Cancellation terms (tours)

Once booked, Bhutan Hiker that are cancelled are subject to the following cancellation charges:

  • Earlier than 30 days before the start of the tour programme: 10% of the rates
  • Between 30 and 21 days before the start: 20% of the rates
  • Between 21 and 14 days before the start: 25% of the rates
  • Between 14 and 7 days before the start: 40% of the rates
  • Less than 7 days before the start or cancellation without notice: 60% of the rates
  • After arrival in Bhutan: 100% of the rates.

If you cancel your tour after you have sent payment then we will process your refund in accordance with the above list of charges. To return funds to you from Bhutan we have to request permission from the Royal Monetary Authority to send foreign currency outside Bhutan. Once we have this we have to ask the Tourism Council of Bhutan to return the funds to you, as they are still holding them at that point since your tour has not yet run. This process of arranging the refund can take some time – at busy periods even 6 to 8 weeks.

Please note also that when your currency arrives in Bhutan it is booked to Blue Poppy in local currency at the then prevailing rate of exchange. When we come to return funds to you the cost of the refund will be booked to us again at the then prevailing rate of exchange. If there has been significant fluctuation in exchange rates between the date when funds were received in Bhutan and the date the payment is refunded we reserve the right to return no more than the current US$ equivalent of the amount originally received by us in local currency, to avoid incurring a loss as a result of currency fluctuation when returning your funds for the cancelled trip.

We advise you take out insurance to cover the risk of having to cancel your trip for medical or other reasons – every year we have two or three groups who end up having to cancel after they have already paid for their trips, sometimes as little as a day or so before they fly, and it is an expensive venture if you don’t have insurance to cover the costs incurred.

Finally, note that if you have booked any nights in luxury accommodation then the cancellation terms differ according to the hotel. Generally speaking, once full payment is due on these hotels (around 30 days to 45 days before the date of stay) then no refund is available on cancellations after this point – we can provide further details of the precise terms on request.

 

Cancellation terms (flights)

Druk Air’s refund policy varies depending on the type of ticket you choose. Note that time periods for assessing refunds are calculated from when Druk Air receives notification, so there may be delays depending on opening times for their office.

When we first reserve seats for you we will be given a ticketing date.  We can continue to extend this for further periods until the flight is full at which point we need to issue the tickets to maintain the reservations for you.  Until the tickets have been issued there is no penalty if you decide to release the seats.

Changes

Once tickets have been issued, date changes can be made up to 7 days beforehand on payment of a US$10 administration charge. There is no charge for date changes in business class. Rerouting of full fare tickets is permitted once, but the ticket will then be stamped non-reroutable and non-refundable. Route changes to a sector with a lower airfare attract a US$25 administration fee.  No fee applies to route changes to a sector with a higher fare.

Please note that Druk Air reserves the right to make changes to the timing of flights at short notice and takes no responsibility for any impact such changes have on either international flight tickets or connection times for your Druk Air flights. You need to bear this in mind when selecting a non-refundable and non-reroutable flight option.

Refunds

Please note that in the unfortunate event that you have to cancel your flight tickets we will do what we can to facilitate any rebooking or processing of a request for a refund, but we are reliant on Druk Air to action any requests.  While we will do our best to assist you, we cannot commit to do more than what Druk Air will agree to according to their rules.  The basic rules are as follows:

Full fare tickets

If you ask us to cancel the reservation altogether the refund available will be calculated according to the policy of the relevant airline as at the issue of the tickets.  Please ask us if you want up to date details as it changes regularly.

The current refund policy for Druk Air as of September 2015 is as follows:

  • 90% refund for tickets cancelled 30 days or more before the date of travel
  • 75% refund for tickets cancelled between 29 days and 10 days before the date of travel
  • 50% refund permitted for tickets cancelled between 9 days and 4 days before the date of travel
  • No refund for tickets cancelled 3 days or less before the date of travel

Low season reduced fare tickets

Low season is June to August and December to February. Discounted fares are sometimes available. The rules vary from season to season, but most recently the following discounts were available:

  • 30% discount on the seat price (plus taxes) for return tickets (except Kathmandu and Bangkok routings)
  • 20% discount on the seat price (plus taxes) for one way tickets in to Paro and for any tickets on Kathmandu or Bangkok routing
  • No discount available for one way tickets out from Paro

Different terms may apply in respect of changes and cancellation for tickets issued with the benefit of the low season discount.