New EU rules ensure better protection for 120 million holidaymakers this summer

Jourova Justice 2018

Statement by Vĕra Jourová, Member of the EC, on a voluntary commitment on product safety sold online. © European Union , 2018 / Photo: Lukasz Kobus.

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.

As of Sunday 1 July, travellers booking package holidays will enjoy stronger consumer rights.

Not only will traditional package holidays be covered, the new rules will also protect consumers who book other forms of combined travel, including self-customised packages, where the traveller chooses different elements from a single point of sale online or offline. The new rules will also introduce protection for ‘linked travel arrangements’ when the traveller purchases travel services at one point of sale, but through separate booking processes, or, after having booked one travel service on one website, is invited to book another service on a different website.

Vӗra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality said: “Booking your holidays online is easy, but if something goes wrong you want to be sure to be fully protected. The new package travel rules are now adapted to the digital age and the new ways of booking holidays. Travellers will also benefit from new rights and be well protected in case the operator goes bankrupt. The new rules will also make it easier for travel businesses to offer their services cross-border.”

The new rules will benefit consumers even more with:

  • Clearer information for travellers: Businesses must inform travellers whether they are offered a package or linked travel arrangement, and on their key rights through standardised information forms. They must provide clear information on the features and characteristics of the package, its price and any additional charges.
  • Money-back and repatriation in case of bankruptcy: Companies selling package holidays must take out insolvency protection. This guarantee covers refunds and repatriation in case organisers go bankrupt. This guarantee also applies to linked travel arrangements.
  • Clearer rules on liability: The organiser of the package is liable if something goes wrong, no matter who performs the travel services.
  • Stronger cancellation rights: With the new rules, travellers may cancel their package holiday for any reason by paying a reasonable fee. They may cancel their holiday, free of charge should their destination become dangerous for example because of war or natural disasters, or if the package price is raised over 8% of the original price.
  • Accommodation if the return journey cannot be carried out: Where travellers cannot return from their package holidays, for instance in the case of natural disasters, travellers are granted accommodation for up to three nights if they cannot return from their holiday on time. Additional nights are covered in line with the relevant passenger rights regulations.
  • Assistance to travellers: The package organiser must also provide assistance to travellers in difficulty, in particular, by providing information on health services and consular assistance.

The new rules will also benefit businesses, with:

  • Clearer rules, making cross-border activities easier: Businesses will now have to deal with one set of rules on information requirements, liability and other obligations across the EU. National insolvency schemes are now also recognised across the EU. These measures will allow companies to operate across the EU as if they were at home.
  • Modernised information requirements no longer based exclusively on travel brochures: the fact that traders will not have to reprint brochures is expected to save them €390 million per year.
  • Reduced regulatory burden: Business travel arranged under a framework agreement, for instance with a specialised travel agency, will no longer be covered by the Directive.

Next steps

Member States had to implement the rules in national legislation by 1 January 2018. There was then a six-month transition period, until 1 July, which is the date when the national measures transposing the Directive will start applying. The Commission will examine how the rules have been transposed and are applied in the Member States. It will take appropriate follow-up measures as necessary.

Background

To extend the protection offered by the 1990 EU Package Travel Directive, the Commission made the proposal in July 2013, which was formally adopted by the European Parliament and Member States in November 2015. These new rules were to be transposed by Member States by 1 January 2018. As of 1 July, these rules are applicable in the Member States.

The new rules apply to combinations of at least two types of travel services (transport, accommodation, car rental or other services, for example guided tours) including:                                  

  • packages, such asready-made holidays from a tour operator as well as now also customised selection of components by the traveller bought from a single online or offline point of sale;
  • linked travel arrangements, for instance, when the traveller purchases travel services at one point of sale, but through separate booking processes, or, after having booked one travel service on one website, is invited to book another service on a different website, provided that the second booking is made within 24 hours.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Focus on EU’s external action and building our stronger inner core: von der Leyen at the Special European Council

EU to finance new investment projects with extra borrowing; French and Italian deficits to be tolerated

How responsible businesses can step forward to fight coronavirus

‘Crippling to our credibility’ that number of women peacekeepers is so low: UN chief

Italy’s populist government appears determined to drive EU economy and markets into recession

Women outliving men ‘everywhere’, new UN health agency statistics report shows

4 ways governments can support start-ups and save their economies

UN chief condemns deadly attacks in Afghanistan

The Indian miracle state pointing the way to global sustainability

How studying genetics and lifestyle can shape a healthier MENA region

Trade: EU-Singapore agreement to enter into force on 21 November 2019

‘Grave consequences’ await if new deadly escalation of violence in Gaza continues – top UN official

EU Parliament approves CETA: the EU-Canada free trade deal sees the light in Trump’s gloomy era

Writing a new story in gender inequalities: women gaining space and respect in medicine

Asia and Pacific on course to miss all Sustainable Development Goals, says UN region chief

Unanswered questions for Europe’s youth in President Juncker’s State of Union

INTERVIEW: UN’s top official in North Korea foresees ‘surge’ in humanitarian aid

Despite progress, companies face gender equality ‘backlash’: UN business body

International partners pledge $1.2 billion to help cyclone-hit Mozambique recover, ‘build back better’

ITU Telecom World 2016: it’s all about working together

We’re facing a ‘cold crunch,’ and it’s nothing to do with the polar vortex

How we can build our way out of the crisis

Suffering of thousands of war-affected Syrian children ‘unprecedented and unacceptable’

FROM THE FIELD: India’s plastic waste revolution

Post-Brexit muddled times: the resignation of UK’s top ambassador and Theresa May’s vague plans

Can the EU afford to block China’s business openings to Europe by denying her the ‘market economy status’?

Worldwide UN family celebrates enduring universal values of human rights

How bad is the Eurozone economy? The ECB thinks too bad

6.1 billion EUR for sustainable fisheries and safeguarding fishing communities

Libya: Attack on foreign ministry, an attack on all Libyans, stresses UN envoy

Coldplay stop touring to save the world: is pop music going sustainable?

These are the world’s most tree-covered countries

Pakistan: UN strongly condemns terrorist attack that leaves scores dead and wounded at election rally

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: Unprecedented Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction to Combat Climate Change

First calls under Horizon Europe to be launched by the European Research Council

Women ‘vital’ to peace efforts and ensuring long-lasting stability in Afghanistan

Amazon wildfires are tomorrow’s breathtaker

UN chief condemns explosion at election rally in Zimbabwe that injured dozens, including senior politicians

This incredibly detailed map of Africa could help aid and development

EU Citizenship Report: empowering citizens and protecting their rights

Use “blockchain” model to cut small firms’ costs and empower citizens, urge MEPs

“ASEM: Global Partners for Global Challenges”, a Sting Exclusive by China’s Ambassador to the EU

115 rejections and no pay. What it really takes to be an entrepreneur

What Mary Poppins teaches us about behavioural economics

The economic cost of anti-vaccination movements in Italy

Medical students and their ability to edify women’s rights

Reconciliation helps ‘repair fractures’, enable lasting peace, Security Council hears

The challenge to be a good healthcare professional

Drought in Europe: Member States agree on support measures proposed by the Commission

State aid: Commission approves €24.7 million of Italian support to compensate Alitalia for further damages suffered due to coronavirus outbreak

This is the world’s greenest football club – and you’ve probably never even heard of it

EU budget: Commission proposes major funding increase for stronger borders and migration

11 lessons the history of business can teach us about its future

The road ahead to building a more sustainable world

Protests, violence in Haiti prompts international call for ‘realistic and lasting solutions’ to crisis

Mental health and suicide prevention: the contradictory access in a reference city of southern Brazil

Coronavirus: a common path to Europe’s safe re-opening

UN launches innovative programme to detect and disrupt terrorist travel

Superbugs: MEPs advocate further measures to curb use of antibiotics

The World Bank’s 2020 country classifications explained

More Stings?

Comments

  1. Interesting article

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s