General requirements for operator-participant contracts.
(a) Except for telephone sales for which payment is made by credit card as described in paragraph (b) of this section, the charter operator shall not accept payment from or on behalf of a prospective participant unless the participant has agreed to the conditions of the charter by signing an operator-participant contract as described in § 380.32. If a member of a group that will travel together pays for the group, that member may sign the contract on behalf of the group.
(b) For telephone sales only, the charter operator may accept payment by credit card without the participant having first signed an operator-participant contract provided that the charter operator first advises the customer:
(1) That he or she has the right to receive the operator-participant contract before making a booking;
(2) That the operator-participant contract will be mailed to the participant within 24 hours of accepting payment by credit card; and
(3) That the operator-participant contract must be signed, and the signed portion returned to the operator, before travel.
(4) A full refund must be made of any amounts charged to a credit card for any participant who cancels before the operator-participant contract is signed.
(c) The contract form may include a space that participants may check to authorize the charter operator to retain their money while attempting to make other arrangements for them if there is no space available on the flight or on specific alternative flights they have requested.
(d) If there is no space available on the flight or specific alternative flights requested by the participant the operator shall return all the participant's money within 7 days after receiving it unless the participant, in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section, has authorized the operator to retain the payments while the operator attempts to make other arrangements for the participant. If the operator retains the payments while attempting to make other arrangements for the participant, it shall notify the participant of the fact within 7 days after receiving the payments, but in no event later than the departure. For the purpose of the time periods in this paragraph, receipt of money by a travel agent on behalf of a charter operator will not be considered as receipt by the operator.
(e) Except as set forth in § 380.33a for operator's option plan contracts, the operator-participant contract shall not specify alternative dates for the outbound or return flights, or alternative origin or destination cities for any flight leg.
(f) The contract form shall be printed in 7-point or larger type. The statements required by paragraph (a), (f), (h), (l), (r), (s), and (x) of § 380.32 shall be printed so as to contrast with the rest of the contract by the use of bold-faced type, capital letters, or a type size that is at least 50 percent larger than that used for the rest of the contract.
(g) The contract form shall include a space that participants may check to indicate that they wish to be furnished details of trip cancellation, health, and accident insurance.
(h) The contract form shall be designed so as to enable participants to retain a copy of the general terms and conditions after signing it. The specific information supplied by participants (such as choices of dates, cities, or other options) need not be retainable.