Booking Travel Online? What You Should Read in the Fine Print!

It’s common to book travel online now and even more so to skim over the imperative terms and conditions. Whether you’re booking flights, searching for hotels online, or purchasing travel insurance, reading the fine print is one of the most important things you can do. All too often people who don’t take the time to read the fine print are in for a nasty (and often costly) surprise if something goes wrong. Print this out and use it when you are booking a trip online. Take your time and read everything!

Trip Cancellation and Changes

Unlike buying a gym membership, there is no cooling off period in Ontario when it comes to booking travel online. A booking is a booking! In Ontario there is no consumer protection legislation that applies to the purchase of travel services. The travel agency or tour operator is not obligated to provide you with any concessions or special considerations, especially after you agreed to the terms & conditions during booking. When buying travel services online, the best way to ensure the benefits of Ontario’s consumer protection is to book with a TICO registered travel agency website.

□ The Cancellation Terms

Pay special attention to the terms that relate to cancellation, changes to bookings and refundability. If you have to cancel, make a change or want a refund, you may be stuck with a large penalty or worse, such as 100% loss of your money. Always review this information to be aware of what applies to your booking purchase. Travel Online Flights

□ Terms for Travel Booking Changes

When purchasing travel services online, be sure to carefully look over all the information you entered during the booking process. It’s easy to get distracted or book too quickly due to the excitement of getting away. It may seem like a simple change to you, but to most travel operators changes are not allowed. These changes may be treated as cancellations which can result in a significant cost to you. Checking over the following highlighted areas can save you from a costly error. A few things to review include:
  • Travel dates
  • Flight departure and arrival times
  • Flight destination points
  • Legal spelling of each traveler’s name
  • Total cost of the trip with tax
Just before you enter your payment information, review your entire trip details one more time to make sure that all of your travel details are correct. Print out your email confirmation page so that you have all your booking and payment details handy. Travel online booking fine print  

□ Travel Insurance Terms & Conditions

We always recommend that you purchase travel insurance. Ontario online travel agencies are required to advise purchasers of the availability of travel insurance during the booking process. There are many different forms of travel insurance and situations where you may need it. The unexpected can always occur and you could find yourself in a situation where you might need to change your travel plans.  It is always a good idea to consider purchasing trip cancellation insurance. Depending on the circumstances and the policy terms, it could allow you to cancel without incurring any addition penalties. If you’re flying, your credit card company may offer travel protection insurance that includes coverage for trip cancellation, interruption and delay, and loss of baggage and personal effects. Wherever you obtain your travel insurance coverage from, make sure you understand the policy and the coverage that it provides to ensure it meets your needs to avoid disappointment.

□ Special Considerations for Travel Medical Insurance

If you’ve ever gotten sick or were injured before or during travelling, you understand the importance of travel medical insurance. You may purchase medical insurance as part of your online travel booking or separate. Review the policy carefully to ensure that it fits your needs, and make sure that it includes health, life, and disability coverage. Things to look for:
  • Any exclusion in the insurance such as your age or length of time away.
  • If you have a pre-existing condition, make sure it’s covered.
  • Find out if there is a deductible and how much it is.
Yes, it’s quick and easy to book travel services online. But before you hit send, always read the fine print and review all your booking details. If you have any hesitations or would like help to book a trip, it’s best to seek a TICO registered Travel Agent. ——————–

Book with a TICO Registered Travel Agency

To verify if a travel agency or website is TICO registered, check our online directory. Take the TICO Traveller Quiz to see what type of traveller you are. Sign up to receive quarterly travel consumer protection email updates. For more travel tips and information, visit the Smart Traveller Guide. All travel agencies and websites located and operating in Ontario are regulated by TICO. Registered travel agencies and websites provide additional consumer protection for your travel investment that may not be available when booking with travel agencies and websites based in other countries or provinces. For more information about how TICO helps, click here. Any questions can be directed to or 1-888-451-TICO (8426).