The new EU Package Travel Directive, ensures all travellers get the same holiday protection.

From 1 July this year, travel agents must take responsibility for each aspect of a holiday someone books with them in a single transaction. The new rules make travel firms responsible for every aspect of the holiday, and sorting out any problems falls to them. This means that the travel providers must ensure the holiday is as promised, even if they do not actually provide the service they are selling. For example, if you book a flight transfer, excursion and something goes wrong, it is up to the company you booked it through to sort it out and provide a refund if appropriate.

The majority of online travel agents have not taken full responsibility when parts of their customers holiday goes wrong. They have often shifted blame onto service providers instead, in fact many travel providers assume the position that because they are acting as a booking agent, they accept no liability or responsibility for the acts or omissions of, or services provided by travel suppliers.

This is now all set to change, as the EU directive has stepped in and holding travel firms accountable. This stance on customer service by providers is no longer acceptable under these new rules. So, if a flight is delayed or cancelled, or the hotel is below the promised standard, the travel firm must address the problem.

The new legislation, The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018, means that if a holiday is sold in a single transaction, the organiser is responsible for it. This will greatly increase consumer protection.

To qualify as a package, the traveller must buy transport and another element such as accommodation, car rental or an organised tour.

One controversial element of the new rules is that holidaymakers have the right to cancel, with a full refund, in the event of unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances occurring at the place of destination. Or its immediate vicinity and which significantly affect the performance of the package, or the carriage of passengers to the destination.

The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018, only applies to bookings made from 1 July 2018 onwards and not for holidays after that date which were booked earlier.

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