Looking ahead to the next summer holidays, and to forget about worries, many Spaniards choose to hire an organized trip; a cheaper vacation solution, combining transport and accommodation. Flightright, European expert on passenger rights, has listed and analyzed in detail the 5 essential points that the consumer should know before hiring this type of package.
For a stay to be considered a «package», two conditions must be met: the service must involve a minimum stay of 24 hours and be sold at an «all-inclusive» price. Since 2018, the new Royal Decree-law 23/2018 based on a European directive, applies to all new contracts and offers better protection to travelers. Thanks to him, consumers have obtained new rights for their tour packages. The 5 essential aspects to consider before hiring a tour package are:
In case of cancellation of the trip, reimbursement and compensation correspond
In case of cancellation of the trip before the date of departure by the operator for any reason, he must reimburse the traveler for all the amounts paid, or offer whenever he can carry out another combined trip of equivalent or superior quality. In addition, the traveler may claim compensation for damages caused by the cancellation of the trip, with only two exceptions: if canceled because the number of people registered for the same is less than the minimum specified in the contract, or if the organizer it is impossible to execute the trip and it is communicated to the traveler without delay.
NOTE: If the tour package has been booked online, is subject to the same regulations as a traditional travel agency, therefore, the traveler has the right to complain to the provider of the website.
There is protection in case of bankruptcy of the operator
In case of bankruptcy of the airline with which the trip is made, the thing is complicated because there would be no legal figure to claim and that can be responsible for compensation. «The low-cost Icelandic airline WOW Air recently declared bankruptcy and had to cancel all its flights, leaving thousands of passengers on the ground with no hope of being reimbursed.» This raises the issue of passenger protection once again. that in Europe there is no legal guarantee apart from the regulation of package travel, «explains Laure Marc, Head of International Communication at Flightright. If the bankruptcy occurs in the course of a combined trip, according to the regulations, the passenger will have the right to the carrier or agency to assume the cost of transport to return to the place of origin.
Cancel a stay in case of extraordinary circumstances
In case of disappointment during the stay, there is time to react
If during the trip one of the services does not comply with the stipulated in the contract, it is advisable to inform the tour operator as soon as possible. The latter must try to remedy it by offering, at no additional cost to the traveler, suitable alternative formulas of equivalent or superior quality to those specified in the contract. If this is not fulfilled and the alternatives are of inferior quality, it is possible to request price reduction or compensation for damages. If the traveler makes these arrangements alone, he can request reimbursement of the necessary expenses.
The European Regulation (Regulation 261/2004), provides for compensation of between € 250 and € 600 for delays of more than 3 hours or cancellations with notice shorter than 14 days. Given that airlines tend to be reluctant to compensate passengers, Flightright protects their rights by helping them to claim cancellations, delays and overbooking, in a 100% stress-free process without economic risk (model «no win, no fee «).
«Unfortunately, airlines are not very participative when it comes to communicating the rights of passengers and when it comes to compensation. A high percentage of our customers in Europe have tried first to claim alone, without success, «emphasizes Marc.» Fortunately, thanks to the important database we have, the team of legal experts and our extensive experience in the sector , we can face the obstacles of the airlines. This allows the passenger to receive their compensation as soon as possible and without worrying about anything. «