Changes may give people less protection than they have now
Changes by MEPs to the revised Package Travel Directive could give holidaymakers less protection than they have at the moment, a senior industry figure warns.
Amendments made by the European Parliament has created a situation that “clearly isn’t right”, with “potential for things to go horribly wrong in the future”, according to Andy Cooper, director of government and external affairs at tour operator giant Thomas Cook.
Speaking at an annual seminar on travel law hosted by the Association of British Travel Agents, Cooper said that changes to the category now known as linked travel arrangements (for example when a person makes a booking on an airline’s website and then clicks on a link taking them to a separate hotel website) could lead to a situation where “customers will be no more protected than they are today and probably less protected”.
“In essence, if there’s a click-though arrangement it’s actually quite hard to get protection.” He added: “When you couple that with the burdens that are imposed by the new directive you end up with a situation that very clearly says ‘it is more expensive being a protected operator’ and therefore there’s an incentive ‘to look to not to book’ with a protected operator.”
The draft legislation is on its way through the EU and is currently being reviewed by the Council of Ministers, with the European Parliament having concluded an analysis of the document. The next stage will see the beginning of a “trialogue” between the separate branches of the European Union, when an agreed position will be established. This is likely to see the directive adopted in 2015, with 2017 as the deadline to implement it in each member state.
[Photo courtesy Robinson Club Cala Serena on Majorca (© 2009 Robinson)]