Package travel

You have the right to expect the package holiday you paid for. If it’s not, the company you booked with is responsible for putting things right or you can claim compensation.

New directive

As of the 1st July 2018 there are new rules which cover two types of travel:

  • Package Holidays
  • Linked Travel Arrangement

A package holiday is when you book more than one part of your holiday through the same travel agent or website.

A Linked Travel Arrangement is when you buy one part of your holiday and then are prompted to buy another part via a click-through within 24 hours.

Is my holiday a package holiday?

Your holiday is a package if:

  • It was advertised as a package or all-inclusive deal
  • You bought the holiday for an inclusive or total price
  • You bought more than one part of your holiday, like flights and accommodation, from one company with one payment
  • After booking one part of your holiday, you were prompted to buy another and you did not have to enter any of your payment details again and you completed this all within 24 hours of the first booking.

What’s a Linked Travel Arrangement?

A Linked Travel Arrangement is when you buy one service from a tour operator and are then prompted to buy another – but your information and payment details are not transferred. For example if an email with your flight information has a link to a hotel site which you then book, but you have to re-enter your travel dates, location, personal information and payment details. You must also buy these services within 24 hours of each other for them to be considered a Linked Travel Arrangement.

It is the responsibility of the first travel company to tell you that you have been sold a Linked Travel Arrangement.

What does it mean if I have a Linked Travel Arrangement?

If you have a Linked Travel Arrangement, you do not have the same level of protection if something goes wrong but you will benefit from insolvency protection. That means if one of the companies goes bust, you will get your money back from that company.

When do I have grounds for complaint?

Examples of issues about which you can complain:

  • When there is no pool as advertised.
  • When the apartment does not have the promised balcony
  • When the distance to the beach is longer than advertised.
  • When the hotel is not as kid-friendly as advertised.
  • When you get a one-bedroom, despite having booked a three-bedroom apartment.
  • When there is a high noise level, due to construction work.

N.B. Remember to document all complaints. 

When do I not have grounds for complaint?

There is no use in complaining about these issues:

  • Rain or bad weather.
  • Uncomfortable incidents.
  • That the travel did not live up to your expectations (especially relevant for unspecified travels).

Discount or compensation

You have the right to demand that the organiser makes arrangements if something is not as advertised or agreed upon in advance. However, if the organiser is not able to solve the problems, you can claim a discount. If you have also suffered an economic loss, you may claim compensation.

How to make a complaint

It is your holiday provider’s responsibility to ensure you get what you paid for and to sort out any problems. If they do not, you have the right to complain and claim.

1. Complain to the holiday provider

Your first step to claiming for an unsatisfactory package holiday is via the holiday provider. You have a duty to give your holiday company a chance to put right any problems that occur.  Most companies will have a complaints policy in their terms and conditions, so make sure you read these and follow the appropriate steps. 

Make sure to keep all receipts and to document all your complaints (pictures/videos).

2. Complain to the travel company

Make a formal complaint in writing as soon as you get home. Many package holiday companies include a deadline for complaints in their terms and conditions.

3. Complain to The Package Travel Complaint Handling Body

If you cannot resolve the problem with the company directly, you can submit your complaint to The Package Travel Complaint Handling Body. The absolute deadline for submitting your complaint is 1 year after your first complaint.