Better holiday protection for consumers

Holidaymakers who book different elements of their holiday with an online site now enjoy the same protection as those booking package breaks.

Up until now, if you’ve booked a flight and hotel or flight and car hire from a holiday website and have paid for them in one go, you’ve not been protected if something goes wrong.

For years, people who booked package holidays through tour operators had protection if things went wrong. But those who booked a flight and hotel through a holiday booking site, didn’t have the same rights.

Now new EU regulations called the Package Travel Regulations say that people who book a holiday through a travel site should get the same protection as those booking a package holiday. The new rules mean that for holidays booked from July 1, 2018, it’s the online website’s responsibility to sort out any problems that arise.

That could mean you get a refund if you’re unable to take your holiday because of something like an airline strike. It also means that you can get your money back or be brought home if a holiday company goes bust.

The new rules apply to holidays booked from July 1. If you’ve already booked a holiday but you aren’t due to fly out or travel until after July 1, you won’t be entitled to this protection.

What’s important is that to be protected, you must make one single payment to the online travel site to cover your flight or travel and accommodation and/or car hire.

Watch out – when you’re not protected

If you book your holiday through an online travel site but you pay the hotel, airline and so on individually, you’re buying what’s called a ‘linked travel arrangement’ and you aren’t protected in the same way.  You will be protected if one of the companies goes bust, but the site you book your hotel with isn’t responsible for holiday in the same way.

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