As of the 1st July 2018 the Package Travel Directive receives updates to bring it into the 21st Century. The Directive now covers combined travel arrangements as many consumers tailor holidays to their own requirements. The widening of the package travel rules means that travellers will have more options to cancel a contract and get clear advance information on who is ultimately responsible if something goes wrong.
What's new in the Package Travel Directive?
The new rules will cover two types of contracts:
- Package deals (pre-arranged by tour organisers or customised by the traveller) and
- ‘linked travel arrangements’
Under the new rules, package holidays consist of two or more travel services - such as flights, accommodation, car hire or other tourist services such as guided tours - bought from one single trader or offered by travel agents with different traders at a total price. ‘Linked travel arrangements’ is when you book one travel service on one website and then you are then invited to book another service through a link. eg car hire booking through a flight booking website. These “click-through” bookings will be considered as part of the original package as long as the traveller’s name, payment details and email address are transferred automatically between traders within 24 hours of the original sale being concluded. In these cases, the full protection for packages will apply.
Please Note: If you have a Linked Travel Agreement you will not be afforded the same remedies as a package unless your details were automatically transferred to the second provider by the facilitator (organiser). If the facilitator (organiser) goes bust then you will have insolvency protection but if the linked provider goes bust you will not be affored any protection
What Information Must a Company Provide?
The new rules improve consumer rights when purchasing a package holiday. Prior to the concluding the Package Holiday contract, the company has to provide certain information in advance. This includes:
- The Price and Arrangements for Payment
- The need for Documents or any Health Formalities
- The need for Optional or Complusory Insurance
- Insolvency Information
You should also be advised of the companies trading name and the contact details of the package travel facilitator (organiser).
Cancelling or Amending the Package Before Travel
Sometimes things can change and you may not be able to travel due to medical reasons or something else. In this event you can:
- Cancel the contract by paying a fee or
- Under certain conditions you can transfer your package travel to another traveller
What if the Price Increases?
If the contract explicitly states that there is a posibility of the price increasing before travel you have the right to terminate the contract, and get a refund, if the price increase is more than 8% of the total agreed price.
Other Entitlements to a Refund
You may be entitled to a refund in the event that unavoidable or extraordinary circumstances that significantly affect the performace of the package or the transportation to your destination occur.
Problems After Your Holiday or When You Arrive at Your Destination
If anything was not as it was detailed in the package the facilitator (organiser) has to make the problems right. You will be entitled to:
- A Price Reduction
If the facilitator (organiser) goes bust here is what you need to know. The facilitator (organiser) is obliged to provide security for the refund of all payments made and repatriation when needed.