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Accessible legal tips, know-how and news for anyone with a complaint or legal issue from Stephen Gold, author of The Return of Breaking Law, the book

Thursday 3 May 2018

Package Holidays: Don't Book Early

The law protecting holidaymakers in the Package Travel, Package Holiday and Package Tours Regulations 1992 (if you don't get the package you were promised the likelihood is that the travel company will be liable to you even though third parties may be at fault) is set to change for agreements made on or after 1 July 2018. It may benefit you to postpone your booking until then. The new law will follow a European directive issued in 2015 and will be contained in the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations which have been published in draft form. The government's deadline for implementation of the directive is....1 July 2018.

A great deal of the current law will be repeated in the new law. But here are some of the valuable changes.

  • More package holidays will be covered. Definitely 'in' will be holidays which these days are often purchased on line where separate contracts under the package are made with different travel service providers and you customise exactly what you want later on in a bespoke product. So-called 'linked travel arrangements' which are looser combinations of travel arrangements are also caught where a trader organises the making of separate contracts for travel services with different providers.
  • More package organisers will be liable when the regulations are breached. For example, more so-called Flight-Plus holidays are likely to be covered. 
  • There's a cap on any attempt to increase the price of the package by more than 8% after you have made your contract. Any increase, be it 8% or less, must be notified with justification for it at least 20 days before the holiday. Where the increase is over 8% you will be entitled to get out of the contract and without any charge for the privilege of doing so.
  • Where getting you home is delayed because of unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances, the organiser must  provide you with free accommodation, if possible to an equivalent standard to that you should have enjoyed in the package, for up to three nights. The three nights limit will not apply if you have reduced mobility when flying or are accompanying someone with reduced mobility, are a pregnant woman or an unaccompanied minor or are in need of specific medical assistance, and this was notified to the organiser at least 48 hours before the holiday.