplement is payable. In addition the payment of a supplement does not necessarily mean that a twin room will be provided for sole use. Often single rooms are purpose built and intended for sole use only. Annexes to hotels may be directly owned and controlled by the hotel or contracted in private houses, within walking distance of the hotel. Guests with accommodation in annexes have full use of all main hotel facilities.

ROOM SIZES

Room or apartment measurements specified throughout this brochure are approximate. Use only as a guideline.

VACATION OF ROOMS

Rooms are not usually ready or available before midday on the day of your arrival. On day of departure you may be asked to vacate your room in the morning, usually before midday.

CHILDREN’S REDUCTIONS

To qualify for the reduction in hotels, one child must share a room with two full fare paying passengers. Child age is from 2 –11 years inclusive. Infants (i.e. children under 2) pay €32 plus any applicable charges made by some hotels for cots or high chair. Cot charges are generally payable locally, prices vary from hotel to hotel.

FLIGHT:

There is a set charge of €32 for infants who have not reached their 2nd birthday before the date of return. All infants must sit on an adults lap during the flight.

MEAL ARRANGEMENTS

If you book half board, you will usually receive dinner on the day of arrival and breakfast on the day of departure. However, for late arrivals (after the hotel restaurant is closed) clients will normally receive a cold plate of limited choice and for early morning departures breakfast may not be available or a restricted choice may apply. It is possible that you may miss a meal due to the time of arrival or departure from your hotel.

If vegetarian meals are required, these must be requested from and confirmed by Topflight at time of booking. In Europe, breakfast is usually continental style unless otherwise stated. Most hotels require guests to order dinner from the menu the previous evening or at breakfast each morning. This is to ensure that produce can be ordered fresh each day. Some hotels require guests to share tables at mealtimes.

FREE DRINKS:

The number of free drinks given in a hotel is at the discretion of the hotelier.

SELF-CATERING APARTMENTS

Self-catering apartments are based on occupancy as described in the brochure and may vary in standard and size. Linen is provided unless otherwise indicated, while towels and soap may not be. Guests may need to make their own beds on arrival. Cleaning is generally once a week on arrival. Some apartment accommodation in Andorra, France and Italy require a deposit on arrival against breakages. Studios and apartments may not always be ready for immediate occupation on your arrival, as the accommodation needs to be cleaned and checked after the departure of the previous week’s guests. We will of course make every effort to ensure your accommodation is available as close to your arrival as possible. As deposits are normally held by the accommodation owner/management and not Topflight, we cannot become directly involved in situations or disputes that may occur. Credit cards and cheques are generally not accepted.

Please Note: Self-catering studios and apartments in France are compact in size.

LOCAL TAXES

Local tax applies in most resorts and to certain properties. These can vary on your chosen destination.

ANONYMOUS SNOW PENSIONS/APARTMENTS

If you book more than one room in anonymous pensions/apartments and are not a family group of the same name, accommodation may be in different pensions in the same resort. We do not guarantee all pensions used are featured in the brochure or website.

HOLIDAY REPRESENTATIVES

The Topflight Representative is there to make your holiday more enjoyable and to help you with any queries which you may have. Should you have any issues or queries regarding your holiday, please contact your holiday representative in resort.

RESORT FACILITIES

Any resort facilities shown in our brochure are only an indication of the facilities that are usually available in that particular resort. Topflight do not have control over local facilities and activities. These can be withdrawn or changed locally without notice. If you have an interest in a particular facility (e.g. kindergarten or crèche) it is important to check with our reservations department close to departure for up-to-date information. Topflight will not accept any responsibility for failure to do so.

CHILDREN

The safety of children is considered paramount. Parents should check that they are happy with operated clubs, playgrounds and facilities provided by the accommodation of residence. Always familiarise yourself with the pool areas and depths.

BUILDING WORKS

Many resorts are continuing to develop the local economies and tourist industry, as well as making improvements to existing resorts. This means that in some resorts there may be building work and renovation programmes in place. We cannot predict when building work is likely to happen but when we do know, we will tell you.

PASSPORT & VISA REQUIREMENTS

All Irish nationals including infants require a valid passport in their own name when travelling on holiday to any destination in the Topflight brochure, except in the case of holidays to the USA. Irish nationals are not required to obtain a visa for any holidays in this brochure. Passports should be valid for at least 6 months before your departure and after your expected return to Ireland. Non Irish nationals should consult their embassy for appropriate requirements at time of booking. Topflight will not accept responsibility for any passport related problems. For security reasons, the name on your flight ticket must agree with the name on your passport.

USA VISA REQUIREMENTS

Machine Readable Passports: Since 26th October 2004, passengers entering the US under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) are required to hold a machine readable passport (MRP). If any person who is a citizen of VWP (i.e. Irish citizens/holders of Irish passports) does not have a MRP, then they will need to obtain a U.S. non-immigrant visa prior to departure. Children over 16 years must hold a valid MRP. Under 16 years of age: Children who have previously been added to a parent’s passport will also be required to have a MRP in their own name or to have a U.S. visa issued to them affixed to the passport in which their name appears. Any passport issued after 26th October, 2006 must have a digital photograph otherwise the passport holder must obtain a visa to travel to the USA.

From 12th January 2009 all guests travelling to USA must complete an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation). Travellers who have not received ESTA approval may be denied boarding, experience delayed processing or be denied admission at a US port of Entry. Guests must apply for approval before they travel. This can be done online at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov.

PREGNANT WOMEN

Airline regulations vary but it is generally accepted that most airlines refuse to carry women who are more than 28 weeks pregnant by their return journey date. Contact your travel agent for any additional information. We also advise checking with your doctor prior to travel.

DISORDERLY PASSENGERS

The aircraft captain has the legal right to deny boarding or off-load passengers s/he deems unfit to travel due to the influence of alcohol or drugs and therefore appears likely to cause a disturbance. If a passenger is off-loaded or denied boarding on the outward journey from Ireland, the holiday may be forfeited and no money refunded. Anyone denied permission to board the plane on the return journey must make their own travel arrangements and at their own cost.

BROCHURE ACCURACY & PRICES

The Organiser has used its best endeavours to ensure that the information contained in this brochure is current and accurately represents the holidays on offer. However, for example, facilities, special attractions and services may not be open or available due to renovation or maintenance work, low occupancy levels, adverse weather conditions, etc. Unfortunately, such changes are beyond our control and we reserve the right to change the particulars in this brochure. Where we are aware that a facility or service advertised in this brochure will not be open or available during the period of your holiday, we will take steps, wherever possible, to notify you prior to travel. This brochure was published in August 2011 and the details and prices contained in it are valid from August 2011 until publication of any revised edition. Holidays in this brochure operate from November 2011 to April 2012. All information is correct at time of going to press but subject to change without notice.

LATE BOOKINGS

Bookings made within 14 days of departure will incur a late booking fee of €15 per person.

BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE

Baggage allowance and hand luggage details can be found on your travel documents (emailed prior to your departure). Charges will be incurred for excess baggage. Please check for baggage allowance at time of booking.

LOST BAGGAGE

Please be advised that guests who leave items in resort should make a claim through their insurance. Topflight cannot be held responsible for items left in resort or arrange for return of these items to Ireland.

WHILST ON HOLIDAY

If you wish to make changes to the booked holiday arrangements whilst in resort, for example changing duration of holiday, upgrading accommodation or changing resort, you shall pay any extra charges in resort. All changes are to be notified to Topflight in writing, whether through your local representative/ agent or if this is not possible through our head office in Dublin.

• The accommodation is to be used solely for those named on your invoice unless otherwise agreed in writing with us.

• You are responsible for any damage caused to your accommodation during your stay, unless this damage is caused by an unknown third party. Any justifiable charges made by the owner or hotel manager must be paid by you in resort.

HEALTH & SAFETY STANDARDS

Health and safety standards in some countries may not reach the same level as those enjoyed in Ireland, although all properties comply with applicable local and/or national health and safety laws. Monitoring and enforcement of such are subject to the regulations of each country. We therefore advise clients to take all reasonable precautions while on holidays.

HEALTH ON HOLIDAY

So as to avail of any necessary healthcare through the public system of the countries of the European Union or European Economic Area while you are travelling, you are strongly advised to obtain a European Insurance Card from your local Health Service Executive office.

FLIGHT SURCHARGES

All holidays in this brochure are subject to additional fuel charges imposed by airlines should the cost of fuel rise significantly. Such surcharges are outside of Topflight’s control.

TRANSFERS

Please refer to the information on resort pages for approximate transfer times and other details. These do not, however, allow for delays which may be caused by waiting for other incoming flights or local traffic conditions etc. In some cases, access by coach into accommodation is restricted. Holidaymakers may not therefore be transferred directly to the main entrance, and it may be necessary to walk a short distance with luggage.

DATA PROTECTION

Topflight is committed to protecting your privacy and information. A copy of our privacy policy is available on request from Topflight, 3rd Floor, Jervis House, Jervis Street, Dublin 1. The information that we use is for the purpose of fulfilling our contract as a tour operator/holiday provider. Information that you provide us will be held on Topflight’s computers (and in other ways) for use by us for the following purposes:

(a) Booking Information:

(b) Information about you (and your travelling party) may be passed to holiday providers and others and may include things such as age, religious beliefs, dietary requirements, your (or your travelling party’s) physical or mental health. This information may also be transferred abroad;

(c) If you apply for insurance, then we may process information (including medical information) about you (or your travelling party) and pass it to the insurers;

(d) Information supplied by you may be processed by us for Statistical Analysis and or Market Research and may in certain instances be disclosed to our agents for the purposes of fraud prevention and/or debt collection;

(e) To contact you via email, letter or phone with details of Topflight’s or selected suppliers’ products and services including financial services, which may be of interest to you.

By entering into a contract with us you agree to the use and disclosure of information by Topflight as described. A copy of your personal information held by Topflight can be provided on request. You have the right to have any inaccurate personal information rectified or erased.

Important Ski Holiday Information

SKI PACKS

Topflight have arranged pre-bookable ski packs in all our featured resorts. These include the hire of skis, boots, snowboards, tuition, lift passes and special ‘First Time Ski/Snowboard’ packs. Details of costs etc. are featured in the resort guide on each page. Please indicate your requirements when booking. Our “First Time Ski/Board” pack prices generally represent a saving on resort prices. All First Time Ski & Snowboard packs are strictly for clients who have not skied before.

Unused Ski Packs

If you are ill or injured and can no longer use your pre-booked ski packs, you should first try to claim a refund locally from the suppliers. Our representatives will be pleased to help if required. If you are unable to secure a refund locally, you should claim for a proportionate refund through your travel insurance.

We have an excellent working relationship with sports shops in each resort. They are selected for the quality of their equipment, competitive prices and the service they provide to all Topflight clients. Some ski-hire shops charge a small insurance premium against damage to the equipment. In Livigno there is a charge of approximately ?20 compulsory insurance per person. Topflight recommends that all children/youths wear protective helmets whilst skiing.

FIRST TIME SKI & BOARD PACKS

First Time Ski & Snowboard packs are strictly for clients who have never skied before.

NAMES ON BOOKING

When making a booking please ensure that names given are as per names on passport. Changes to names at a later date will incur an administration fee.

SKI SCHOOL

Austria:

Extremely high standards of instruction are offered in all Austrian Ski Schools. Classes are graded according to ability. Classes are generally available morning and afternoon, Sunday to Friday and last for 4 hours daily.

Andorra:

Andorra ski school enjoys a reputation as one of the best in Europe. Classes for beginners and other grades are generally for three hours daily and are available morning and afternoon, 15 hours weekly.

Italy:

Ski school is generally one session of 2 - 3 hours for 5 or 6 days, depending on the resort. Excellent tuition available for beginners & intermediates.

France:

France offers an excellent standard of ski instruction. Ski schools prefer to know the level of tuition required by guests in advance. Please indicate whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced skier on arrival.

Bulgaria:

Ski schools vary from resort to resort. In general they offer 4 hours of tuition per day.

Please Note:

Ski schools in some resorts are closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. We regret that no refund is available for these days.

NO SNOW GUARANTEE

All resorts in Topflight’s brochure are chosen for their range of skiing and their reliable snow record. However, in the interests of our clients Topflight give you full protection against lack of snow.

If there is no snow in your resort and all the lifts are closed for more than a day we provide free transportation to the nearest skiable resort or glacier within 2 hours driving time. In the event of this not being possible, Topflight’s special ski insurance includes compensation of ?20 per day for each complete day that you are unable to use your lift pass or ski school.

HIGH ALTITUDE RESORTS

Topflight offers a number of high altitude and glacier resorts. Glacier skiing does not mean ice, it just means that the mountain is high enough to have snow all year round. Glaciers generally have a good variety of beginners’ slopes in addition to pistes for intermediate and advanced skiers.

UPGRADE OF SKI EQUIPMENT

When you travel with Topflight, we charge only a standard rate for ski, boot and snowboard hire. As we always deal with reputable ski rental shops, the equipment you get is generally more than adequate, even for advanced skiers. In Austria and France, most resorts offer carvers as the basic ski type. And should you wish to upgrade to a higher specification, this can be arranged locally in our ski rental shops at very competitive rates.

CARRIAGE OF SKIS/BOARD

With a growing number of passengers taking their own equipment with them, it is important to note that airlines will not guarantee the carriage of the ski equipment. A charge will be made by the airline for the carriage of skis/boards. See individual resort pages for charges on Topflight charter flights.

LIFT PASSES

Austria & Italy:

Lift passes are pre-bookable in all our resorts. Some resorts offer a choice of lift pass, i.e. local or whole area lift pass. Details of lifts covered are given in the ski pack price panels on resort pages and you can choose accordingly. Points cards and shorter duration lift passes can be purchased in the resort.

France:

Area Lift Pass & Local Lift Pass: The area lift pass allows full use of the whole area lift system while the local pass may only be used in the main skiing area of your chosen resort. Photo ID is required for all lift passes.

Andorra:

In Andorra, there is only one type of lift pass and all skiers are required to purchase one. Lift passes sometimes require a passport size photo. See resort page for details.

Bulgaria:

Lift passes vary between resorts, you will find prices quite competitive compared to other European countries.

Please Note:

In many resorts throughout Europe a refundable deposit of up to €10 per person is payable locally for the key card lift pass. This deposit should be re-claimed direct from lift pass company not from your resort representative.

Beginners:

All beginners will need a lift pass of some sort and should consider their options carefully, taking advice from Topflight’s experienced staff or their Travel Agent. Generally, it is better to use points cards for the first few days and depending on the progress made, a lift pass may be purchased locally for the remainder of the holiday. If snow conditions are poor then beginners will be taught on the upper slopes; in this case a lift pass will be required.

Points Cards:

Points cards are a system designed to allow beginners to pay as they use the lift system. A small beginner’s lift may use up 1 point, whereas a cable car to the top of the mountain may require 5. The points card system should result in a considerable saving

Senior Citizens and Youths:

A number of lift companies offer senior citizens reductions on lift passes. These may be booked locally. Reduced rate youth passes may be pre-booked.

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