Package travel: holiday advice on your EU rights
The EU Package Travel Directive gives you many EU-wide rights when you book a package holiday. European Consumer Centres offer holiday advice on these rights and free help if you have problems with a tour operator or travel agency based in another EU country, Iceland or Norway.
You have EU package travel rights if:
(1) you booked a package which includes at least two of the following:
- other tourist services which are a substantial part of the package (for example, windsurfing instruction or a ski pass for the duration of your holiday)
(2) the service covers more than 24 hours or includes an overnight stay.
Your main package travel rights:
- (1) Right to information
- Any brochure you receive must provide clear and accurate details, including e.g. the price, transport, type of accommodation, meal plan.
- Before you sign the contract, the organiser must inform you in writing about passport, visa and health formalities.
- Before you start the journey, you must get in writing contact details of their local representative or an emergency telephone number, and information on optional insurance or assistance contracts.
- (2) Right to transfer your package to someone else
- (3)Right to a guaranteed price
- The price of your holiday package cannot change unless the contract allows this (but even in that case the price change may only be related to variations in transport costs, taxes or chargeable fees and exchange rates).
- (4) Right to cancel
- If there is a significant change to the package content, you can cancel the contract without penalty or accept a change to the contract.
- (5) Right to an alternative package or reimbursement
- If you decide to cancel (see 4 above), you can choose between an alternative package or reimbursement. You may also be entitled to additional compensation.
Things went wrong on holiday: what do I do?
Contact the organiser as soon as possible. You should have received local contact details.
Depending on your country, the travel agency where you bought the package may also be your first point of contact. In some countries, there are deadlines for filing your holiday complaint. If in doubt, get more online advice from your European Consumer Centre.
If you did not get an answer to your complaint or you are not happy with the answer, see if your European Consumer Centre can help you further.
Your European Consumer Centre can:
give you more detailed online advice on your package travel rights: the EU rules set minimum rights and some countries have stricter rules
if the organiser (tour operator) or travel agent is based in another EU country*, the Centre can advise you on your case and help reach an amicable solution to your complaint.
advise you on further action, for example on using an out-of-court scheme.
* and Iceland, Norway
How the Centres helped others
Holiday complaints: refund for a mini-cruise (UK consumer / Maltese tour operator)
A UK consumer was “totally dissatisfied” with a mini-cruise package organised by a Maltese tour operator and felt that the package did not correspond with the description of the cruise on the trader’s website.