ABTA has submitted recommendations over the last two months on two out of three fundamental reviews of transport and tourism legislation being conducted in the UK and the European Union and will be responding on the third tomorrow. The first two are a European Commission review of the Package Travel Directive of 1991 and also of Air Passenger Rights legislation. The UK Department of Transport is also conducting a review of the role and function of the Civil Aviation Authority with particular regard to its consumer financial protection scheme, the Air Travel Organiser Licence [ATOL] scheme. ABTA will be submitting its response on 11 March.
All of ABTA’s recommendations followed a comprehensive consultation with its Members. If accepted they will result in a significant widening of the scope of financial protection for the travelling public as well as a more equitable trading environment for all participants within the travel industry.
ABTA’s key recommendations are summarised below.
The Review of Air Passenger Rights Legislation
• All sales of scheduled airline tickets should offer financial protection; ABTA also makes this recommendation in the Package Travel Directive Review.
The Review of the Package Travel Directive
• All linked leisure travel arrangements, including arrangements bought on the internet where customers “click through” from one site to another, should offer the same protection to customers
• Customers should get accurate and detailed information prior to booking
• Consumers should be able to clearly understand who is responsible for the proper performance of their holiday services
The EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection commenting on the review of the Package Travel Directive on 9 March said that the commission planned to extend consumer protection on travel packages to internet bookings. The Commission and MEPs also raised their concern that airline insolvency should be covered by European law.