About the directive
New market trends and technical innovations, such as websites allowing holidaymakers to put together their own customised travel arrangements, have created legal grey areas and uncertainty for both businesses and consumers.
More and more people now book their holidays themselves using different online or offline operators instead of buying pre-arranged travel packages.
The European Parliament and the Council adopted new rules on package travel in November 2015, on the basis of the Commission's proposal of 2013, reflecting these developments in the travel market. EU countries had to transpose the new rules into national law by 1 January 2018. The new rules will be applicable in all EU countries from 1 July 2018.
The rules extend protection of the 1990 EU package travel directive beyond traditional package holidays organised by tour operators, but also give clear protection to 120 million consumers who book other forms of combined travel, for example a combination of a flight plus hotel or car rental put together on a website.
Such combinations are protected as package, in particular where the travel services are advertised as a package, are booked within the same booking process or where they are offered or charged at a total or inclusive price.
The new directive applies to 3 different sorts of travel combinations
- pre-arranged packages: ready-made holidays from a tour operator made up of at least 2 elements: transport, accommodation or other services such as car rental
- customised packages: a selection of components for the same trip or holiday and bought from a single business online or offline
- linked travel arrangements such as "click through" bookings, where the traveller, after having booked one travel service on one website, is invited to book another service on another website through a link. For this kind of arrangement the customer must be informed that they are not booking a package, but that, subject to conditions, their advance payments will be protected