When it comes to being aware of your consumer protection, understanding the Package Travel Regulations and how they affect you and your booking, is one of the biggest places to start.

Though there are many forms of protection that cover you, from ATOL, to trust, to insurance, the Package Travel Regulations are the most general form of protection and the one you will almost always be protected by, as long as you are booking a package holiday.

You can find the entire Package Travel Regulations on the government’s legislation website or an in-depth, consumer-friendly guide on our blog, but here we will answer your biggest questions, and the ones most important to understanding how you are protected.

What Are The Package Travel Regulations (PTRs)?

What Are The Package Travel Regulations?

The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangement Regulations 2018 are a set of legal regulations created by the government to protect consumers on holiday.

As you might expect, the Package Travel Regulations will only protect package holidays and linked travel arrangements, and these must be over 24 hrs or include overnight stay, so if you’re booking holiday elements individually, you will not be protected by the PTRs.

This specific version of the PTRs was put into action on the 1st of July 2018, so anything booked before then won’t be protected by these PTRs but by the 1992 PTRs. All travel businesses must comply with the PTRs as well, so if you are booking a package holiday or linked travel arrangement, these will pretty much always apply.

What Isn’t Covered By The Package Travel Regulations?

What Isn't Covered By The Package Travel Regulations?

There are a few things to keep in mind concerning what the PTRs won’t protect you for. Some of this can depend on the specific booking, but that’s rare. For the most part, these are the things to be aware of:

  • Individually booked elements – if you book a flight, and then book accommodation with a different company, without being lead there by the original company, and through a separate contract, this isn’t a package, so it won’t be protected.
  • If you book with a non-UK company – the PTRs only cover travel booked with a company based and selling in the UK.
  • If you are booking a business trip
  • If your package holiday lasts under 24 hours and does not include overnight stay
  • If you book a flight and a tour element and the tour element is not a significant portion of the package

What is a Package Holiday?

What is a Package Holiday?

A package holiday is a holiday consisting of two or more elements paid for as one holiday, under one contract. Elements being holiday aspects as below:

  • Flights or other transport
  • Car Hire
  • Accommodation
  • Tour experiences (this includes things such as cooking classes, hiking trips, tours, etc.)

Some things might fit multiple. For example, a cruise ship is transport, accommodation, and the tour experience, unless there is arranged accommodation at the cruise’s destinations, which would be part of the package.

All package holidays will be financially and legally protected by the Package Travel Regulations.

What is a Linked Travel Arrangement?

What is a Linked Travel Arrangement?

A linked travel arrangement is similar to a package holiday in structure. It consists of two or more elements as listed above. However, where it differs is financially and protection wise.

A linked travel arrangement may not fall under one contract or one payment. Say you buy a flight, then after you get a confirmation email, you get a targeted email offering accommodation for the same destination and same time as your flight. If you book this accommodation within 24 hours of booking the flight, then this becomes a linked travel arrangement.

Linked travel arrangements can be a little confusing, but the important part is that you are receiving targeted marketing from the same company or a partner of the company after you’ve already booked an element. Any time you are sold a linked travel arrangement, the company is also legally obliged to inform you that it is a linked travel arrangement.

Linked travel arrangements are not legally protected by the PTRs, and are only partially financially protected by the PTRs, however, they are still more protected than individual bookings.

When Do The Package Travel Regulations Protect Me?

When Do The Package Travel Regulations Protect Me?

The PTRs will protect you in a variety of situations if anything should go wrong with your package holiday once you have booked it. They also set out obligations for the travel company to follow so that you are prepared.

The situations in which the PTRs will protect you include but may not be limited to:

  • If you need to cancel for unexpected and extraordinary circumstances
  • If you wish to transfer your contract to someone else, or they wish to transfer to you
  • If there is political unrest in your destination
  • If your package is not performed as agreed
  • If a supplier or travel company goes bust after you have booked
  • If there is an unpredictable or extraordinary occurrence while you are on holiday
  • If there is a situation resulting from the travel company not fulfilling all their legal obligations

The ways in which protection might be provided, if financial requirement is necessary, include:

  • Refunds (full or partial)
  • Reimbursements
  • Correcting bad performance by providing the expected service – for example, if you agree on a 5-star hotel and get put in a 3-star, the travel company will offer either a partial refund or will rearrange accommodation in a 5-star as agreed.

Some things will depend on the specific situation and the preference of you, or the travel company involved, so solutions may vary, but any problem protected by the Package Travel Regulations will be attended to properly.

If you would like to learn more detail on how exactly the Package Travel Regulations protect you and when you can visit our Ultimate Compliance Guide to learn more.

All our lovely members are PTR compliant. So, if you have any queries, don’t be shy to get in contact with your PTS member, or if you need help choosing one of our members, please call our friendly staff at 0207 190 9988.

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