Terms & Conditions
ARBITER TRAVEL CO. CLIENT AGREEMENT
LAST UPDATED NOVEMBER 1, 2023
This Agreement for Travel Planning Services (herein the “Agreement”) is entered into by and between “Arbiter IA” and “Client”. If the undersigned individual is securing or procuring travel for additional parties (groups or individuals), all references to “Client” shall apply collectively to the undersigned and all members of the Client’s traveling party. This Agreement constitutes a legally binding working agreement, release, waiver of liability, and assumption of risk. Arbiter IA specializes in professional travel planning services, and Client seeks to engage these services. In consideration of the mutual covenants outlined in this Agreement and for other valuable consideration, the parties agree to the following terms and conditions:
I. TRAVEL PLANNING SERVICES
a. Services: Arbiter IA shall provide the Client with Travel Planning Services (herein referred to as the “Services”), including, but not limited to: consulting and advising on itinerary design and recommending Travel Products, conducting meetings, telephone calls, research, proposal preparation, revisions, correspondence, responses to Client requests, changes, and questions, executing bookings, managing confirmations, delivering final details, and all additional work related to the Client’s trips.
b. Business Hours: Services will be provided by Arbiter IA during normal business hours (Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 5:30 pm PST). In the case of after-hours emergencies, every effort will be made to assist the Clients. Voluntary requests received after hours may be subject to additional fees. Please note that these hours may change based on the travel schedule and will be communicated via email. For active travel emergency assistance outside typical business hours, please refer to your travel documents for emergency contact information. For after-hours needs, please copy [email protected], and our team will respond promptly.
c. Service Fees: Arbiter Travel Co. and its independent affiliates, including Arbiter IA (collectively referred to as “ATC”), charge hourly for their Services. The Client agrees to the fee structure and hourly rate (herein referred to as the “Service Fees”) provided by Arbiter IA before the Services commence. Upon completing this agreement, Arbiter IA may request an initial non-refundable deposit from the Client before commencing any work on the Services. Following the initial Service Fee, Arbiter IA will invoice the Client for additional hourly Service Fees each month, charged to the Client’s payment method on file. Hourly rates may vary among ATC team members and may increase periodically, with Arbiter IA providing a minimum of 30 days’ notice to the Client. The Client understands that Arbiter IA cannot guarantee the total amount of fees incurred for each trip.
i. Penalties & Disputes: Any disputes regarding Service Fees by the Client must be submitted in writing within seven (7) business days of receiving the invoice. By entering into this agreement, the Client waives the right to dispute any Service Fee charges with their credit card or banking institution. Should the Client fail to process payment in a timely manner, Arbiter IA reserves the right to release Client reservations and cancel the trip. However, the Client shall remain responsible for any outstanding amounts owed to Arbiter IA. If Service Fees remain unpaid for more than sixty (60) days, the Client is liable for penalty fees at an interest rate of 5% for each past due month payable to Arbiter IA. Refusal to pay on a timely basis may result in legal action, for which the Client hereby agrees to indemnify Arbiter IA for all costs and expenses incurred, including attorney fees.
ii. Additional Fees: Arbiter IA reserves the right to increase hourly Service Fees by up to 100% for excessive voluntary work (more than two consecutive hours) requested after hours, on weekends, and on holidays. Increased hourly Service Fees may also apply to last-minute inquiries (less than 6 weeks before the departure date), as confirmed in writing by Arbiter IA before commencing Services.
iii. Changes & Cancellations: Clients may make reasonable voluntary changes to their trips, subject to availability at the time of the request and any fare increases or amendment penalties required as a result. The Client is responsible for payment of hourly Service Fees as outlined above for any additional work Arbiter IA undertakes to facilitate changes. Last-minute changes (less than 14 days before the departure date) are subject to additional fees. Should a Client need to voluntarily cancel a trip after it has been booked, Arbiter IA may charge a cancellation fee of $500 to the Client. Arbiter IA will assist with reservation cancellations in accordance with the terms and conditions of individual bookings. The Client is responsible for any cancellation penalties or charges and agrees to compensate Arbiter IA for additional hours worked to facilitate.
II. THIRD PARTY TRAVEL PRODUCT PROVIDERS
a. Role as Agent: The Client understands that Arbiter IA is not the actual source or supplier and does not provide, own, or control any of the travel products and services offered to the Client, including but not limited to accommodations, flights, transportation, tours, cruises, charters, ground services, rental cars, or travel insurance (herein referred to as “Travel Products”). These Travel Products are owned, controlled, and provided by third-party suppliers (herein referred to as “Travel Product Providers”). Arbiter IA acts solely as a sales agent for the Travel Product Providers of these Travel Products.
b. Client Responsibilities & Liability: Clients understand that Arbiter IA acts as an advisor and facilitator, and they are responsible for selecting all Travel Products and Travel Product Providers. Clients agree to adhere to the terms and conditions set by Travel Product Providers, including associated penalties and fees. Clients shall indemnify and hold Arbiter IA harmless from any related claims, losses, damages, or liabilities (including attorneys’ fees) arising from Arbiter IA’s recommendations and the goods and services provided by Travel Product Providers. Clients acknowledge that Arbiter IA is not responsible for the acts or omissions of Travel Product Providers, including schedule adherence, service provision, refunds, financial default, or honoring future trip credits. Clients recognize that their travel plans may be disrupted by Travel Product Providers, government entities, or other third parties beyond Arbiter IA’s control. Client rights and remedies, including refund eligibility, are governed by the Travel Product Provider’s cancellation, rebooking, and refund policies, subject to applicable laws. Arbiter IA has no special knowledge regarding the financial condition of Travel Product Providers and assumes no liability for recommending trip credits instead of refunds.
c. Payment & Fare Considerations: Client payments for Travel Products will be directly collected and processed by Travel Product Providers, typically in their local currency. Clients acknowledge that Arbiter IA acts solely as a facilitator of payment details. By submitting the credit card authorization, Clients authorize Arbiter IA to sign any necessary forms for payment to approved Travel Product Providers on their behalf. Prices are subject to change due to currency fluctuations, tariff adjustments, or operational cost increases. Travel Product Providers may impose surcharges for different payment methods, which are the responsibility of the Client. Clients should be aware that discounted fares often have restrictions, and making changes to confirmed travel arrangements may result in additional costs. Group tours/packages are contingent on a minimum number of passengers. Falling below this minimum may result in surcharges for all passengers. Clients agree not to initiate unauthorized chargebacks or refund requests and will be responsible for any legal fees incurred by Arbiter IA in disputing such claims.
III. PAYMENT AUTHORIZATION
Clients are required to provide their credit card billing information using the provided secure authorization form. Unless otherwise specified by the Client, the credit card on file will be used for ticketing/booking Travel Products, as charged by Travel Product Providers, and for Service Fees, as charged by Arbiter IA. By submitting the credit card authorization, Clients authorize Arbiter IA to sign any necessary forms for payment to approved Travel Product Providers on their behalf.
a. Flight Desk: Arbiter IA may facilitate the booking of Business / First Class flights for Clients through an Air Travel Product Provider (herein “Flight Desk”). Normal business hours of the Flight Desk are Monday through Friday, 9am – 5pm PST.
b. Air Booking Fees: Clients are responsible for a minimum Air Booking Fee of one hundred dollars ($100) per ticket for all tickets booked via Arbiter IA through the Flight Desk. These fees will be charged to Clients’ credit card by the Flight Desk after bookings have been ticketed and confirmed. Air Booking Fees are subject to increase based on complexity of travel details and will be confirmed in writing by Arbiter IA before bookings are processed. Any voluntary changes will incur an additional fee of $50 per person for each change after ticketing. Any voluntary changes made outside or normal business hours may incur an additional fee of $75 per person. Air Booking Fees are charged by the Flight Desk and are separate from Arbiter Service Fees.
c. Airline Rules: Clients understand that the airline tickets, air tours or other products they purchase through the Flight Desk are subject to supplemental price increases that may be imposed after the date of purchase. Client understands that discounted fares typically involve restrictions and that modifying any aspect of confirmed air travel arrangements may not be possible, or may result in the payment of additional money.
Client shall be liable for all non-payment, chargebacks, and other liabilities pertaining to air travel, and shall not pass on responsibilities to Flight Desk or to Arbiter IA. Arbiter IA shall not be liable for ticketing debit memos that are related to ticketing, exchanging, or refund errors. Client is responsible for reviewing itineraries and ticket confirmations for accuracy of dates, names exactly as they appear on your passport or legal identification, flight schedule, and fares. Client is responsible for ensuring passport validity during their travel dates prior to ticketing. Client is responsible for notifying Arbiter IA of any discrepancies within 12 hours of ticketing to avoid vendor penalties or fare increases. All changes made to the itinerary are restricted as well as subject to airline fare rules. In the event Client makes changes directly by the airline and not through Arbiter IA or Flight Desk, the Flight Desk will be unable to continue to assist with those tickets as the airline maintains control. No-show bookings are mostly ineligible for any waiver from carriers for a refund or credit. Lost, stolen, or damaged baggage is the responsibility of the carrier and not of Arbiter IA or the Flight Desk.
d. TSA Requirements: Clients acknowledge that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requires all passengers to carry a government-issued identification card in order to board a flight, and understand that the name, date of birth, and gender that appears on the identification card must exactly match the same such data that is listed on airline tickets and in booking records, and that failure to strictly comply with these requirements may result in denied boarding, the need to purchase a new ticket, or an undue delay at an airport security checkpoint causing Clients to miss scheduled flight.
V. CLIENT RESPONSIBILITIES
a. Communication & Approval: Client agrees to promptly communicate with Arbiter IA to facilitate a successful working relationship. All Travel Product purchases are subject to Client approval before Arbiter IA proceeds with ticketing/booking. Client understands that fares and costs quoted by Arbiter IA are subject to availability and may change until Travel Products are approved by the Client and confirmed with payment.
b. Booking Intentions: By entering this agreement, Clients acknowledge their intention to book through Arbiter IA (or ATC) and commit not to book with another agent, online booking engine, or directly with a Travel Product Provider unless the relationship with Arbiter IA has been terminated in writing. Clients understand that Arbiter IA cannot book with points or miles and is not engaging in Services with the intention of using Arbiter IA’s recommendations to book Travel Products with points or miles.
c. Travel Insurance: Clients acknowledge that Arbiter IA strongly recommends the purchase of Travel Insurance. While Arbiter IA may offer insurance provider recommendations to Clients, purchasing insurance plans in a timely manner is the sole responsibility of the Client. Arbiter IA cannot advise on specific insurance policy details or complete insurance claims on behalf of the Client. If Clients decline to purchase travel insurance, they understand that Travel Product Providers typically do not offer refunds in the event of trip interruption, cancellation, or dissatisfaction; and agree not to hold Arbiter IA responsible for lost payments or additional fees resulting from trip cancellation or postponement.
d. Travel Documentation & Requirements: Clients are responsible for ensuring they possess all necessary travel documentation, passports, and visas. Arbiter IA recommends that passports be valid for at least 6 months beyond the planned departure date. Clients understand that destination and nationality may require one or more visas, and they accept responsibility for obtaining these documents. Clients also accept responsibility for reviewing, understanding, and complying with all foreign and domestic travel requirements and restrictions prior to departure, including testing, vaccinations, paperwork, and form submissions, both pre- and post-travel. Failure to meet the requirements and/or restrictions may result in fines, quarantine, or deportation at Clients’ expense.
e. Confirmation of Accuracy: Clients are responsible for promptly reviewing all travel documents and requirements upon receipt. If any discrepancies or questions arise, Clients must contact Arbiter IA within 24 hours of booking to address and rectify the issues. This includes, but is not limited to, the confirming the accuracy of final details, such as name spelling, dates of birth, dates, and locations.
f. Chargebacks: Clients accept responsibility for any chargebacks initiated by individuals in the group they represent for travel and agree not to transfer these responsibilities to Arbiter IA or Travel Product Providers. In the event that a Client initiates an improper credit card chargeback, Arbiter IA reserves the right to take legal action against the Client to recover its costs and fees, in addition to the amount claimed in the chargeback.
a. Confidential Information & Mutual Non-Disclosure: Both Arbiter IA and the Client may disclose certain confidential and proprietary information to each other during the course of this Agreement. This may include, but is not limited to, business strategies, pricing, client documents, travel tips, and other information that is not publicly available (“Confidential Information”); as well as Client details, private information, payment authorizations, and plans. Both parties agree not to disclose, directly or indirectly, any Confidential Information of the other party to any third party without the prior written consent of the disclosing party. Each party shall use the same degree of care to protect the Confidential Information of the other party as it uses to protect its own confidential information, which shall not be less than a reasonable degree of care.
c. Photo Release. Clients agree that Arbiter IA may use any images and/or video footage provided by Clients or tagged on social media for display, advertising, website, blog and magazine submissions and any other means of promotion of Arbiter Travel Co. Clients waive any right to payment, royalties or any other consideration for the use of the images. Clients waive the right to inspect or approve the finished product, including written or electronic copy, wherein Clients’ likeness appears. Arbiter IA and Arbiter Travel Co. is hereby held harmless and released and forever discharged from all claims, demands, and causes of action which Clients, their heirs, representatives, executors, administrators, or any other persons acting on Arbiter IA’s behalf or on behalf of the Clients’ estates have or may have by reason of this authorization.
VII. ASSUMPTION OF RISK, DISCLAIMER OF RESPONSIBILITY, AND LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
a. Assumption of Risk: Travel inherently involves risks, including but not limited to, those associated with transportation, accidents, weather, health, and the behavior of others. Client acknowledges these risks and assumes full responsibility for them as an integral part of their travel experience. Arbiter IA has no special knowledge of dangers during travel or at destinations. For information on potential destination risks, contact the U.S. State Department’s Travel Warnings Section at 1-888-407-4747 or visit www.travel.state.gov. For medical information, contact the Centers for Disease Control at 1-800-232-4636 or visit www.cdc.gov/travel.
b. Disclaimer of Responsibility: Arbiter IA disclaims responsibility for and shall not be liable for: (i) Acts or omissions of parties not under our control; (ii) Acts of God, unsafe conditions, terrorism, health hazards, illness, weather hazards, or the suitability for disabled individuals at destinations; (iii) Any property damage, loss, inconvenience, injury, or death related to transportation or services provided by third-party Travel Product Providers; (iv) Acts of government, wars, acts of terrorism, pandemics, epidemics, or any cause beyond Arbiter IA’s control.
c. Limitation of Liability: Client agrees that neither Arbiter IA nor its affiliates, subsidiaries, or representatives shall be liable for: (i) Property damage, including damage to baggage or personal property; (ii) Loss, delay, inconvenience, injury, or death arising from transportation or services provided by third-party Travel Product Providers; (iii) Claims related to negligence, defaults, delays, cancellations, or acts of any Travel Product Provider; (iv) Acts of God, fire, acts of government, wars, acts of terrorism, civil unrest, pandemics, epidemics, or any cause beyond Arbiter IA’s control. To the fullest extent permitted by law, Arbiter IA shall not be liable for punitive or consequential damages, emotional distress, mental anguish, lost profit, loss of enjoyment, lost revenues, or replacement costs. Clients also waive the right to seek relief from individuals associated with Arbiter IA.
d. Force Majeure: Neither party shall be liable for any delay or default in performance due to conditions beyond their control, including acts of God, fires, government restrictions, wars, insurrections, pandemics, and other causes beyond their reasonable control.
e. Dispute Resolution: Any dispute or claim arising under or in any way related to this Agreement shall be submitted to neutral, non-binding mediation prior to the commencement of arbitration or any other proceeding before a trier of fact. The parties to the dispute or claim agree to act in good faith to participate in mediation, and to identify a mutually acceptable mediator. All parties to the mediation shall share equally in its cost. If the dispute or claim is resolved successfully through the mediation, the resolution will be documented by a written agreement executed by all parties. If the mediation does not successfully resolve the dispute or claim, the mediator shall provide written notice to the parties reflecting the same, and the parties may then proceed to seek an alternative form of resolution of the dispute or claim, in accordance with the remaining terms of this Agreement and other rights and remedies afforded to them by law. Following unsuccessful resolution via mediation, any dispute or claim arising under or in any way related to this Agreement, with the exception of disputes within the jurisdiction of the California Small Claims Court (claims of $10,000.00 or less), shall be submitted to binding arbitration. The parties shall select a single arbitrator, and the arbitration shall take place in Los Angeles County, California. The arbitrator’s decision shall be binding on the Parties and judgment on the award rendered by the arbitrator may be entered in any court having jurisdiction. The prevailing party in any arbitration, trial or other proceeding related to claims and disputes arising out of this Agreement shall be awarded all filing fees, related administrative costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees. Administrative and other costs of enforcing an arbitration award or judgment, including the costs of subpoenas, depositions, transcripts, witness fees, payment of reasonable attorneys’ fees, and similar costs, will be due to the prevailing party. Client agree to present any claims against us within 30 days after your trip ends and to file suit within one year of the incident, and you acknowledge that this expressly limits the applicable statute of limitations to one year. Client agrees that the courts in Los Angeles County, California will be the exclusive jurisdiction for all claims brought by you or us, and you hereby submit to the personal jurisdiction of those courts.
f. Entire Agreement: This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties, and supersedes all prior agreements whether oral or written concerning the subject matter of this Agreement. Except as expressly stated in this Agreement, Arbiter IA has made no representation to Clients with respect to the subject matter of this Agreement, and Arbiter IA has made no representation that has induced Clients’ execution and delivery of this Agreement.
VIII. TRAVEL CONSUMER RESTITUTION FUND (TCRF) DISCLOSURES
If you reside in California, this transaction is covered by the California Travel Consumer Restitution Fund (TCRF). Eligible passengers may file a claim with TCRF if the passenger is owed a refund of more than $50 for transportation or travel services which the seller of travel failed to forward to a proper provider or such money was not refunded to you when required. The maximum amount which may be paid by the TCRF to any one passenger is the total amount paid on behalf of the passenger to the seller of travel, not to exceed $15,000. A claim must be submitted to the TCRF within 12 months after the scheduled completion date of the travel. A claim must include sufficient documentation to prove your claim and a $35 processing fee. Claimants must agree to waive their right to other civil remedies against a registered participating seller of travel for matters arising out of a sale for which you file a TCRF claim. You may request a claim form by writing to: Travel Consumer Restitution Corporation; P.O. Box 6001; Larkspur, CA 94977-6001; or by visiting TCRC’s website at: www.tcrcinfo.org. California law requires certain sellers of travel to have a trust account. Arbiter IA has a trust account.
IX. TRAVEL INSURANCE
Client acknowledges that travel insurance is strongly suggested. Arbiter IA may offer recommendations on travel insurance providers to Clients upon request, but the purchasing of plans in a timely manner is the sole responsibility of the Client. Arbiter IA cannot advise on specific details of insurance policy, nor complete insurance claims on behalf of the Client. If Client elects to purchase travel insurance, the terms of the policy will dictate whether, and to what extent, coverage for any financial loss may exist under the circumstances of a pandemic, pre-existing medical conditions, and other policy exclusions. Client should consult the travel insurance carriers directly for details. Trip insurance or waivers provided by the supplier may not offer insolvency coverage. Should Clients decline to purchase said insurance, Clients understand that typically no refunds are offered by Travel Product Providers in the event that circumstances cause interruption, cancellation or dissatisfaction with the Travel Products. Should Clients choose to waive the option of adding travel insurance, Clients agree not to hold Arbiter IA responsible for any lost payments or additional fees that may be incurred should the trip be cancelled or postponed. Arbiter IA is not an insurance agent and is not responsible for interpreting coverage of policies for Clients. By signing this Agreement, Client acknowledges that it is here within the responsibility of the Client to purchase or decline travel insurance.
X. TERMINATION OF AGREEMENT
Should Clients wish to terminate this agreement for any reason, the Service Fees shall be retained by Arbiter IA. Clients must notify Arbiter IA in writing, which includes email, and upon termination of the Agreement, Arbiter IA shall have no further responsibility with respect to working with and/or communicating with Clients. The Client is responsible for completing payment to Arbiter IA for all hours worked prior to the date of termination.