/ Travel & Leisure

Do you book your holidays online?

Holiday booking

The government has announced proposals to better protect travellers booking package holidays online. Will these proposed changes help you?

The government has outlined its approach to implementing the new European Package Travel Directive, which comes into force in July 2018. And it claims that these proposals could help protect an extra 10 million UK package holidays booked online.

These new EU-driven rules (which have to be bought in by July next year regardless of the last year’s Brexit vote) on refunds aim to plug the gap in UK consumer rights between online customers and those who visit a travel agent.

Holiday bookings

The government is consulting on changes to ensure better information is provided when booking package holidays. These changes aim to ensure holidaymakers’ rights to refunds are clearly set out, along with an extension to current protections to cover the millions of UK travellers who buy package holidays online.

The government is looking to introduce changes for when you’re booking through an online travel portal. This is where it appears you are making one booking, but actually, the booking is split between different providers – known as linked travel arrangements. The government proposes to extend Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (Atol) protection to cover these bookings.

Currently, Atol protection only kicks in when overseas accommodation or car hire, or both, are requested with a flight. It protects your money if a company involved in the holiday goes bust before you depart and guarantees you will be brought home if the company collapses while you are abroad.

Happy holidays

The problem is, protection hasn’t kept pace with how holidays are sold. Protection often slips through the net when using online booking sites to build personalised holidays.

And with Association of British Travel Agents (Abta) reporting in 2016 that more than three-quarters of UK consumers now book their holidays online it;s time to make sure that protections for package holidays match those you get when you book on the high street.

These proposals should be good news for UK holidaymakers, and we need the government to make sure any gaps in protection are properly addressed so that everyone has peace of mind however they book their package holiday.

How do you book your holidays? Will the government’s proposed changes help you?

Comments
Guest
bishbut says:
15 August 2017

Times change ,many things change with the times people change how they do things but the government is always slow to react to any change preferring to spend years consulting and debating before reacting to these changes unless the things that need doing are not urgent then they do the thing immediately usually wrongly in the rush to get it done

Guest

Sensibly most of us avoid learning too much about matters which may marginally affect us. Hence a lot of law and mumbo-jumbo is not necessary knowledge so we need a specialist to provide us with readily understandable resource when we do need to take action.

For most of us that will be Which? or a newspaper with a crusading consumer journalist .

SO the following is if you like a sort of background to how the legislation came about through the EU and then a specific site dealing with travel and European legal matters

The explanation prior to the passing of this extension to the 1990 Act in March 2014
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/pdfs/news/expert/background/20140311BKG38630/20140311BKG38630_en.pdf

As it is up to various countries how this is implemented it will be interesting to see if any differences emerge in implementation and , in my view, how it is policed. This resource may be of use in keeping track:
http://www.iftta.org/news/package-travel-directive

Guest

I think all my holidays are booked online, and they almost always separate bookings too. It’s good to hear that these changes will get the protections up to speed with consumer habits!

Guest

I couldn’t make sense of this paragraph under the Happy Holidays sub-heading:

The problem is, protection has kept pace with how holidays are sold. Protection often slips through the net due when using online booking sites to build personalised holidays“.

Guest

Context suggests that the word ‘not’ might fit in between ‘has’ and ‘kept’, or maybe ‘never’. And someone will whinge about the sentence started with ‘And’. I feel sorry for those who write Convo introductions.

Guest

So do I – they are let down by the sub-editors.

I worked out what the paragraph was trying to say alright, and allowed for the redundant “due” in the second sentence, but thought it should be drawn to attention in case any new readers were baffled by it and might not revisit Which? Conversation. There doesn’t seem to be a discrete [or discreet] way of reporting the Intro.

Guest

The old school days’ issue: Never start a sentence with a conjunction. But that’s incorrect, of course. And runs counter to the main aim of all writing, which is simple intelligibility. And I rest my case. 🙂

However, Adam may not have penned the header. It’s quite likely to have been written by a team member.

Guest

Sorry, John – will make the edit now. It’s my fault this time 😳

Guest

Meanwhile back on topic, I have never been on a package holiday. When I was working I made use of the fact that my flights were paid for and arranged my own accommodation for an extra period, usually just a few extra days.

Most of the holidays I have taken have been in the UK and my passport has expired. I don’t need to worry about delayed flights, baggage allowances and airport parking. Unfortunately it can rain in the UK, but I might not be able to get compensation.

I book accommodation online.