The UK Office of Fair Trading has said that First Choice
(Airtours holidays) and Thomson
(part of TUI) had agreed to amend terms that were in conflict with the package travel regulations.
The companies have now agreed to revise a range of terms relating to surcharging, cancellation rights and compensation, an OFT statement added.
The changes will appear in the next reprints of their brochures but in the meantime, the companies will not be allowed to enforce any of the disputed terms within their existing contracts.
John Vickers, director general of Fair Trading, said: “Holidaymakers with Airtours, Thomson and First Choice now have greater peace of mind that they will get fair treatment. I welcome this move. The OFT is still working with a number of other operators to change their terms.”
The OFT said Airtours had agreed to end surcharging on all holidays. Thomson and First Choice, however, have decided not to end surcharging. Instead, they have agreed to pass on reductions to consumers if the cost of the holiday falls.
Consumers will be compensated for greater amounts if they have suffered any loss, as a result of significant changes being made to a holiday, before it has started, the OFT said.
They must also offer compensation to consumers if there has been a significant change to the brochure`s description of the facilities. Tour operators will no longer be able to insert a clause in their contracts excluding liability for facilities that are unavailable out of season.
Tour operators will no longer be able to deny liability for complaints received more than 28 days after the holiday has ended and operators will no longer be able to limit liability for lost or damage baggage to £400 a person within their contract terms.