01 September 2009

EC To Review Package Holiday Protection

Bowing to the inevitable or just feeling like grabbing a fist full of nettles? Either way the European Commission is to launch a review of the Package Holiday Directive this autumn. The European commissioner for consumer affairs, Meglena Kuneva, said the legislation is "out of date having been created and implemented in the 1990s."

The core of the issue in Package Holiday protection is that now more than 50% of all holidays are booked dynamically either in total package form or in components often from different vendors.

At the same time the UK's regulatory body the CAA is reviewing protection under its ATOL scheme which last year took a big hit from the collapse of XL Airways and is potentially bankrupt.

If the EC is smart it will acknowledge that the market has changed and implement generic rules that apply to the sale of any travel product component or package no matter how its sold.

As expected the agents and tour operators are in favour, the airlines (particularly the LCCs) and online agents are not.

We will keep an eye on this ongoing issue.


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