A travel package is a combination of at least two different types of travel services for the same trip or holiday. These travel services include:
rental of cars;
other tourist services not ancillary to transport or accommodation and accounting for a significant proportion of the package.
When these services are purchased from a travel agency or through linked travel arrangements concluded within 24 hours of the first booking, the purchase is covered by the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations.
7.1 Pre-contractual information
Before purchasing a package holiday we consumers have the right to be provided with the following information:
the destination and the mode of transport used;
the location and the category of accommodation;
the meal plan;
visits, excursions or other services included in the holiday;
where applicable, the approximate size of the group;
whether the trip or holiday is suitable for persons with reduced mobility;
the name, address and contact details of the package organiser;
total price of the package, including taxes and any other compulsory charges;
the required deposit and payment schedule;
cancellation arrangements where a minimum take-up is required for a package holiday to take place and if so, the time limit by when consumers will be informed about the cancellation;
general information about the passport and any visa requirements;
information that consumers may terminate the purchase of the package holiday at any time before the start of the package and pay an appropriate termination fee;
information on optional or compulsory insurance to cover the cost of termination of the contract by the consumer.
The pre-contractual information provided to the consumer by the package organiser is legally binding and cannot be changed unless otherwise agreed by both parties.
When a deposit is made for the purchase of a package holiday the travel agency must provide us with an insolvency fund certificate which entitles us to claim a refund of the money paid should the agency go out of business.
7.2 Changes in booked holidays
As consumers we have specific rights if the package organiser changes an essential part of the holiday and informs us about these changes after the holiday is booked and the deposit paid.
If the change in the package holiday is a significant one, we consumers should be offered the following choices:
accept the proposed change;
terminate the contract without paying a termination fee and claim a full refund of any money paid;
the possibility to choose an alternative package of equivalent, higher or lower quality. In the case of a lower quality package, we are entitled to a refund of the price difference.
The Regulations state that the package organiser can only increase the price of the package when there are additional charges directly related to transport costs, taxes or the exchange rate.
If this increase exceeds 8% of the total price of the package and we consumers feel that this is not acceptable, we may opt to terminate the contract without paying a termination fee.
In any case, the price stated in the contract cannot be increased during the 20 days before the start of the package.
7.3 Legal remedies
The organiser is responsible for the performance of the travel services included in the package travel contract, irrespective of whether the services are to be performed by the organiser or by other travel service providers.
Any lack of conformity with the original package purchased must be remedied through alternative arrangements unless it is impossible or entails disproportionate costs on the organiser.
If the alternative arrangements offered by the organiser are of a lesser value than the ones originally booked, we are entitled to proportionate compensation.
If a remedy is not provided within a reasonable period of time we consumers may make alternative arrangements and request a refund of the additional costs incurred.
We may also claim compensation or price reduction when the organiser’s proposed alternative arrangements are not acceptable to us.
Financial compensation does not apply when the lack of conformity is due to unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances beyond the organiser’s control.
7.4 Lodge a complaint
Problems that crop up during a holiday must be reported immediately to the package organiser.
The organiser must be given the possibility to fix the problem.
If an immediate solution is not possible, then the complaint should be put in writing and sent to the organiser. It is also advisable to gather as much evidence as possible to support one’s case.
If the organiser does not deal with our complaint adequately, we may then lodge a complaint with the Office for Consumer Affairs.
You can lodge your complaint by filling in and submitting the Online Form.