LINKED TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS

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Chapter IV. PERFORMANCE OF THE PACKAGE

Article 13

Responsibility for the performance of the package

 

  1. Member States shall ensure that the organiser is responsible for the performance of the travel services included in the package travel contract, irrespective of whether those services are to be performed by the organiser or by other travel service providers.

Member States may maintain or introduce in their national law provisions under which the retailer is also responsible for the performance of the package. In that case the provisions of Article 7 and Chapter III, this Chapter and Chapter V which are applicable to the organiser shall also apply mutatis mutandis to the retailer.

  1. The traveller shall inform the organiser without undue delay, taking into account the circumstances of the case, of any lack of conformity which he perceives during the performance of a travel service included in the package travel contract.
  2. If any of the travel services are not performed in accordance with the package travel contract, the organiser shall remedy the lack of conformity, unless that:

(a) is impossible; or

(b) entails disproportionate costs, taking into account the extent of the lack of conformity and the value of the travel services affected.

If the organiser, in accordance with point (a) or point (b) of the first subparagraph of this paragraph, does not remedy the lack of conformity, Article 14 shall apply.

  1. Without prejudice to the exceptions laid down in paragraph 3, if the organiser does not remedy the lack of conformity within a reasonable period set by the traveller, the traveller may do so himself and request reimbursement of the necessary expenses. It shall not be necessary for the traveller to specify a time-limit if the organiser refuses to remedy the lack of conformity or if immediate remedy is required.
  2. Where a significant proportion of the travel services cannot be provided as agreed in the package travel contract, the organiser shall offer, at no extra cost to the traveller, suitable alternative arrangements of, where possible, equivalent or higher quality than those specified in the contract, for the continuation of the package, including where the traveller’s return to the place of departure is not provided as agreed.

Where the proposed alternative arrangements result in a package of lower quality than that specified in the package travel contract, the organiser shall grant the traveller an appropriate price reduction.

The traveller may reject the proposed alternative arrangements only if they are not comparable to what was agreed in the package travel contract or the price reduction granted is inadequate.

  1. Where a lack of conformity substantially affects the performance of the package and the organiser has failed to remedy it within a reasonable period set by the traveller, the traveller may terminate the package travel contract without paying a termination fee and, where appropriate, request, in accordance with Article 14, price reduction and/or compensation for damages.

If it is impossible to make alternative arrangements or the traveller rejects the proposed alternative arrangements in accordance with the third subparagraph of paragraph 5 of this Article, the traveller is, where appropriate, entitled to price reduction and/or compensation for damages in accordance with Article 14 without terminating the package travel contract.

If the package includes the carriage of passengers, the organiser shall, in the cases referred to in the first and second subparagraphs, also provide repatriation of the traveller with equivalent transport without undue delay and at no extra cost to the traveller.

  1. As long as it is impossible to ensure the traveller’s return as agreed in the package travel contract because of unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances, the organiser shall bear the cost of necessary accommodation, if possible of equivalent category, for a period not exceeding three nights per traveller. Where longer periods are provided for in Union passenger rights legislation applicable to the relevant means of transport for the traveller’s return, those periods shall apply.
  2. The limitation of costs referred to in paragraph 7 of this Article shall not apply to persons with reduced mobility, as defined in point (a) of Article 2 of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006, and any person accompanying them, pregnant women and unaccompanied minors, as well as persons in need of specific medical assistance, provided that the organiser has been notified of their particular needs at least 48 hours before the start of the package. The organiser may not invoke unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances to limit the liability under paragraph 7 of this Article if the relevant transport provider may not rely on such circumstances under applicable Union legislation.

 

Article 14

Price reduction and compensation for damages

 

  1. Member States shall ensure that the traveller is entitled to an appropriate price reduction for any period during which there was lack of conformity, unless the organiser proves that the lack of conformity is attributable to the traveller.
  2. The traveller shall be entitled to receive appropriate compensation from the organiser for any damage which the traveller sustains as a result of any lack of conformity. Compensation shall be made without undue delay.
  3. The traveller shall not be entitled to compensation for damages if the organiser proves that the lack of conformity is:

(a) attributable to the traveller;

(b) attributable to a third party unconnected with the provision of the travel services included in the package travel contract and is unforeseeable or unavoidable; or

(c) due to unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances.

  1. Insofar as international conventions binding the Union limit the extent of or the conditions under which compensation is to be paid by a provider carrying out a travel service which is part of a package, the same limitations shall apply to the organiser. Insofar as international conventions not binding the Union limit compensation to be paid by a service provider, Member States may limit compensation to be paid by the organiser accordingly. In other cases, the package travel contract may limit compensation to be paid by the organiser as long as that limitation does not apply to personal injury or damage caused intentionally or with negligence and does not amount to less than three times the total price of the package.
  2. Any right to compensation or price reduction under this Directive shall not affect the rights of travellers under Regulation (EC) No 261/2004, Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007, Regulation (EC) No 392/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council <*>, Regulation (EU) No 1177/2010 and Regulation (EU) No 181/2011, and under international conventions. Travellers shall be entitled to present claims under this Directive and under those Regulations and international conventions. Compensation or price reduction granted under this Directive and the compensation or price reduction granted under those Regulations and international conventions shall be deducted from each other in order to avoid overcompensation.

———————————

<*> Regulation (EC) No 392/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the liability of carriers of passengers by sea in the event of accidents (OJ L 131, 28.5.2009, p. 24).

 

  1. The limitation period for introducing claims under this Article shall not be less than two years.

 

Article 15

Possibility to contact the organiser via the retailer

 

Without prejudice to the second subparagraph of Article 13(1), Member States shall ensure that the traveller may address messages, requests or complaints in relation to the performance of the package directly to the retailer through which it was purchased. The retailer shall forward those messages, requests or complaints to the organiser without undue delay.

For the purpose of compliance with time-limits or limitation periods, receipt of the messages, requests or complaints referred to in the first subparagraph by the retailer shall be considered as receipt by the organiser.

 

Article 16

Obligation to provide assistance

 

Member States shall ensure that the organiser gives appropriate assistance without undue delay to the traveller in difficulty, including in the circumstances referred to in Article 13(7), in particular by:

(a) providing appropriate information on health services, local authorities and consular assistance; and

(b) assisting the traveller to make distance communications and helping the traveller to find alternative travel arrangements.

The organiser shall be able to charge a reasonable fee for such assistance if the difficulty is caused intentionally by the traveller or through the traveller’s negligence. That fee shall not in any event exceed the actual costs incurred by the organiser.

 

Chapter V. INSOLVENCY PROTECTION

Article 17

Effectiveness and scope of insolvency protection

 

  1. Member States shall ensure that organisers established in their territory provide security for the refund of all payments made by or on behalf of travellers insofar as the relevant services are not performed as a consequence of the organiser’s insolvency. If the carriage of passengers is included in the package travel contract, organisers shall also provide security for the travellers’ repatriation. Continuation of the package may be offered.

Organisers not established in a Member State which sell or offer for sale packages in a Member State, or which by any means direct such activities to a Member State, shall be obliged to provide the security in accordance with the law of that Member State.

  1. The security referred to in paragraph 1 shall be effective and shall cover reasonably foreseeable costs. It shall cover the amounts of payments made by or on behalf of travellers in respect of packages, taking into account the length of the period between down payments and final payments and the completion of the packages, as well as the estimated cost for repatriations in the event of the organiser’s insolvency.
  2. An organiser’s insolvency protection shall benefit travellers regardless of their place of residence, the place of departure or where the package is sold and irrespective of the Member State where the entity in charge of the insolvency protection is located.
  3. When the performance of the package is affected by the organiser’s insolvency, the security shall be available free of charge to ensure repatriations and, if necessary, the financing of accommodation prior to the repatriation.
  4. For travel services that have not been performed, refunds shall be provided without undue delay after the traveller’s request.

 

Article 18

Mutual recognition of insolvency protection and administrative cooperation

 

  1. Member States shall recognise as meeting the requirements of their national measures transposing Article 17 any insolvency protection an organiser provides under such measures of the Member State of his establishment.
  2. Member States shall designate central contact points to facilitate the administrative cooperation and supervision of organisers operating in different Member States. They shall notify the contact details of those contact points to all other Member States and the Commission.
  3. The central contact points shall make available to each other all necessary information on their national insolvency protection requirements and the identity of the entity or entities in charge of the insolvency protection for specific organisers established in their territory. Those contact points shall grant each other access to any available inventory listing organisers which are in compliance with their insolvency protection obligations. Any such inventory shall be publicly accessible, including online.
  4. If a Member State has doubts about an organiser’s insolvency protection, it shall seek clarification from the organiser’s Member State of establishment. Member States shall respond to requests from other Member States as quickly as possible taking into account the urgency and complexity of the matter. In any event a first response shall be issued at the latest within 15 working days from receiving the request.

 

Chapter VI. LINKED TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS

Article 19

Insolvency protection and information requirements for linked travel arrangements

 

  1. Member States shall ensure that traders facilitating linked travel arrangements shall provide security for the refund of all payments they receive from travellers insofar as a travel service which is part of a linked travel arrangement is not performed as a consequence of their insolvency. If such traders are the party responsible for the carriage of passengers, the security shall also cover the traveller’s repatriation. The second subparagraph of Article 17(1), Article 17(2) to (5) and Article 18 shall apply mutatis mutandis.
  2. Before the traveller is bound by any contract leading to the creation of a linked travel arrangement or any corresponding offer, the trader facilitating linked travel arrangements, including where the trader is not established in a Member State but, by any means, directs such activities to a Member State, shall state in a clear, comprehensible and prominent manner that the traveller:

(a) will not benefit from any of the rights applying exclusively to packages under this Directive and that each service provider will be solely responsible for the proper contractual performance of his service; and

(b) will benefit from insolvency protection in accordance with paragraph 1.

In order to comply with this paragraph, the trader facilitating a linked travel arrangement shall provide the traveller with that information by means of the relevant standard form set out in Annex II, or, where the particular type of linked travel arrangement is not covered by any of the forms set out in that Annex, provide the information contained therein.

  1. Where the trader facilitating linked travel arrangements has not complied with the requirements set out in paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article, the rights and obligations laid down in Articles 9 and 12 and Chapter IV shall apply in relation to the travel services included in the linked travel arrangement.
  2. Where a linked travel arrangement is the result of the conclusion of a contract between a traveller and a trader who does not facilitate the linked travel arrangement, that trader shall inform the trader facilitating the linked travel arrangement of the conclusion of the relevant contract.

 

Chapter VII. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 20

Specific obligations of the retailer where the organiser is established outside the European Economic Area

 

Without prejudice to the second subparagraph of Article 13(1), where the organiser is established outside the European Economic Area, the retailer established in a Member State shall be subject to the obligations laid down for organisers in Chapters IV and V, unless the retailer provides evidence that the organiser complies with those Chapters.

 

Article 21

Liability for booking errors

 

Member States shall ensure that a trader is liable for any errors due to technical defects in the booking system which are attributable to him and, where the trader has agreed to arrange the booking of a package or of travel services which are part of linked travel arrangements, for the errors made during the booking process.

A trader shall not be liable for booking errors which are attributable to the traveller or which are caused by unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances.

 

Article 22

Right of redress

 

In cases where an organiser or, in accordance with the second subparagraph of Article 13(1) or Article 20, a retailer pays compensation, grants price reduction or meets the other obligations incumbent on him under this Directive, Member States shall ensure that the organiser or retailer has the right to seek redress from any third parties which contributed to the event triggering compensation, price reduction or other obligations.

 

Article 23

Imperative nature of the Directive

 

  1. A declaration by an organiser of a package or a trader facilitating a linked travel arrangement that he is acting exclusively as a travel service provider, as an intermediary or in any other capacity, or that a package or a linked travel arrangement does not constitute a package or a linked travel arrangement, shall not absolve that organiser or trader from the obligations imposed on them under this Directive.
  2. Travellers may not waive the rights conferred on them by the national measures transposing this Directive.
  3. Any contractual arrangement or any statement by the traveller which directly or indirectly waives or restricts the rights conferred on travellers pursuant to this Directive or aims to circumvent the application of this Directive shall not be binding on the traveller.

 

Article 24

Enforcement

 

Member States shall ensure that adequate and effective means exist to ensure compliance with this Directive.

 

Article 25

Penalties

 

Member States shall lay down the rules on penalties applicable to infringements of national provisions adopted pursuant to this Directive and shall take all measures necessary to ensure that they are implemented. The penalties provided for shall be effective, proportionate and dissuasive.

 

Article 26

Reporting by the Commission and review

 

By 1 January 2019, the Commission shall submit a report to the European Parliament and to the Council on the provisions of this Directive applying to online bookings made at different points of sale and the qualification of such bookings as packages, linked travel arrangements or stand-alone travel services, and in particular on the definition of package set out in point (b)(v) of point 2 of Article 3 and whether an adjustment or broadening of that definition is appropriate.

By 1 January 2021, the Commission shall submit a general report on the application of this Directive to the European Parliament and to the Council.

The reports referred to in the first and the second paragraphs shall be accompanied, where necessary, by legislative proposals.

 

Article 27

Amendment of Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 and Directive 2011/83/EU

 

  1. Point 5 of the Annex to Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 is replaced by the following:

«5. Directive (EU) 2015/2302 of the European Parliament and of the Council <*>

———————————

<*> Directive (EU) 2015/2302 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2015 on package travel and linked travel arrangements, amending Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 and Directive 2011/83/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council and repealing Council Directive 90/314/EEC (OJ L 326, 11.12.201 5, p. 1).».

 

  1. Point (g) of Article 3(3) of Directive 2011/83/EU is replaced by the following:

«(g) on packages as defined in point 2 of Article 3 of Directive (EU) 2015/2302 of the European Parliament and of the Council <*>.

———————————

<*> Directive (EU) 2015/2302 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2015 on package travel and linked travel arrangements, amending Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 and Directive 2011/83/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council and repealing Council Directive 90/314/EEC (OJ L 326, 11.12.2015, p. 1).

 

Article 6(7), Article 8(2) and (6) and Articles 19, 21 and 22 of this Directive shall apply mutatis mutandis to packages as defined in point 2 of Article 3 of Directive (EU) 2015/2302 in relation to travellers as defined in point 6 of Article 3 of that Directive.»

 

Chapter VIII. FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 28

Transposition

 

  1. Member States shall adopt and publish, by 1 January 2018, the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive. They shall forthwith communicate to the Commission the text of those measures.
  2. They shall apply those measures from 1 July 2018.
  3. When Member States adopt those measures, they shall contain a reference to this Directive or be accompanied by such a reference on the occasion of their official publication. Member States shall determine how such reference is to be made.
  4. Member States shall communicate to the Commission the text of the main provisions of national law which they adopt in the field covered by this Directive.

 

Article 29

Repeal

 

Directive 90/314/EEC is repealed with effect from 1 July 2018.

References to the repealed Directive shall be construed as references to this Directive and shall be read in accordance with the correlation table set out in Annex III.

 

Article 30

Entry into force

 

This Directive shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

 

Article 31

Addressees

 

This Directive is addressed to the Member States.

Done at Strasbourg, 25 November 2015.

Annex I

Part A

Standard information form for package travel contracts where the use of hyperlinks is possible

The combination of travel services offered to you is a package within the meaning of Directive (EU) 2015/2302.

Therefore, you will benefit from all EU rights applying to packages. Company XY/companies XY will be fully responsible for the proper performance of the package as a whole.

Additionally, as required by law company XY/companies XY has/have protection in place to refund your payments, and, where transport is included in the package, to ensure your repatriation in the event that it becomes/they become insolvent.

More information on key rights under Directive (EU) 2015/2302 (to be provided in the form of a hyperlink).

Following the hyperlink the traveller will receive the following information:

Key rights under Directive (EU) 2015/2302

— Travellers will receive all essential information about the package before concluding the package travel contract.

— There is always at least one trader who is liable for the proper performance of all the travel services included in the contract.

— Travellers are given an emergency telephone number or details of a contact point where they can get in touch with the organiser or the travel agent.

— Travellers may transfer the package to another person, on reasonable notice and possibly subject to additional costs.

— The price of the package may only be increased if specific costs rise (for instance, fuel prices) and if expressly provided for in the contract, and in any event not later than 20 days before the start of the package. If the price increase exceeds 8% of the price of the package, the traveller may terminate the contract. If the organiser reserves the right to a price increase, the traveller has a right to a price reduction if there is a decrease in the relevant costs.

— Travellers may terminate the contract without paying any termination fee and get a full refund of any payments if any of the essential elements of the package, other than the price, are changed significantly. If before the start of the package the trader responsible for the package cancels the package, travellers are entitled to a refund and compensation where appropriate.

— Travellers may terminate the contract without paying any termination fee before the start of the package in the event of exceptional circumstances, for instance if there are serious security problems at the destination which are likely to affect the package.

— Additionally, travellers may at any time before the start of the package terminate the contract in return for an appropriate and justifiable termination fee.

— If, after the start of the package, significant elements of the package cannot be provided as agreed, suitable alternative arrangements will have to be offered to the traveller at no extra cost. Travellers may terminate the contract without paying any termination fee, where services are not performed in accordance with the contract and this substantially affects the performance of the package and the organiser fails to remedy the problem.

— Travellers are also entitled to a price reduction and/or compensation for damages where the travel services are not performed or are improperly performed.

— The organiser has to provide assistance if the traveller is in difficulty.

— If the organiser or, in some Member States, the retailer becomes insolvent, payments will be refunded. If the organiser or, where applicable, the retailer becomes insolvent after the start of the package and if transport is included in the package, repatriation of the travellers is secured. XY has taken out insolvency protection with YZ (the entity in charge of the insolvency protection, e.g. a guarantee fund or an insurance company). Travellers may contact this entity or, where applicable, the competent authority (contact details, including name, geographical address, email and telephone number) if services are denied because of XY’s insolvency.

Directive (EU) 2015/2302 as transposed into national law (hyperlink)

 

Part B

Standard information form for package travel contracts in situations other than those covered by Part A

The combination of travel services offered to you is a package within the meaning of Directive (EU) 2015/2302.

Therefore, you will benefit from all EU rights applying to packages. Company XY/companies XY will be fully responsible for the proper performance of the package as a whole.

Additionally, as required by law, company XY/companies XY has/have protection in place to refund your payments and, where transport is included in the package, to ensure your repatriation in the event that it becomes/they become insolvent.

Key rights under Directive (EU) 2015/2302

— Travellers will receive all essential information about the package before concluding the package travel contract.

— There is always at least one trader who is liable for the proper performance of all the travel services included in the contract.

— Travellers are given an emergency telephone number or details of a contact point where they can get in touch with the organiser or the travel agent.

— Travellers may transfer the package to another person, on reasonable notice and possibly subject to additional costs.

— The price of the package may only be increased if specific costs rise (for instance fuel prices), and if expressly provided for in the contract, and in any event not later than 20 days before the start of the package. If the price increase exceeds 8% of the price of the package, the traveller may terminate the contract. If the organiser reserves the right to a price increase, the traveller has a right to a price reduction if there is a decrease in the relevant costs.

— Travellers may terminate the contract without paying any termination fee and get a full refund of any payments if any of the essential elements of the package, other than the price, are changed significantly. If before the start of the package the trader responsible for the package cancels the package, travellers are entitled to a refund and compensation where appropriate.

— Travellers may terminate the contract without paying any termination fee before the start of the package in the event of exceptional circumstances, for instance if there are serious security problems at the destination which are likely to affect the package.

— Additionally, travellers may at any time before the start of the package terminate the contract in return for an appropriate and justifiable termination fee.

— If, after the start of the package, significant elements of the package cannot be provided as agreed, suitable alternative arrangements will have to be offered to the traveller at no extra cost. Travellers may terminate the contract without paying any termination fee, where services are not performed in accordance with the contract and this substantially affects the performance of the package and the organiser fails to remedy the problem.

— Travellers are also entitled to a price reduction and/or compensation for damages where the travel services are not performed or are improperly performed.

— The organiser has to provide assistance if the traveller is in difficulty.

— If the organiser or, in some Member States, the retailer becomes insolvent, payments will be refunded. If the organiser or, where applicable, the retailer becomes insolvent after the start of the package and if transport is included in the package, repatriation of the travellers is secured. XY has taken out insolvency protection with YZ (the entity in charge of the insolvency protection, e.g. a guarantee fund or an insurance company). Travellers may contact this entity or, where applicable, the competent authority (contact details, including name, geographical address, email and telephone number) if services are denied because of XY’s insolvency.

(Website where Directive (EU) 2015/2302 as transposed into national law can be found.)

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