HolidayTravelWatch gives cautious welcome to proposed Package Travel Directive

Since 2005, HolidayTravelWatch has been engaged in presenting the Consumer experience to the UK Government, The European Commission & the EU Parliament on the sale and operation of Package Holidays.

The Organisation has submitted its latest observations to the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills and their Consultation on the newly proposed Package Travel Directive (Note:only the main report is referenced, if the appendices referred to are required, please contact us directly).

HolidayTravelWatch presents in its evidence the actual words of UK holidaymakers, bringing their experience to the heart of government. In this latest report we highlight the complaints raised by holidaymakers for 2010 and will follow with additional reports for 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014! Amongst the complaints are the following:

  1. Bullying of holidaymakers;
  2. Threats to holidaymakers who complain about their travel product;
  3. Internet facilities cut when complaints are made;
  4. Telephone access cut when complaints are made;
  5. Aggressive behaviour by hoteliers when complaints are made;
  6. Threats of ejection or the police when complaints are made;
  7. Electricity cut to rooms when complaints are made;
  8. Exposed wiring;
  9. Cracked tiling in swimming pools;
  10. Green/Algae swimming pools;
  11. Extensive prejudice shown to disabled holidaymakers;
  12. Major significant changes to holidays; pre-departure and on arrival;
  13. Sewage smells within the holiday product;
  14. Accidents within hotel complexes;
  15. Illness (both mass and individual) within the holiday product;
  16. Bed-bug bites;
  17. Incorrect name recording;
  18. Poor documentation delivery;
  19. Incorrect visa/passport advices;
  20. Price discrepancies;
  21. Discrimination.

The Organisation broadly welcomes the proposed changes to the Package Travel Directive, particularly in tackling the so-called battle between a DIY and Package Holiday. Regardless, we consider that there needs to be further work on two distinct areas:

  1. The definition between a Package and an Assisted Travel Arrangement, and
  2. A wholesale overhaul of the proposals to provide a refund in the event of a civil disorder or natural diasater at the destination of choice (Note: the Directive is not clear and it appears to suggest that the 'refund' will only be due if a Country's Travel Advices advise against travel - this is a major problem for UK holidaymakers).

Frank Brehany, the Consumer Director of HolidayTravelWatch states:

"There is a great deal that Consumers can take comfort from, however, as we have demonstrated, there needs to be further work on two distinct areas, otherwise Consumers will be faced with many more years battling for their rights! The EU Commission and Parliament must get this right now for all EU Consumers!"

Tags: Package Travel Regulations Package Travel Directive DIY Holidays Consumer Rights BIS EU Commission EU Parliament Holiday Complaints