EU: GREATER PROTECTION FOR CLIENTS BUYING TRAVEL PACKAGES ONLINE

Cecilia Garland - May 11, 2015
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Negotiators from the European Parliament and the governments of the 28 EU member countries reached a final agreement on the regulation aimed at strengthening the protection of consumers buying customized travel packages online – consisting, for example, of airfare, hotel and car rental.

These tourists (numbering 120 million, according to the calculations of Brussels) will now be covered by EU rules guaranteeing compensation in case a tour operator goes bankrupt.

The regulation also introduces stricter controls on surcharges due to, for example, increases in fuel prices, which are not allowed to exceed 8%. If this threshold is exceeded, the tourist can cancel the contract.

If 'unavoidable’ and 'unforeseen’ circumstances, such as natural disasters or terrorist attacks, prevent the tourist from returning home on time, the organizer has to pay for up to three nights in a hotel.

Before tourists sign any contract on the Internet, organizers and retailers must make it clear to them that they are buying a package and advise them of their rights as provided for in the agreement. The information should include the name of at least one responsible party and an emergency contact number.

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