Volunteer Resource Site

Travel Booking

Learn more about Global Brigades’ and Airlines’ travel policies and what it takes to start the flight booking process
for your brigade!

ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURES

Airports

The following airports will be used for volunteer arrivals and departures:

  • Honduras – Tegucigalpa (TGU), or if cost-prohibitive, San Pedro Sula (SAP)
  • Guatemala – Guatemala City (GUA)
  • Ghana – Accra (ACC)
  • Panama – Panama City (PTY)
  • Greece – Athens (ATH)

Arrival/Departure Windows

All volunteers must arrive and depart within the following windows of time:

Honduras – Arrive and depart between 8 am-3 pm for TGU. Arrive and depart between 10 am-2 pm for SAP. Any groups arriving in SAP after 2 pm will stay overnight in a hotel in San Pedro Sula upon their arrival but an extra $70 USD ($90 CAD/50 GBP) is added to the volunteer’s donation goal to accommodate logistics. 

Guatemala – Arrive and depart between 10 am-2 pm to GUA. All brigades will arrive on Sunday and depart on Saturday.

Ghana – Arrive between 8 am-1 pm to ACC. Any groups arriving in Accra after 1 pm will stay overnight in a hotel in Accra upon their arrival. Depart after 3 pm.

Panama – Arrive between 8 am- 5 pm to PTY. Depart between 12 pm-10 pm. Flights may be accommodated outside of that time frame with an overnight stay in local hotels to avoid night travel, but an extra $30 USD ($40 CAD/ 25 GBP) is added to the volunteer’s donation goal to accommodate logistics.

Greece – Arrive and depart between 8 am-6 pm to ATH. Flights may be accommodated outside of that time frame with an overnight stay in local hotels to avoid night travel, but an extra $70 USD ($90 CAD/50 GBP) is added to the volunteer’s donation goal to accommodate logistics.

ARRIVAL FLIGHT POLICY

If a volunteer arrives on a flight that differs from the group reservation for more than 1 hour, $100 USD ($130 CAD/80 GBP) will be added to the volunteer’s Donation Goal. Healthcare Professionals and University Faculty are exempt from this policy.

BAGGAGE

Baggage Allowances

Baggage allowances are determined by the airline. All volunteers should refer to the airline’s website to determine baggage allowances. Airlines may change their baggage policies without notice. All baggage charges must be paid at the airport at the time of check-in by credit card. It is the volunteers’ responsibility to cover any baggage charges. TIP: reach out to the airline to see if luggage fees can be waived, this must be done ahead of time because the process may take several weeks to confirm.


Missing Baggage 

Please be advised that your personal belongings are your responsibility at all times during your brigade. Should your personal luggage get lost or stolen during your brigade, Global Brigades team members will assist in seeking coverage from the insurance policy provided. We strongly recommend bringing all of your personal items in carry-on luggage to avoid the airline losing any checked luggage. Any and all luggage lost or stolen during transit to or from your home country and your brigade country shall be the responsibility of the airline and not Global Brigades.

ADDING PERSONAL TRAVEL TO YOUR BRIGADE

Pre-Brigade Travel

Volunteers seeking to travel prior to brigade must obtain prior approval from Travel Team Member and provide the following information:

  • Proposed dates/location of travel
  • Flight information (itinerary and flight #)
  • Address(es) for accommodation (if in-country)
  • Phone number they can be reached at prior to the brigade

If approved, the volunteer must:

  • Book flights independently
  • Sign Alternative Travel Waiver
  • Meet group at the airport at least 1 hour prior to group flight arrival time

Post-Brigade Travel

Volunteers seeking to travel post brigade must obtain prior approval from Travel Team Member and:

  • Volunteer must sign Alternative Travel Waiver
  • Volunteer must book flights independently

Book Your Travel

BOOKING WITH GLOBAL BRIGADES

All volunteers have the opportunity to book flights through Global Brigades. Booking through GB allows for consolidation of the flight booking process and for volunteers to fundraise towards their flight goals directly through MyBrigades. GB books travel through our in-house travel team, Global Brigades Travel, which is based out of Nicaragua. Groups booking flights through GB will be assigned a travel team member and the Brigade Leader will facilitate all communications between volunteers, the PA, and the travel team member. Meet Global Brigades’Travel Team:

Group Flight Booking

Group reservations require a minimum of 10 passengers all traveling on identical itineraries (i.e. same departure, return cities, and travel dates). Flights are reserved in advance by making a deposit to the airline and then purchased in full later, at the ticketing deadline.

Deviation Flight Booking

Groups that fall below 10 passengers must be booked through deviation reservations. Any passengers flying from different airports or on different dates than the group will also need to be booked as deviations. Flights for deviations must be confirmed by the brigader and the brigader must upload the full flight contribution within 24 hours of receiving a quote.

**Please note if partaking in pre or post brigade travels GB cannot book your flights. 


BOOKING INDEPENDENTLY

Volunteers that prefer to book flights on their own MUST submit their intended itinerary PRIOR to purchasing a ticket to their Travel Team Member in order to receive approval. All itineraries must be submitted for approval by Global Brigades staff no later than 60 days before the brigade (90 days before the brigade for Ghana).  An Alternative Transportation Liability Waiver must be filled out and signed by each person traveling on tickets purchased independently of Global Brigades. The chapter leader should also collect the hard copies of these waivers and bring them on their brigade.

For more information and step by steps on flight booking processes, please watch GB’s Travel Process Webinar for US and Canada chapters and for UK and Germany chapters

Flight Changes and Cancellations

CHANGE FLIGHT RESERVATION

  • All travelers’ names must be spelled exactly as they appear on their passport; travelers may be denied boarding at the airport if there are any misspellings or incomplete names.
  • At the time of ticketing, final names & fundraising are due for all travelers; any changes after ticketing are subject to airline penalties.
  • Changes to itineraries are possible, but prices may increase due to applied change fees and the difference in the new fare.
  • Name changes or corrections may be made on group tickets only up to 48 hours before departure and are subject to airline penalties. Global Brigades is not financially liable for correcting any inaccurate information (dates, names, etc.) submitted by the brigade leader or volunteers.
  • Adding additional travelers to a group flight reservation after ticketing will require a separate reservation at the current published fare rate.

Reach out to your Chapter Leader and/or Travel Team member to request any changes! 


CANCEL FLIGHT RESERVATION

  • All cancellations are subject to loss of deposit before ticketing.
  • If the ticket has been issued, the reservation may be granted a flight voucher. 
  • Vouchers carry a change fee that is set based on each airline policy, which is applied in order for the voucher to be used.
  • Global Brigades will work to advocate to try and get any airline applied fees waived, however, we are unable to promise whether the airline will be flexible
  • If you have any last-minute volunteer cancellations, please be sure to let Global Brigades know as soon as possible. It is also recommended that the volunteer either calls directly to the airline or communicates this to their Chapter Leader, in order to cancel the reservation at the moment of check-in and avoid losing your ticket value for a no-show. 

Reach out to your Chapter Leader and/or Travel Team member to request any cancellations! 


AIRLINE DELAYS AND CANCELLATIONS

  • Be sure to keep us updated if there have been any changes to your flight itinerary.
  • NON-EMERGENCIES should go to your Program Associate via email. EMERGENCIES (flight is delayed or canceled on the day of travel) can be directed to Global Brigades at +1-206-489-4798 or email admin@globalbrigades.org.
  • If flight cancellations by the airline occur on the day of travel, it is best to seek face-to-face assistance. 
  • If possible, go to the airport and speak directly with the airline to get rescheduled or call one of the numbers below.

Airline Numbers to Call for Group Reservations

 Airline Contact Information
United Airlines International Reservations: +1-800-864-8331
United Group Desk number is: +1-800-426-1122
British Airways Groups Desk: +1-877-359-4777
Turkish Airways Groups Desk: +1-212-261-0470 ext: 149823
Lufthansa Airlines Groups Department: +1-866 954-4768
American Airlines Groups Department: +1-800-221-2255
Groups Help: +1-800-433-1790
Delta/KLM Groups Department: +1-800-337-4777
Air France Airlines General Reservations: +1-800-221-1212
Taca Groups Department: +1-888-212-2647
Avianca Airlines General Reservations: +1-800-400-8222
Aeromexico Airlines General Reservations : +1-800-237-6639
COPA Airlines General Reservations: +1-800-359-2672

Visa and Passports

It is the responsibility of each volunteer to secure a valid passport and any visas required to travel to their destination country.  If your country of citizenship is not included in the following document, contact your local embassy or consulate and airline to determine if there are visa requirements that apply to your nationality and destination country. 

PASSPORT REQUIREMENTS

All volunteers must have a passport valid for at least 6 months from the last date of their intended brigade. Passports expiring before this must be renewed prior to travel. Please begin any necessary passport procurement or renewal processes 3-4 months before the intended brigade. This is an immigration policy, not a Global Brigades policy. View this document and select your country of citizenship to view passport information from your government website.


VISA REQUIREMENTS

Every individual is responsible for his/her own visa processing and costs. Global Brigades is not responsible for a volunteer being denied entry into their destination country due to the lack of proper documentation. Please begin any necessary visa procurement processes 3-4 months before the intended brigade. View this document and navigate to the page for your country of citizenship to view specific visa information. 

Carbon Offsetting

GREEN YOUR BRIGADE!

As an environmentally conscious organization, Global Brigades supports volunteers that wish to offset their carbon emissions from air travel. This initiative is open to all volunteers participating in any type of brigade throughout Honduras, Panama, Guatemala, Ghana, and Greece.

Approximately 9,000 volunteers participate in Global Brigades’ development projects each year in Honduras, Panama, Guatemala, Ghana, and Greece. This positive impact on GB partner communities comes with a considerable toll on the environment due to emissions from air travel. We feel it is our responsibility to take a stand and make Global Brigades a truly sustainable development organization, so we’ve developed a carbon offsetting program in partnership with ANCON, an environmental organization located in Central America.

Air travel is responsible for an increase in greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere, which accelerates the effects of climate change and ocean acidification. By offsetting your flight, we not only acknowledge our shared responsibility for the effects of our actions, but we are actively working to counter the consequences of our travel. By simply donating to offset the emissions of your flight, you are simultaneously promoting sustainability, conservation, and a better world for the future. To offset your flight, select the option when completing your MyBrigades Roster Questionnaire Survey or contact your Program Associate (PA). If you have any additional questions, please review these Carbon Offsetting FAQs.

Packing for your Brigade

The packing list provided here will serve as general guidelines of things to bring or not to bring on a brigade. Please be sure to contact your airline to confirm baggage allowances prior to travel.

GENERAL PACKING TIPS

  • The weather is typically hot and humid. Clothing may get wet, muddy, or dirty.
  • Pack light. Try to avoid checking personal items. Global Brigades is not liable for lost baggage.
  • Keep personal medicine in their original prescription bottles and always in your carry-on luggage.
  • Bring plastic resealable bags to keep personal belongings (e.g. camera) dry.
  • Always carry a copy of your passport and other important documents with you.
  • Do NOT bring expensive jewelry, fancy clothing, or unnecessary electronics.

DRESS CODE

Every volunteer is representing Global Brigades while in communities and should dress conservatively while in communities. While at the lodging facility, volunteers are permitted to wear shorts/leggings, flip flops, tank tops, etc.

Inappropriate clothing for community 

  • SCRUB TOPS
  • Leggings or other excessively form-fitting/revealing clothes
  • Crop tops or tank tops 
  • Dresses 
  • Shorts (of any length) 
  • Flip flops or sandals
Appropriate clothing for community 

  • T-shirts or long-sleeve shirts
  • Long pants
  • Close-toed shoes or tennis shoes
  • Scrub pants only

Lodging Facilities

Groups are typically assigned to a lodging facility 2-3 weeks before the brigade. Assignments are made based on group size, proximity to the community, available space on the compound, etc. The Lodging Facilities document is where you can find updates about lodging in each of the Global Brigades programming countries that GB currently uses and plans to use. This document will provide general information about each facility and information about the accommodations available at each destination. 

Travel FAQ

View some questions we are frequently asked about booking brigade travel with Global Brigades.  Don’t see your question listed? Contact your Program Associate for more information.

Why are online prices cheaper than group reservation quotes?

Prices you see online are published fares (for one individual, not a group) and are 24-hour reservations. After purchasing several individual tickets at a time (5-6), there is an incremental increase in ticket prices for the fare. As a result, the “savings” from the initial quote end up outweighing the overall group increases. This is why group booking is ultimately more financially sensible.

Can I use my frequent flyer miles to book flights?

If brigaders would like to use miles to book airfare, they must book flights directly with the airlines, independent of Global Brigades. A third party (ex. Global Brigades Travel) cannot apply an individual’s miles towards flights.

However, you are able to accrue miles through flights booked through Global Brigades. Contact your brigade leader to see how your frequent flyer number can be added to your ticket.

What happens if flight funds are not raised in time?

If the full amount of the airfare is not raised on the fundraising page by the appropriate deadline, the reservation will be cancelled, and any deposits already paid may be lost. Volunteers will need to begin the flight booking process again to find new flights.

Is my ticket refundable or transferrable?

Once issued, tickets are not transferable.

The refund policy depends on the airline and fare paid. If tickets were booked through Global Brigades, any refunds from airlines will be issued to Global Brigades. From there, refunds from Global Brigades to individual volunteers or donors will follow our organization’s Cancellation & Refund Policies.