Tour Terms & Tour Agreement
These Tour Terms are valid for all Above Zest packaged tours and activities.
All tours are operated by Above Zest (“we”, “us”, “our” or collectively “Operator”, a subsidiary of WEG2G, LLC). Throughout this document, the term “Tour” and “Trip” are used interchangeably.
A) Tour Profile
What does the Tour Fee include?
• Accommodations in comfortable, clean, and safe hotels with bathrooms as specified in your trip itinerary.
• An Operator representative like tour lead or tour guide will be available on your trip.
• Daily breakfast and dinner for some destinations, as described upon booking.
• Comprehensive tour activities including: sight-seeing, swimming in clean, safe, and cozy beaches, hiking, mountain climbing, adventure trips, historical exploration, cultural reciprocity, educational trips, and many more as specified in your trip itinerary.
• Airport transfers and ground transportation between destination cities as specified in your trip itinerary.
• Support from Operator representatives abroad
• 24-hour inclusive emergency service
• Online tour photo gallery and tour content page
• Eligibility for discounts on other Above Zest tours
Note that we may offer other luxury and exclusive services beyond the above to our VIP tour participants.
What’s not covered by the Tour Fee?
• Beverages and lunches (except where specified)
• Optional excursions and extra activities in the itinerary
• Business and first class flight seats and/or charter flights
• Transportation to free-time activities
• Round-trip airfare
• Customary gratuities (for your tour leader, tour director, local guide, and coach driver)
• Surcharges resulting from changes in currency exchange rates
• Departure fees (which are subject to changes beyond our control)
• Any applicable baggage-handling fees or taxes imposed by the airlines
• Expenses caused by airline cancellations, rescheduling or delays caused by the airlines, bad weather or events beyond our control.
• Travel Insurance Plan
• Passport and visa fees (if applicable)
• Professional videography and photography on tour
How are departure fees and surcharges calculated?
Departure fees and surcharges are dictated by airlines and governmental agencies. These entities may charge such fees for federal or foreign government imposed landing fees, security fees, and energy/fuel increases. These fees and charges are calculated by us on an average basis of similar itineraries. The operator assesses these fees, as new information is made available, and then, updates accounts and invoices accordingly. Your online account and initial invoices received upon your upfront payment may change to incorporate any anticipated departure fees/surcharges. In the event that airlines or other affiliated agencies change their fee structure to include surcharges as part of the base fee rather than as an add-on cost, we reserve the right to adjust accounts and invoices accordingly.
How are currency fluctuation surcharges calculated?
Prices are based on foreign exchange rates are current as of Total Tour Price estimation and are subject to surcharge if and when exchange rates fluctuate.
B) Tour Service Operation
How does the tour service operate?
We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to explore the world, which means we put our hearts and minds to offer group vacation packages for long and short trips as well as local activities.
What else do I need to know about my itinerary?
Based on our travel dates, there may be incidences where we have to modify your itinerary. Sometimes this includes changing the order in which cities are visited, altering your length of stay in a city or country, or using an alternate airport. Due to local or national holidays, seasonal hours of operation or availability, special events and/or peak harvest seasons, access to certain facilities and attractions including, but not limited to, vineyards, museums, historical sites or stores may be limited. On such occasions, and whenever possible, itinerary adjustments will be made by the Operator to minimize traveler inconvenience. As a result, we do not guarantee that we provide services for all free or paid optional activities mentioned in a trip itinerary.
What do I need to know about my optional excursions?
Optional excursions may be purchased up to three days prior to departure or while on tour. All purchased optional excursions are not refundable or transferable. Additional fees may apply for optional excursions purchased on tour. Excursions require a minimum number of participants to operate. Details, day offered and prices are subject to change. Due to seasonal hours of operation and availability, some excursions may not operate. If this occurs, you will be refunded any payments made for that excursion post-tour.
What do I need to know about the group travel requirements?
The Operator reserves the right to reschedule or cancel any tour that has an insufficient number of travelers up to 30 days prior to departure date. If an insufficient number of travelers registers for your tour (not applicable to private or customized tours), you may choose another tour and/or departure date with a sufficient number of travelers, or cancel your tour without penalty. You will be responsible for all costs associated with independent travel arrangements. The Operator reserves the right to cancel a tour extension due to low enrollment. If a traveler chooses to cancel an entire tour due to a tour extension canceled by the Operator, standard cancellation fees will apply.
C) Discount Options
To enhance the quality of our tour services and include more affordability, we offer the following discount options:
-Advance Booking: all travelers who buy their tour ticket at least three months in advance of their tour date receive our Advance Booking discount. Go to Advance Booking for more details
-Group Travelers: we encourage all group travelers (two persons and more) to buy their tour ticket in groups to receive our Group Travelers discount. If your group books their ticket early enough, you may receive up to 10% discount per tour ticket. Go to Group Travelers for details
-Promotion Code: some of our tour tickets are promoted or advertised by local promoters, our travel agents, and/or our affiliated companies where they might give away promotion codes for a specific tour. On entering a valid code while buying your tour ticket, you will receive our Promotion Code discount.
D) Booking Options:
-Flexible Payment Options: to make our low tour prices more affordable, we allow all tour participants (except the VIP) to buy tour tickets and pay in multiple installments (up to 5). To be qualified for this option, you must buy your tour ticket at least three months in advance of your tour date. Go to Tour Policies for details.
-Open Order: under open order, we allow you to put (and save) your interested tour in your basket and buy it later on. Go to Open Order for details.
-Full Payment: all tour tickets can be purchased in full payment upon availability.
Can I purchase insurance through the Operator?
We strongly advise all participants to purchase travel insurance, especially if they plan to travel outside the United States.
F) Flight information
As of Nov 25 2016, we only offer outbound flights from near by Washington DC, USA airports such as Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) or Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to the destination airport as specified in the trip itinerary. All inbound flights will be landed in said DC-based airports from the destination airport as specified in the trip itinerary. Our specific contracts with airlines or charter companies do not allow upgrades, stop-overs, or the accrual of frequent flier miles.
Should I follow-through all the steps of my itinerary?
To ensure quality service and your safety, you must abide by all rules, itineraries, and plans. Only our staff, such as tour directors or tour leaders, at their sole discretion, can let you stay ahead or behind on your itinerary, or allow you to opt-out from a particular event, plan, activity, or effort. Likewise, our staff reserves the right to alter, extend, or shorten your trip, itinerary, activities, and efforts, to maintain your safe, enjoyable, and quality experience. Lastly, failure to travel on any leg of your assigned flights, according to your itinerary, will result in the cancellation of any remaining assigned flights on your itinerary. You will be responsible for purchasing a new ticket in addition to any service fees charged by the airlines.
What do I need to know about special arrangements?
Deviations from published tour itineraries (such as, but not limited to, travel dates and gateways) may include additional costs from our suppliers. Travelers not traveling on standard arrival or departure dates must arrange their own transportation to or from the airport and hotel. The Operator can arrange pre- or post-tour accommodations, when available, through a Tour Consultant or Customer Relations Representative in any Operator sales office. While fulfillment cannot be guaranteed, the Operator will make every effort to accommodate special travel requests. Please note: Due to the nature of Operator’s hotel contracts, pre- or post-stay arrangements may be in a different hotel from that of the main tour. The Operator must be notified of all special arrangement requests at least 45 days prior to the tour departure date for consideration.
Should I expect any delays in my flight?
We and our contracted airline companies do our best to ensure your flights are on time. However, the Operator is not responsible for the airline schedule changes, or mechanical, weather, or other unexpected delays beyond our control.
G) Passport and Visa
Each tour participant must obtain a passport and any applicable visas for his or her tour, prior to departure. Failure to provide the required travel documents on time shall be deemed as your tour cancellation, and will be treated according to our Cancellations and Refunds policies. Make sure your passports are valid for at least six months after your tour ends. Non-U.S. citizens are required to contact the embassy or consulate of their destination countries to ensure they meet specific entry requirements. You are responsible for checking your itinerary carefully to ensure you have the proper documentation for all countries that you will enter, including transfers between airports in foreign countries and re-entry into the United States. U.S. passport holders can visit the U.S. Department of State at travel.state.gov for further information.
What should I know for traveling to countries with special entry requirements?
Some countries like Iran or Cuba require special entry requirements for travelers from certain countries like U.S. So make sure to read the tour itinerary and trip requirement notes prior to making your reservations.
The Operator manages final rooming assignments for all travelers. While purchasing your tour tickets, you can choose your preferred roommate(s) with whom you may share a room. Before indicating your ideal roommate(s) for a tour, please verify that they are coming to the tour.
Depending on the destination and the traveler’s age category, we may offer single, twin, triple, and/or quad rooms. Also, we may offer other rooming options such as overnight stay on the train, bus, cruise or even outdoor camping as mentioned in the trip itinerary.
All hotel names, categories, and locations specified in your trip itinerary are subject to change.
I) Health and Capabilities
The pacing and physical requirements of Operator tours vary by itinerary. We recommend that you select a tour that is suitable to your physical capabilities. Certain tours require considerable walking and may pose difficulties for travelers with disabilities or impaired mobility. For example, many historic sites are only accessible on foot and involve stairs or inclines. Roads may be narrow and winding, often making it impossible for buses to drive up to your hotel. In addition, as the Americans with Disabilities Act does not apply abroad, service providers on international tours may not have the infrastructure to make special provisions or accommodate special equipment that may be required. For example, the Operator frequently uses small, family-owned hotels that may not have first-floor rooms or elevators available. In these cases, the Operator might be required to arrange accommodations for disabled passengers in a separate hotel at an additional cost. For these reasons, you are required to disclose to your Tour Consultant any physical disabilities or limitations prior to reserving your tour so Operator can help you determine the appropriateness of the selected itinerary. The Operator representatives are available to discuss any specific accommodations that disabled passengers might request and whether such requests can be reasonably arranged. The Operator reserves the right to decline any tour participant whose condition, in our opinion, or in the opinion of a third party providing services on the tour, may affect the health, safety or tour experience of other travelers.
J) Other Terms
The terms and provisions of these Tour Terms replace any other warranties, representations, terms or conditions, unless they are explicitly stated within a Tour Terms Addendum or in a letter signed by an Operator staff. The Operator makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of its publications, but it cannot be held responsible for typographical or printing errors, including, but not limited to, prices. The Operator tours are not for resale, and travelers must enroll directly with the Operator.
What are the official start and end dates of my tour?
Each tour starts with the take-off from the departure airport, and ends when the flight lands at the return airport unless specifically mentioned otherwise in the trip itinerary. The official length of our tours do not reflect stay-ahead or stay-behind option periods when participants are not accompanied by a Tour Director and/or tour leader. Read our special arrangement part for more info.
What happens if we have to cancel a tour?
The Operator may cancel any tour for events beyond its control, including without limitation, instability in a destination country, acts of God, war (whether declared or undeclared), terrorist activities, signs of violence, public health issues or quarantine, substantially high currency fluctuations as is common in the travel industry, strikes, government restrictions, fire, harsh weather conditions or insufficient traveler enrollments, which make it impossible, or commercially unreasonable in the opinion of the Operator to conduct the tour. Under any cancellations and/or tour date rescheduling made by the Operator due to the foregoing reasons, the participants shall receive refunds based on our Cancellations and Refunds policies available on our Tour Policies. Make sure to read our Tour Policies thoroughly for details. Cancellation by the Operator for foregoing causes shall not be a violation of its obligations to any participant.
What are the travelers’ age categories?
What about lost belongings?
We are not responsible for the loss of passports, tour tickets, airline tickets or other documents, or for the loss of or damage to luggage or any other passenger belongings. In the case of a lost airline ticket, the traveler is solely responsible for meeting the airline’s requirements (both logistical and financial) for ticket replacement.
Are tour supplements refundable?
We may add days or more destinations to your normal itinerary and/or offer other extra activities on your tour. ON BOOKING YOUR TOUR TICKETS, YOU CAN CHOOSE YOUR INTERESTED TOUR SUPPLEMENTS, HOWEVER, ALL TOUR SUPPLEMENTS INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, FLIGHT TICKETS, SINGLE ROOM OCCUPANCY, OPTIONAL EXCURSIONS, HEALTH INSURANCE ARE NON-REFUNDABLE.
What does my insurance include?
All travel-related insurance services are provided by the third-party companies, so make sure to check their websites for details.
I (or parent or legal guardian if a participant is under 18) am a participant for the Above Zest ( a subsidiary of WEG2G, LLC) tour program. By buying Above Zest (“our”, “we”, “us” or collectively “Operator”) tour ticket(s) through www.AboveZest.com or www.weg2g.com , I understand, agree, and adhere to following terms and provisions:
1. I understand and agree that my tour is operated by Above Zest, (“Operator”), a subsidiary of WEG2G, LLC. The words “Tour” and “Trip” are used interchangeably throughout this Agreement.
2. I understand that my tour starts with the takeoff from the departure airport or any location designated by my itinerary and ends upon my arrival at the specified location (airport or otherwise) in the trip itinerary. Regardless of travelers’ take-off or landing plan, the locations, dates and times specified in the itinerary shall determine the trip start and end dates. I also understand and acknowledge that international travel involves certain risks to personal health, safety, and property. I am willing to accept all associated risks and understand that the Operator cannot guarantee the health and safety of the participants in a foreign trip, or remove the risk from a foreign environment.
3. I agree to release and hold harmless the Operator and its parent (WEG2G, LLC), other subsidiaries of WEG2G, its affiliates, officers, employees, managers, directors, shareholders, and agents, as well as the Operator itself, and my school, my school board and group leader or director (the “Released Parties”) from liability, and agree not to take any legal action against the Released Parties for any and all claims, demands, actions, lawsuits, settlements, judgments, damages, losses, costs, and expenses of any nature whatsoever (including attorneys’ fees) related to or arising out of any and all personal injury, death, bodily injury, mental anguish, emotional distress, physical, property, or other damage that I may suffer from any cause or reason whatsoever, related in any way to my participation in any Operator tours. I also agree to release and hold harmless the Released Parties from any and all acts of God, war (whether declared or undeclared), terrorist activities or threats of terrorist activities, instability in a destination country, signs of violence, public health issues or quarantine or threats of public health issues, very high currency fluctuations as known in the travel industry, strikes, government restrictions, fire, harsh weather conditions or insufficient participant enrollments that make it impossible or commercially unreasonable at our opinion to conduct the tour, or the acts or removals of any other agents over which the Released Parties have no direct or indirect control, including, but not limited to: airlines, railways, bus companies, hotels, shipping companies, guides, and sub-contracted agents or tour operators. I understand and acknowledge that the Operator does not own or possess any entity that renders goods or services on my tour (see item 20 for details). I also release any tour directors, bus drivers or other individuals engaged in my tour. This release also applies to activities not offered by the Operator that may be considered risky.
4. I understand and acknowledge that the air carrier’s liability for loss of or damage to baggage or property, or for death or injury to person, is limited by their tariffs or the Warsaw Convention, or both.
5. I UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT THE OPERATOR SHALL HAVE NO LIABILITY WHATSOEVER OR RESPONSIBILITY FOR ME WHEN I AM ABSENT OR AWAY FROM THE OPERATOR-SUPERVISED ACTIVITIES OR FOR NON-OPERATOR SUPERVISED OR MONITORED ACTIVITIES, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION: MY CONDUCT INSIDE/OUTSIDE HOTEL ROOMS, PUBLIC PLACES, BEACHES, with OTHER PARTICIPANTS, with STRANGERS, VISITS TO FRIENDS OR RELATIVES, OR DURING STAY-AHEAD/STAY-BEHIND OPTION PERIODS IF THE STAY-AHEAD/STAY-BEHIND PERIOD DOES NOT INCLUDE THE SERVICES OF AN OPERATOR TOUR DIRECTOR.
6. I understand and agree that at the Operator’s sole discretion, the Operator may refuse or cancel my tour ticket or registration made through the Operator website. In such of an event, our Cancellations and Refunds policies shall apply.
7. I agree to adhere to the Operator’s regulations and the directions of my group leader, my tour director or Operator’s personnel during my tour. Regulations include, WITHOUT LIMITATION: Operator’s Codes of Conduct, such as the prohibition of hitchhiking, the driving or renting of any motor vehicle, or acting in such a way that puts other participants health and well-being at risk. Failure to do so may result in the Operator terminating me from the tour immediately. I understand and acknowledge that to disobey such rules or directions is to waive the right to a refund of any part of my trip, and that the Operator may then send me home at my own expense.
8. I agree to adhere to all local laws when abroad, including those concerning drugs and alcohol. Minors must have parents’ or legal guardian’s permission to drink alcohol even if the local law would otherwise permit them to. If parental permission to drink alcohol has been granted, minors may drink alcohol, and must be in the presence of the tour leader and/or tour director. I understand that if I abuse or disregard such laws, even unintentionally, I waive my right to a refund of any part of the trip, and the Operator may send me home at my own expense. I further understand that I will be subject to the laws of the country I am visiting regardless of the country of my origin.
9. I understand and agree that if I become ill or incapacitated, the Operator and its employees, or my group leader, may take any necessary action for the sake of my safety and well-being, including securing medical treatment (at my own expense) and transporting me home. The Operator reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to contact the participant’s parent(s) and/or legal guardian with respect to health issues, or any matter whatsoever that relates to the participant’s tour. These rights surpass any and all privacy regulations that may apply. In the event of a medical emergency, the Operator will make enough effort to cause appropriate treatment to be administered, and the participant authorizes the Operator to do so. However, the Operator makes no promise, warranty or guarantee that it will be able to cause effective (or any) emergency treatment to be administered.
10. I understand and agree that the Operator has the right to alter, extend, and/or shorten itineraries, tour plans or activities and departure dates or times, and to modify transportation arrangements, including the use of substitute airlines. See the provisions of our Tour Policies and Tour Terms for details.
11. I understand and agree that prices are subject to unforeseen surcharges or price increases which, if imposed by airlines or other parties, will be separately billed.
12. I understand that by buying tour ticket(s) or registering with the Operator tour services, I have made the choice to travel with the tour director, tour leaders, and the other tour organizers who will perform or guide my tour on behalf of the Operator. I understand and agree that my designated tour leader(s), tour supervisor(s) and/or tour director(s) are able to make decisions on my behalf, including, without limitation: altering, improving, extending, or shortening activities, efforts, or plans elaborated in my itineraries. I understand and agree that a tour leader and/or tour supervisor must accompany me on the tour. I agree and understand that in the event that my tour leader(s) or supervisor(s) are changed, replaced, or reassigned by the Operator, I will accept the replacement and abide by his/her guidance and direction while I’m on the tour.
13. I understand and agree that it is my responsibility to secure the necessary travel documents (such as passports and visas) unless specifically arranged by the Operator. Failure to do so does not entitle me to a refund (see Tour Terms and Tour Policies for details).
14. I understand and agree that I shall be required to pay for any phone calls or incidental personal expenses, or requests for other room and/or hotel services not covered by the Operator that I incur at the hotels, as well as for any damage I cause to the hotel rooms, buses or other property.
15. I understand and agree that the Operator has right to change the overnight stay mentioned in the trip itinerary including without limitation changing the traveler’s hotel category, location, features, and services at its sole discretion and notify the traveler as early as practically possible.
16. I understand and agree that any tour deposit payment is transferrable to another trip for up to 20 years from the deposit payment date for the same traveler as a part of our “Lifetime Deposit” service. Such deposit transfer is subject to our Tour Policy and is not refundable, cashable, and/or transferrable to another person even in case of traveler’s death or inability to book our future trips.
17. I understand and agree that it is the traveler's’’ responsibility to report its special needs to the Operator at the time of trip reservations. Due to nature of some of our trips or the lack of accessibility services by our international service providers, it may be practically impossible for some travelers such as handicapped ones to attend the trip; thus, we reserve the right to dishonor the traveler reservations with special needs that do NOT fit the trip or the itinerary activities at our sole discretion. In such events, the traveler shall be refunded according to our refund policies available at our Tour Policy page. Also, read our Tour Terms for more details on terms and conditions for travelers with special needs.
19. I understand and agree that this Agreement shall be governed in all respects, and performance hereunder shall be judged, by the laws of the state of Maryland. In the event of any claim, dispute or proceeding arising out of or related to my relationship with the Operator, or any claim which in contract, tort, or otherwise at law, or in equity arises between the Released Parties, whether or not pertinent to this Agreement, the parties submit and consent to an arbitration court according to instructions given on Appendix I.
20. I understand and agree that the Operator selects independent transportation carriers, hotels, ground operators, and other suppliers of the services connected with its trips (“Other Providers”), and those Other Providers are solely responsible and liable for providing their respective services. Neither Operator nor WEG2G owns, operates, supervises, and/or manages any person or entity which is to or does provide goods or services for the Tours, including, for example, lodging facilities of any kind, airline, vessel, or other transportation companies, local guides, guide services, or local ground operators (even if they use the Operator or WEG2G name), providers or organizers of optional excursions, food service or entertainment providers, etc. All such persons and entities are independent contractors. As a result, neither Operator nor WEG2G is liable for any negligent or willful act or failure to act of any such person or entity, or of any other third party.
21. I understand and agree that this Agreement is accompanied and incorporated by a binding Arbitration agreement included herein Appendix I.
Purchasing your tour ticket from the Operator website (www.AboveZest.com or www.weg2g.com ) shall be deemed as your acceptance and acknowledgement of the content of foregoing Agreement.
Appendix I- Binding Arbitration Agreement
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS “ARBITRATION AGREEMENT” SECTION CONTAINS PROVISIONS THAT REQUIRE (i)- WITH LIMITED EXCEPTIONS, ALL DISPUTES ARISING BETWEEN YOU (AS PARENT/GUARDIAN AND ON BEHALF OF THE STUDENT IF A PARTICIPANT IS UNDER 18 YEARS OLD) AND PROGRAM PROVIDER (AS DEFINED HEREIN) UNDER THIS AGREEMENT TO BE RESOLVED IN BINDING ARBITRATION, AND NOT IN COURT, AND (ii) YOU AND PROGRAM PROVIDER WAIVE THE RIGHT TO BRING OR PARTICIPATE IN A CLASS ACTION IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH DISPUTES. PLEASE BE SURE TO READ AND REVIEW CAREFULLY THIS ENTIRE SECTION. BY ACCEPTING THIS AGREEMENT, YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THE ARBITRATION AGREEMENT.
(1) Operator, its parents, subsidiaries and their respective employees, affiliates, officers, directors, successors, representatives and assigns (collectively “Program Provider”), and you agree that any and all disputes and claims that each of you and Program Provider may have against the other that arise out of or relate to this Agreement and the Tour, including the breach, termination, enforcement, interpretation or validity of this Addendum and the entire Agreement, including the agreement to arbitrate (the “Arbitration Agreement”) and the scope or applicability of this Arbitration Agreement (collectively, “Disputes”), including but not limited to the arbitrability of any and all Disputes, and even if the events giving rise to Disputes occurred before this Arbitration Agreement became effective, will be resolved in a binding, confidential, individual and fair arbitration process, and not in court. Each of you and Program Provider agrees to give up the right to sue in court. Each of you and Program Provider also agrees to give up the right to have Disputes heard by a jury and the ability to seek to represent, in a class action or otherwise, anyone but each of you and Program Provider (see paragraph 9 of this Arbitration Agreement below). The only exceptions to this Arbitration Agreement are that (i) each of you and Program Provider retains the right to sue in small claims court and (ii) each of you and Program Provider may bring suit in court against the other to enjoin infringement or other misuse of intellectual property rights.
(2) This Agreement evidences a transaction in interstate commerce, and thus the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. §§ 1-16, governs the interpretation and enforcement of this Arbitration Agreement. This Arbitration Agreement shall survive termination of this Agreement.
(3) Any arbitration between you and Program Provider will be conducted by the American Arbitration Association (the “AAA”) and will be governed by the AAA’s Commercial Arbitration Rules and the Supplementary Procedures for Consumer Related Disputes (collectively, the “AAA Rules”), as modified by this Arbitration Agreement. The AAA Rules are available online at www.adr.org, or by calling the AAA at 1-800-778-7879. The arbitration will be conducted by a single arbitrator. If you and Program Provider cannot agree on who that single arbitrator should be, then the AAA shall appoint an arbitrator with significant experience resolving the type of Dispute at issue. The arbitrator is bound by the terms of this Agreement.
(4) If either you or Program Provider wants to arbitrate a Dispute, you or Program Provider must first send by mail to the other a written Notice of Dispute (“Notice”) that sets forth the name, address, and contact information of the party giving notice, the specific facts giving rise to the Dispute, the Trip to which the Notice relates, and the relief requested. Your Notice to Program Provider must be sent by mail to Arbitration Notice of Dispute, c/o Business and Legal Affairs, Litigation 1525 Newton Street NW, Ste 212 Washington, DC 20010. Program Provider will send any Notice to you at the contact information Program Provider has for you or that you provide. It is the sender’s responsibility to ensure that the recipient receives the Notice. During the first 45 days after you or Program Provider sends a Notice to the other, you and Program Provider may try to reach a settlement of the Dispute. If you and Program Provider do not resolve the Dispute within those first 45 days, either you or Program Provider may initiate arbitration in accordance with the rules and procedures provided for by the AAA. A form for initiating formal arbitration may be found on the AAA’s website at www.adr.org (“Arbitration Form”). In addition to filing this Arbitration Form with AAA in accordance with its rules and procedures, you must send a copy of this completed Arbitration Form to Program Provider at the address listed above to which you sent your Notice of Dispute.
(5) AAA charges fees to conduct arbitrations. Ordinarily, the claimant has to pay that fee to start a case, but if you wish to commence an arbitration against Program Provider, and you are seeking to recover less than $5,000 (inclusive of attorneys’ fees), you will not have to pay this filing fee; Program Provider will pay it on your behalf. If you are seeking to recover $5,000 or more, you will have to pay the filing fee charged by AAA, but Program Provider will reimburse that fee if you win the arbitration.
(6) If you are seeking to recover $10,000 or less, AAA rules provide that the Dispute should be resolved without a hearing, by submission of documents only. Either you or Program Provider may request a hearing, however, and be responsible for the fees associated with it. If the arbitrator recommends a hearing, even if neither you nor Program Provider request one, Program Provider will pay the arbitrator’s fees associated with the hearing. If the claim is for more than $10,000, the manner and place of the hearing will be determined in accordance with the AAA Rules.
(7) Regardless of how the arbitration proceeds, the arbitrator shall issue a reasoned written decision sufficient to explain his or her findings and conclusions.
(8) Each of you and Program Provider may incur attorneys’ fees during the arbitration. In addition to whatever rights you may have to recover your attorneys’ fees under Applicable Law, if you prevail in the arbitration, and if Program Provider failed to make a settlement offer to you before the arbitration or the amount you win is at least 25% greater than Program Provider’s highest settlement offer to resolve the Dispute, then Program Provider will pay your reasonable attorneys’ fees in addition to the amount the arbitrator awarded. If Program Provider wins the arbitration, you will be responsible for your own attorneys’ fees. In addition, if the arbitrator, at the request of the winning party, finds that the losing party brought a Dispute or asserted a defense frivolously or for an improper purpose, then regardless of the amount in dispute, the arbitrator must order the losing party to pay both sides’ arbitration fees and may order the losing party to pay the winning party’s reasonable attorneys’ fees, unless such an award of fees is prohibited by Applicable Law.
(9) The arbitrator may award declaratory or injunctive relief only in favor of the individual party seeking relief and only to the extent necessary to provide relief warranted by that party’s individual claim. The arbitrator may not order Program Provider to pay any monies to or take any actions with respect to persons other than you, unless WEG2G explicitly consents in advance, after an arbitrator is selected, to permit the arbitrator to enter such an order. YOU AND PROGRAM PROVIDER AGREE THAT EACH MAY BRING CLAIMS AGAINST THE OTHER ONLY IN YOUR OR ITS INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY AND NOT AS A PLAINTIFF OR CLASS MEMBER IN ANY PURPORTED CLASS, REPRESENTATIVE OR MULTI-CLAIMANT PROCEEDING. Further, unless Program Provider agrees, the arbitrator may not consolidate other persons’ claims with yours, and may not otherwise preside over any form of a representative, multi-claimant or class proceeding. If this specific provision is found to be unenforceable, then the entirety of this Arbitration Agreement shall be null and void, but the rest of this Agreement, including the provisions governing where actions against Program Provider must be pursued, will remain in effect.
(10) You and Program Provider agree to maintain the confidential nature of the arbitration proceeding and shall not disclose the fact of the arbitration, any documents exchanged as part of any mediation, proceedings of the arbitration, the arbitrator’s decision and the existence or amount of any award, except as may be necessary to prepare for or conduct the arbitration (in which case anyone becoming privy to confidential information must undertake to preserve its confidentiality), or except as may be necessary in connection with a court application for a provisional remedy, a judicial challenge to an award or its enforcement, or unless otherwise required by law or court order.