Holiday Claims Travel Laws
When we book to go away on a package holiday, we often don't plan for the worst eventualities, like getting ill or being injured. Holidays are often one of the most expensive things we buy in the year, and it can be upsetting not only losing this money, but having your plans ruined.
Fortunately, there are laws and regulations in place to protect you should your holiday not turn out how you expected it to. So, what are these laws, and how do they protect us?
Package Travel Regulations
Special protections are afforded to people who go on package holidays, as opposed to independent travellers. The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 (Package Travel Regulations) protects people whose package holidays don't turn out exactly how they expected.
Your travel operator is responsible for all aspects of the holiday; this includes flights, hotels, airport transfers and even hire cars. If something isn't right, you could be entitled to claim compensation.What can you claim compensation for under the Package Travel Regulations?
- Personal injury – if you have an accident or fall ill on holiday you could be entitled to compensation. For example, this could be the case if you slip on wet floor where no signs had been put up, of if you get food poisoning from unsafe food.
- Loss of enjoyment – you could claim if you experience distress or become upset as things go wrong.
- Loss of value – you could claim if the holiday wasn't up to the standards you expected and paid for.
- Out of pocket expenses – this would be any additional money you lost because your holiday didn't go to plan. For example, if your hotel wasn't safe and you needed to spend money booking another hotel.
Any travel operators that are selling package holidays that involve air travel must have something called an Air Travel Organisers Licence (ATOL)
. If your travel operator has this licence, it means that you'll be protected from being stranded abroad
or losing your money should anything go wrong
To have an ATOL, travel operators must have been checked by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)
. The operator will need to pay money into the CAA's financial security scheme. This means that should things go wrong and your travel operator can't pay you back, the CAA will be able to compensate you. Your travel operator will receive a certificate to show that they are a member. If you are currently thinking about booking a holiday with a certain operator, you can check they are definitely a member on the CAA website.
The Montreal Convention is an international convention that protects passengers and their property whilst using air travel. The Convention means that airlines are responsible for any luggage they handle and check in.
You could claim compensation if your luggage has been damaged or lost, but there is a limit to how much money you can get back. This means that if you are planning to travel with something very valuable, you should either make sure you keep the item on you, or get a 'special declaration of interest in the delivery of your luggage'.
If your package holiday wasn't what you expected, these regulations mean that you could be entitled to compensation. We have solicitors that specialise in holiday claims
and can help if you believe you may have a claim.