Package travel and assisted travel arrangements: - extracts from the debate ( recorded 11/03) - extracts from the vote on the report by Hans-Peter MAYER (EPP, DE)

Type: News   Reference: 96013   Duration: 00:04:31  Lieu: Strasbourg, France - European Parliament
End production: 12/03/2014   First transmission: 12/03/2014
Holidaymakers putting together their own package holidays from travel services sold on the internet or elsewhere need extra protection, as they are unlikely to get the same all-in cover as those buying from traditional travel agents, say MEPs. A draft law voted on Wednesday aims to ensure that travellers are not stranded if an airline or tour operator goes bankrupt, protect them against sharp price increases or flight time changes and specify their rights in unforeseen circumstances. (Read more:

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00:00:00 TITLE 00:00:05
00:00:05 EXTERIOR SHOT of the European Parliament, Strasbourg. 00:00:05
00:00:10 SOUNDBITE (German) Hans-Peter MAYER (EPP, DE), Rapporteur : "The directive on package travel is one that dates back to 1990. At the time we didn't have the internet. And that's why it's so important for us to review this text because we are talking about lots of journeys being booked over the internet and that need to be covered by the scope of this instrument." 00:00:17
00:00:27 SOUNDBITE (German) Hans-Peter MAYER (EPP, DE), Rapporteur : "For instance, package travel which would include all the possible ramification of such travel. Secondly we would also include so-called assisted travel. Thirdly, and this is a depart from the Commission proposal, when it comes to click-throughs, for bookings, these would not be covered if they are simple click-throughs. Now, what does this mean in practice : if there are links and that personal data have been transferred by the operator through those links so that you have actually an offer that is tailor-made for the traveller in question, that would be considered as an assisted travel package, so then you would have a question of liability and a question of insolvency as well that would have to be covered for that particular operator." 00:00:43
00:01:10 SOUNDBITE (German) Hans-Peter MAYER (EPP, DE), Rapporteur : "Now when it comes to the Member States, Member States of course need to be able to go beyond this legislation if they so wish. When it comes to the liability of the operator or the organizer, and also the retailer, on that particular point I would like to inform you that there are differences currently between Member States such as Luxembourg, France, Poland, Spain, Italy by a way of an example, sometimes the retailers and organizers have individual responsibilities or liability, sometimes it's in parallel, it's very important to make sure that these issues are settled at domestic level, at national level according to national regulations. 00:00:36
00:01:46 SOUNDBITE (German) Hans-Peter MAYER (EPP, DE), Rapporteur : "When it comes to price increases, after the booking, this would only be applicable if you've got an increase in taxes or in fuel and that can only pass on to the traveller if you're talking about an increase that is more than 3%. If it's over 8%, then in that case the traveller can actually cancel his or her trip." 00:00:21
00:02:07 SOUNDBITE (English) Viviane REDING, Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship : "Digital technologies have modified the way we organize our travels, especially on holydays. In the 1990's most Europeans picked out a pre-arranged packet deal from a brochure and booked it at a local travel agency. Today consumers are increasingly booking customized package on-line either from one trader or from several commercial linked ones. And this is why the Commission has proposed to modernize the existing rules so as to adopt them to the market developments and to enter the digital age. 00:00:39
00:02:46 SOUNDBITE (Italian) Sergio Gaetano COFFERATI (S&D, IT) : "In building up and enlarging the Single market we sometimes have been forgetting about our main focus, which should be citizens. Their rights and their material situations have too often been considered as secondary when not irrelevant. This has lead to increasing perplexity of the citizens towards the EU institutions, and this perplexity sometimes has developed into opposition and violent distance towards our European goals. For this reason I believe it was important to deal with this travel package issue exactly in the way we have done it, with, our first aim being to reinforce citizens and consumers rights." 00:00:41
00:03:27 SOUNDBITE (Swedish) Anna HEDH (S&D, SE) : "But I would like to perhaps to conclude by asking you to support amendment 100, because that is the amendment that guarantees the rights of the passengers to cancel their trip before their journey in case of exceptional circumstances such as death in their family and so on." 00:00:15
00:03:42 Announcement of the vote. 00:00:09
00:03:51 Vote by roll-call on amendment 100. 00:00:17
00:04:08 ELECTRONIC display of the result of the vote on amendment 100. Voting : 678 ; In favour : 324 ; Against : 343 ; Abstentions : 11. 00:00:01
00:04:09 Vote on the Commission proposal as amended. Adopted. 00:00:04
00:04:13 Vote on the Legislative Resolution as a whole. 00:00:14
00:04:27 ELECTRONIC display of the result of the vote. Voting : 681 ; In favour : 610 ; Against : 058 ; Abstentions : 013. 00:00:04
00:04:31 END. 00:00:00
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