New package travel directive – here are the most important changes
Starting on August 1st this year the new package travel directive comes into effect. More trips might be classified as pre-arranged package trips and more trips may be included in a travel guarantee as a result of this.
When you arrange your own trip with, for example flight and accommodations, on one single website it can become a pre-arranged package trip. This is also the case if you book it at a travel agency. Even if you purchase from different organizers on different websites it might still sometimes constitute a package trip. Among other things, this applies provided that your personal information and payment information is transferred to the other website and that your bookings are done within 24 hours.
– The idea is that this directive is a bit more modern, more adapted to how we book trips today. The previous EU directive spoke a lot about brochures and travel agencies but these days it’s more common for us to book flights, hotels and events online ourselves, says Matilda Norrman, a lawyer who works with travel related matters at the Swedish Consumer Agency.
Different organizers but linked arrangements
With this new directive comes a new term which is called “linked travel arrangements”. One example is if you book a trip with an airline company that links you to a rental car company. The travel guarantee applies to a trip of this nature. Another example may be that the company that you use to book your flight links you to a company that sells accommodations, which in turn links you to an organizer of wine tastings. Thus, you are buying services from three different companies, but they are making your bookings easier by linking you to each other’s websites.
The retailer has more responsibility
The retailer will take more responsibility according to the new director. The consumers should also be able to take their demands to the retailer. As a result of this, travel agencies and booking websites must also be able to manage complaints.
In addition to this, there will be an opportunity for consumers to receive compensation if technical errors on a website negatively affect their bookings. The requirement for information when the booking is made will also be tighter.
The Travel Guarantees Act
Travel guarantee entails that travelers will receive compensation from the travel guarantee if their trip is cancelled or interrupted due to the company that arranged the package trip, or conveyed the linked travel arrangement, or has if it has declared bankruptcy.
The Travel Guarantees Act applies to:
- Pre-arranged package trips that consist of at least two different travel services. The travel services may consist of transportation, accommodation, rental car or a tourist service.
- Linked travel arrangements
Two directives, two responsible authorities
The authority Kammarkollegiet is responsible for the Travel Guarantees Act. Organizers and retailers of pre-arranged package trips or linked travel arrangements must report their business to Kammarkollegiet. The Swedish Consumer Agency supervises the package travel directive.