The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements 2018 apply to holidays booked from 1st July this year. They extend the definition of package holidays and introduce the concept of linked travel arrangements.
The relevance of establishing a package holiday at law is that it provides a consumer with protection if they do not then get the package holiday described. It gives the right to ask the tour operator to rectify things and, if they do not do so, to claim compensation.
If a person booked their holiday prior to 1st July it would only be a package when that persons contracted one company to provide at least two of the following services:
- Other tourist services that make up a significant proportion of the package, for example, a guided safari tour on a safari holiday.
The main alteration, from 1st July, is that a holiday is also a package if, after booking one part of it, the person is prompted to buy another and does not have to enter their payment details again. Such transactions must all be completed within 24 hours. This assists the increasing number of people who book their holidays online.
A linked travel arrangement operates when one service has been purchased from a tour operator which then prompts the purchaser to buy another but the information and payment details are not transferred. For example, an email is received from the airline with which you have booked your flight with a link to the guided safari tour, that is then booked but, in doing so, travel dates, location, personal information and payment details have to be re-entered. It is required that you must buy the services within 24 hours of each other for them to qualify. This is called a “click through”.
In summary, a package holiday occurs when a person books more than one part of their holiday through the same travel agent or website. A linked travel arrangement occurs when one part of the holiday is booked and then the person is prompted to buy another via a click through, both must be completed within 24 hours.
A linked travel arrangement does not provide the same level of protection if something goes wrong but the person booking the holiday will benefit from insolvency protection. For example, if the guided tour operator goes bust the consumer can claim their money back from the airline.
If something does go wrong with the holiday the consumer must tell the travel company as soon as possible so that they can try to fix it. To enable this, on confirmation of the package holiday details, a contact number should be provided.