28th October 2015
Under new European rules passed today, travellers putting together their own package holidays online will get the same protection as those buying from traditional travel agents.
South West MEP Ashley Fox said, “These new rules bring our consumer rights further into the digital age and will reassure holiday makers when they book " The changes update the current EU rules on package holidays, which date back to 1990. Since then, the growth in cheap flights and internet sales have substantially changed how travellers plan and buy holidays, with more consumers opting for "click-through" deals offered by travel providers linking with other tourism operators.
The deal also strengthens holidaymakers’ rights, by enabling them to cancel a package deal contract if its price rises by more than 8%, get help if they encounter difficulties or get transport home if a tour operator goes bust.
Online package organisers will need to obtain insolvency protection, so as to ensure that holidaymakers whose travel organiser goes bust while they are on a trip are refunded in full and repatriated.
If "unavoidable" and "unforeseen" events such as natural disasters or terrorist attacks make it impossible for traveller to return home on time, the organiser would also have to pay for a stay of a maximum of three nights while bringing them home.
Mr Fox concluded, "Holidays should be fun and relaxing. These new rules will provide reassurance for all holiday makers that if something goes wrong, they will receive the same protections as those buying traditional holidays ."