Consumers who buy package holidays online are set to be given stronger rights allowing them to cancel their booking or receive compensation if things go wrong, following a final vote today in the European Parliament.
Today many package holidays are booked online and include more than one tour operator, for example one for a buyer's flight and another for their hotel. MEPs today voted to update current EU consumer rights on package travel dating from 1990 and ensure they protect those who buy custom travel arrangements online.
Clearer liability: It will be clear which operator is liable at each stage of the holiday and customers will be guaranteed the right to compensation if services provided are not up to standard
Fairer prices: If a tour operator increases costs by 8% or more, a customer have the right to cancel their booking for free. If the costs for the operator fall by more than 3%, they will have to pass on savings to consumers
Stronger cancellation rights: Customers will be able to cancel for free if there is a natural disaster or war, and cancel for any reason for a limited fee
The new rules will benefit the 120 million travellers in the EU who purchase combined package holidays each year and are expected to lead to annual savings to consumers of over £300m. They will apply to any package travel arrangements bought in the EU, including for holidays outside Europe.
Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder commented:
"This will bring rules on package travel from the 1990s into line with the internet age.
"More and more British families are booking holiday packages online to find the best and cheapest deals.
"Stronger consumer rights will allow people to book with the confidence that they will be protected at every stage of their journey.
"This is yet another example of the EU making people's lives easier."