To travel calm and happy we need so many things – thoughtful plan, good emotional condition, great destination, pleasant company, etc. But there is another equally important answer to the question “What it takes to travel calm and happy?” – we need to know our rights.
Recently at a specialized event we were given information about the changes in the EU rights of tourists and travelers. Many of you have shown interest. I promised to share and clarify things so you are aware of what privileges you can enjoy in two specific cases for which the EU guarantees more rights. Because we never know what can go wrong, nor who can play bad on us. But we must be prepared and well aware.
What does it mean?
Package travel services are a combination of two or more different types of travel services for the same trip or the same vacation. These services may include transport, accommodation, car rental or, under certain conditions, any other tourist services. They are all entered into a single contract that you sign with a tour operator / agency / website.
What rights do we have?
– Right to have clear and accurate information about everything related to the service – program, location, person for contact, any additional fees that may arise, including information about complaint procedures.
– Right to be notified about price changes. The organizer can increase the price of the service no later than 20 days before the trip and for a real reason (for example, raised fuel prices). If the increase is above 8%, we have the right to withdraw from the contract.
– If the service provider decides to cancel the sale before the start of the package tour, we are entitled to a refund and compensation, where appropriate.
– Emergency cancellation: In the event of a natural disaster or serious security issues at the destination, the service provider can cancel the package. As tourists, we also have the right to cancel our package for free for the same reasons. In such cases, we are entitled to a full refund of all payments processed, but not to additional compensation.
– If a passenger service cannot be provided in the agreed manner (for example, transport to or from the destination, accommodation or excursion), the organizer must solve the problem at no extra cost to us. That means finding an alternative without depriving us of our right to use the service we have paid for.
– If during a package travel we face difficulties (like health problems, lost passport, etc.), the service provider should assist us, for example, provide us with information about health services or consular assistance, and also help us find alternative ways for travel back if needed.
– The service provider is obliged to have a “Tour Operator’s Liability” insurance. Should it declare bankruptcy while traveling, this would provide us with assistance and transportation back home.
LINKED TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS
What does that mean?
Linked Travel Arrangements are two or more travel services that are purchased from different dealers under separate contracts but are linked. They are considered to be related when a merchant facilitates the booking of subsequent services and when purchased for the same trip / vacation.
For example: We buy a plane ticket and the carrier redirects us to a car rental website or accommodation booking page (this can also occur via direct e-mail marketing). Within 24 hours (no later than this) of the confirmation of the airplane ticket, we take advantage and commit to a contract for the offered service, i.e. we buy / reserve.
What rights do we have?
– Right to receive compensation if one service impedes the other. For example, after a delayed flight, we miss the opportunity to pick up the car rental we have rented as a linked travel arrangement to the airline service. Or we are fined for the delay. This gives us the right to request compensation from the airline after submitting legitimate documents (cash voucher or invoice).
Good to know.
With linked travel arrangements we commit to different contracts with different service providers of different services. This is why we need to know both our rights and obligations according to those different contracts, as they may significantly differ.
AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST…
You can read our detailed rights regarding travel packages and linked travel arrangements here. There you will also find more information regarding your consumer rights in the EU. If you are looking for a solution to your customer problem, you can use the online dispute resolution platform. And last but not least, you can follow the hashtag #yourEUright on social media for examples and related tips.