The internet has made it easier to book holidays online, however it has also added some difficulties. On 5 May the Parliament and the Council agreed a deal to update the current rules to give online buyers of such packages the same protection as those buying from traditional travel agents. We talked to German EPP member Birgit Collin-Langen, responsible for steering the new rules through Parliament, about the difference the legislation will make.
How will the new rules strengthen holidaymakers’ rights?
They will be strengthened significantly as they will receive thorough pre-contractual information, the right to termination in case of additional price increases exceeding 8% and benefit from safeguard measures in case of unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances (in which case the organiser should bear the costs for continued accommodation not exceeding three nights).
In addition, the revised directive will regulate onlin -bookings and new booking models which are not covered by the current directive.
How do you think these rules will affect Europe's travel industry?
The industry will profit from a level playing field with the same rules for the internal market and equally for online and offline offers.
What is the main thing that the Parliament has succeeded in achieving in negotiations with the national governments?
Click-throughs under the definition of a package is the Parliament's main achievement in negotiations with the Council.
[Click-through purchases are when you buy one element - for example - a flight on one website and then click on a link to a different site of an associated company offering a hotel. Under the new rules, these offers should be considered part of the original package (if the traveller’s name, payment details and email address are transferred between traders within 24 hours of the original sale being concluded).]