If something goes wrong while you’re away or the travel company goes bust, knowing your rights is essential. Here’s what to do if you need to cancel your trip or complain.
You now have the same rights whether you book your holiday at a high street retailer or online.
These are your consumer rights if you book a package holiday or linked travel arrangement.
It’s where you buy a combination of at least two different types of travel services for the same trip from a single point of sale, for example:
You must choose the services before you pay and buy them as a package in the same booking, for a total price.
It’s where your name, email address, and payment details are passed from the first trader you buy a travel service from to another, via a link. The second booking must be completed within 24 hours of the first.
If you buy a click through package you still have all the same rights as buying a normal package holiday.
Not every type of trip or travel service counts as a package holiday, some exclusions include:
If you book a package holiday, you should be:
To understand your rights regarding flight delays and cancellations, check flightrights.ie.
This is where you buy two or more travel services from different companies that are linked. You book the first service which links through to another service that you book under a separate contract.
For example, you book a flight on one website and click on a targeted link to another website where you book accommodation for your trip.
The second booking must be made no later than 24 hours after the first, to count as a linked travel arrangement.
You have fewer rights with a linked travel arrangement than with a package contract and you’re only covered against insolvency with the first booking.
If the first company you book with goes bankrupt, you’re entitled to your money back and repatriation, if the money is still held by them.
For example, if you booked hotel accommodation through them and they haven’t yet paid the hotel.
However, if the second company you booked with suffers the same fate, you’re not protected.
You can cancel at any time up to the start of your holiday for a reasonable cancellation fee. The less notice you give, the more money you’ll lose.
You’re entitled to a full refund without paying any fee, in the following situations:
They may have to cancel due to extraordinary circumstances beyond their control, or where they can’t get the minimum number of participants needed for a trip to run. In these situations, you have the option of:
Can the price go up after you’ve booked?
Yes, the cost can go up but not within 20 days of your departure date.
The cost of your trip may be affected by increases to:
Remember, if the total cost increases by more than 8%, you can cancel and get a refund.
You must raise any issues with the travel organiser without delay, where you feel a service isn’t satisfactory. If you delay, it could affect the compensation you get.
They should be allowed to put things right but if this doesn’t happen, you should gather evidence to support your complaint e.g. take photos or video footage.
If the matter is still unresolved when you’re back home, you should put your complaint in writing within 28 days of the holiday end date.
Details of where to send your complaint should be shown in the contract’s terms and conditions.
If you’re unhappy with their response or they fail to respond within a reasonable timeframe, you can contact:
Travel companies may use arbitration to resolve complaints. This is where an independent party investigates and reviews the evidence, to decide how much compensation to award.
You also have the option of pursuing a claim up to €2,000 through the Small Claims Court.
You can reduce your chances of needing to cancel a trip or making a complaint if you follow these tips:
When you book a holiday, your contract should confirm whether it’s a package or linked travel arrangement, plus all the key information about your trip such as:
Check here for the full contract terms.
In both cases, two bookings are made within 24 hours of each other and are ‘linked’ together. This is usually by clicking on a targeted link from the first booking, that leads to the second booking.
With a click through package, your personal details are passed over from the first booking to the second (name, email and payment details) but no details are passed over with a linked travel arrangement.
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