Better holiday protection for consumers

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From July 1st, there’s better holiday protection for consumers. If you book a holiday with an online site where you pay for several elements in one go, it will be protected in the same way a package holiday is.

Better holiday protection for consumers

Up until now, if you’ve booked a flight and hotel or flight and car hire from a holiday website and have paid for them both in one go, you’ve not been protected if something goes wrong.

For years, people who booked package holidays through tour operators had protection if things went wrong. But those who booked a flight and hotel through a holiday booking site, didn’t have the same rights. It might feel like you’re booking a package holiday, but as far as the regulations were concerned, it wasn’t!

Now new EU rules called the Package Travel Regulations have come into force. They say that people who book a holiday through a travel site should get the same protection as those booking a package holiday. The new rules mean that for holidays booked from July 1st, it’s the online website’s responsibility to sort out problems that arise. That could mean you get a refund if you’re unable to take your holiday because of something like an airline strike. It also means that you can get your money back or be brought home if a holiday company goes bust.

When do the rules apply?

The new rules apply to holidays booked from July 1st. If you’ve already booked a holiday but you aren’t due to fly out or travel until after July 1st, I’m afraid that you won’t be entitled to this protection.

What’s important is that you make one single payment to the online travel site to cover your flight or travel and accommodation and/or car hire.

Watch out – when you’re not protected

If you book your holiday through an online travel site but you pay the hotel, airline and so on individually, you’re buying what’s called a ‘linked travel arrangement’ and you aren’t protected in the same way. You will be protected if one of the companies goes bust, but the site you book your hotel with isn’t responsible for holiday in the same way.

Related articles: 

Complaining about a holiday you’re not happy with; what you can do

Lost luggage compensation – your rights if your luggage is lost or delayed

When can you get flight delay compensation?

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