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European Parliament Extends Package Travel Protection to Online Services

travel_technologyIn an unprecedented move earlier this month, the European Parliament and Council reached a deal which when put into effect will offer the same legal protection to online buyers putting together their own package holidays as it does to those purchasing from traditional tour operators, ensuring in the meantime, that the same rules apply to the internal market.

The May 5 draft law offers holidaymakers booking online the right to receive detailed pre-contractual information, to terminate the deal in case of price hikes over 8 percent and to benefit from safeguard measures in case of unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances.

Furthermore, the revised directive will regulate online bookings and new booking models not covered by the current EU directive, which dates back to 1990. The definition of “package holidays” has now been extended to include most types of travel arrangements, including services purchased from separate traders, such as flights, hotel accommodation and car hire.

“In long and difficult talks, we managed to strengthen the rights of travelers substantially, especially, and for the first time, with regard to online bookings, which are growing fast. At the same time, we also took account of the interests of small- and medium-sized enterprises,” said Internal Market rapporteur and German EPP member Birgit Collin-Langen,

The draft law awaits approval of Parliament’s Internal Market Committee and the Council Committee of Permanent Representatives.

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