Greater protection for package holidaymakers
The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 (PTRs) came into force on 1 July 2018 and apply to any holiday booked after that date. The purpose of the regulations is to provide enhanced protection for holidaymakers when purchasing package holidays.
Package holidays include not only those holidays that are advertised as package holidays or all-inclusive deals, but also where a traveller purchases a combination of travel services, such as flights and accommodation, from the same provider.
Those protected by the PTRs are defined as “travellers” and include any individual as well as certain business travellers. The scope of protection is therefore wider than under consumer legislation.
The key protections provided by the PTRs include the following:
- Performance of the package: Placing liability for the performance of the travel services on the trader who sells the package even in circumstances where such services are in fact provided by a third party.
- Price increases: Only permitting the trader to alter the price of the package once the contract has been entered into if the contract expressly allows for such an alteration. Further, the price can only be altered in certain specific circumstances such as where the change is as a consequence of fluctuations in exchange rates relevant to the package.
- Insolvency protection: Requiring organisers to secure the payment of refunds and the repatriation of travellers in the event of the organiser’s insolvency.
- Information requirements: Ensuring that holidaymakers are provided with certain key information about the package holiday before the booking is made including the destination, itinerary, dates, activities, transport and accommodation included.