Types of travel packages
Package holidays can be ready-made or customised packages. A package holiday
is sold at an inclusive price, must last for more than 24 hours or include an
overnight stay. It does not matter if you are asked to pay separately for
different components of the package (that is, the flight or transport), your
holiday still remains a "package holiday".
Pre-arranged travel packages
Pre-arranged travel packages (ready-made holidays) comprise at least 2 of
- Other tourist services – for example tours, excursions, guides or
tickets for concerts or theme parks
- Car rental
Customised or dynamic packages
This is where you select the components of the holiday, therefore it is not
a ready-made holiday. You buy the customised package from a single online or
offline point of sale (for example the website or app of one travel organiser
whose services combine the relevant travel services and the booking process).
All the components must relate to the same trip or holiday.
A customised or dynamic package must include either:
- a single contract for all services, or
- separate contracts with different travel service providers, where
- all the contracts are purchased from a single point of sale
- all services are selected before the customers agrees to pay
- there is an inclusive or total price
Linked travel arrangements
Linked travel arrangements (LTAs) are not considered a package and more
limited rules apply - see ‘Rules’.
With an LTA you buy 2 or more components of the same trip or holiday under
separate contracts. For example, you book a flight on a website and are then
invited, through a targeted link, to book a hotel on a different website.
You make a linked travel arrangement if you:
- Book and complete the purchase of one travel service on one website,
- Are then invited, through a targeted link, to ‘click through’ and
book a second service on another website, and
- Conclude the second contract on the second website within 24 hours of the
When the second booking is made:
- You must be told you are not booking a package and therefore can claim
insolvency protection only
- The second trader must inform the first trader that a contract has been
A travel organiser is responsible for the proper performance of the package
as a whole and must provide a financial guarantee. This guarantee covers
refunds and repatriation in cases where organisers go bankrupt. It also applies
to linked travel arrangements.
A travel organiser means a trader (that is a tour operator or an online or
offline travel agency) that allows you to buy a travel package or manages the
booking process. The Commission for Aviation Regulation licenses travel agents
and tour operators in Ireland.
Where you are booking a travel package online, you should check whether
consumer legislation covering package holidays and linked travel arrangements
applies to it. If you are not sure what type of holiday you have booked, check
the information you received before you booked or call the travel organiser.
You must receive a copy of the contract and every contract must contain:
- The sort of travel product you are buying (that is, whether it is a
package or linked travel arrangement) and the corresponding level of
- The destination and the period of the holiday
- The cost of the holiday
- The mode of transport - information provided must include times, dates
and places of departure and return.
- The location and category of the accommodation and its compliance with
the law of the EU Member State in question
- The meal plan, if any
- Cancellation arrangements ( for example, where a minimum take up is
required for a package holiday to come into being in the first place)
- Details of cancellations
- Itinerary of any excursions included
- Contact details of the travel organiser or, if appropriate, the insurer
- Price and payment schedule, if applicable
- Any tax or compulsory charges
- Any special or exceptional requirements, which the consumer has asked for
and have been accepted by both parties to the contract
- The complaints procedure for the consumer if the travel organiser fails
to carry out its part of the contract
In addition, before the contract is concluded, your must be given some other
- Information about passport and any visa requirements
- Health formalities (that is, if you are required to have any special
vaccinations or health advice)
- Special arrangements in place in the event of unforeseen events for
repatriation (returning home) and the security of money paid over in the
event that the travel organiser becomes bankrupt
- Insurance requirements. If insurance is compulsory as part of your
package holiday, you must be told this along with the minimum level of
cover needed. It is important to remember that you cannot be forced
to take out the travel organiser's insurance. Where insurance is
optional, your travel organiser must, if it has information that would help
you to decide whether to insure or not, give this information to you.
Changes to the contract
Where the organiser makes unilateral changes to the contract you have the
right to cancel if the changes significantly alter any of the main
characteristics of the travel service.
You may cancel your booking at any time before travelling, although it is
advisable to give reasonable notice. However, you may incur reasonable
You have the right to cancel your booking for free, before the start of the
package, in the event of unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances. This
includes natural disaster, war, terrorism, disease or serious conditions at the
destination. The organiser is also responsible for covering the costs for
repatriation and any possible extra costs.
Cap on price increases
Prices may increase only if the contract expressly allows for this. If the
price increases by more than 8%, you have the right to cancel without paying a
Right to transfer
You can transfer your contract to another traveller as long as you give the
travel organiser reasonable written notice (at least 7 days) before the start
of the package. Both you and the person you transfer the package holiday to,
are responsible for payment of the holiday or the remaining balance of payment.
You are also responsible for any other costs involved as a result of the
The organiser must try to resolve an issue if something goes wrong with the
package. Traders will be made explicitly liable for booking errors in relation
to packages and linked travel arrangements
Right to assistance if in difficulty
The organiser must give appropriate assistance without undue delay if you
are in difficulty. This includes information regarding healthcare, local
authorities and consular assistance, and assistance for communications and
alternative travel arrangements.
Right to rectification of issues
You have the right to have issues rectified while on holiday. Where a
significant proportion of the contract cannot be provided you should be offered
suitable alternative arrangements. If the organiser does not provide remedies
within a reasonable period, you should seek reimbursement of any necessary
expenses you have incurred. You should also be entitled, where appropriate, to
a price reduction or termination of the contract. You may be entitled to
compensation for inconvenience.
Rights for linked travel arrangements
A linked travel arrangement (LTA) is not considered a package and you have
more limited rights for these arrangements. Your rights are limited to
situations where the provider of the first service goes bankrupt. In this case
you are entitled to a money-back guarantee and, where appropriate,
When you make the second booking under an LTA, you must be told that you are
not booking a package and therefore can claim insolvency protection only.
For more information, you can read the European
Commission's page on the Package Travel Directive.
How to apply
Making a complaint
It is important to read through the terms and conditions of your package
holiday contract. Your contract will outline the procedures in place for
dealing with complaints, it will confirm who you should complain to and how
complaints should be made (that is, in writing or another way).
If you have a complaint while on holiday, you should report the problem at
once to your local holiday representative or travel organiser in the vicinity.
The organiser must compensate you for any shortfalls in the service that it
provides - between what was originally due and what was actually provided.
The travel organiser should be given the opportunity to remedy the
situation, at no extra cost to you.
If you are not satisfied that the matter has been resolved, you should
gather as much evidence as possible to support your case while on holidays,
including taking photographs or video footage (if possible).
If you are not satisfied that the complaint has been dealt with properly
when you return from the holiday, you must lodge a complaint in writing to the
travel organiser - within 28 days from the date of completion of the package
If it does not respond within a reasonable time, you should send a second
letter of complaint.
If you are still not satisfied with the oragniser's response, then you have
the following options:
- Seek advice from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission
(CCPC) for complaints about traders based in Ireland. The CCPC is empowered
to oversee the enforcement of Irish legislation governing package holidays
and to identify breaches of this legislation (that is, misleading
advertising, or inaccurate brochures). The CCPC cannot bring proceedings on
behalf of a citizen.
- Seek advice from ECC Ireland for complaints about traders based elsewhere
in the EU/EEA. In some cases, ECC Ireland may liaise on your behalf to seek
an amicable solution with the trader via the centre based in the country of
- If the organiser refuses to offer any compensation, you can pursue the
matter through the Small
Claims Court (for traders based in Ireland and claims up to €2,000)
or the European Small Claims procedure (for traders based elsewhere in the
EU/EEA and claims up to €5,000), or through
Cancellation of the holiday by the travel organiser
If the travel organiser cancels the package holiday or alters a term of the
contract, including the price or type of accommodation, you must be given the
option of one of the following:
- A replacement holiday of equivalent or superior quality
- A lower grade holiday, with a reimbursement of the difference in price
- A full refund within 14 days
No price changes are allowed within 20 days of the departure date.
The travel organiser has the right to cancel the package due to factors out
of its control, such as an act of God, or where it has failed to get the number
of people that was required for the package.