Griffin Article 25 – Package Holiday and Travel Trade Act 1995
Package Holidays are a well-known feature of modern travel. They are pre-arranged and consist of at least travel and accommodation or tourist activity organised as part of the trip and the cost. The holiday must be at least 24 hours or include an overnight stay. These trips are organised by a tour operator or travel agent, with an offer often in a brochure, and cannot include customised trips or components requested by the customer. The information in the brochure cannot be false or misleading and a claim for damages can be brought if it is.
Also the Act requires tour operators and travel agents to protect the customer in case of insolvency prior to the trip. These must enter into a bond before the can be licensed to protect customer interests. If the organiser cancels the holiday because of an unforeseen event or an insufficient number of people, or alters any term including the price or type of accommodation, the consumer must be offered compensation. These include offering a replacement holiday of equivalent or superior quality, a lower grade holiday, with a reimbursement of the difference in price or a full refund. It is worth noting no price changes are allowed within 20 days of the departure date.
It is important to read through the terms and conditions of the holiday which will set out any claimant procedures. Any complaints should be reported to a representative while you are away, and you should be compensated for any serious problems or shortfalls in standard between what was expected and what was received after the operator is given the opportunity to remedy the situation. It is advised you gather evidence such as photographs or videos if possible. Any complaints must be given in writing within 28 days from the end of the holiday, and a second letter should be sent if there has been no reply within a reasonable time. However, liability may be reduced once you have been given a reasonable standard of care by the provider. A claim can be brought to the Small Claims Court once the amount is under €2000 or can be pursues through arbitration.