October 23, 2014

Are you booking your winter break online?

The ease of making arrangements online in the comfort of our own home is hard to resist. However, there are drawbacks to arranging your holiday in this way and it’s worth considering some of the pitfalls before doing so.

One of these is your ability to claim compensation under UK law for an injury gained in an accident that was a result of the fault of some component of the holiday provision.

Under the Package Holiday Regulations 1992 a consumer can bring a claim in the UK Courts under UK law where injury has resulted from an accident which occurred during the course of a package holiday because of “the failure to perform the contract or the improper performance of the contract.” This type of claim maybe made against the travel agent who sold the holiday, the holiday provider, the supplier of services forming part of the holiday or the tour operator.

Some websites offer “tailor made holidays” where various parts of a holiday are sold separately but can be linked together by you to make up what seems to be a package (eg travel, accommodation etc). In these cases the Courts have held that they do not fall under the protection of the Package Travel Regulations because they are not part of “a pre-arranged combination at an inclusive price.” In these cases the victim of an accident must bring a claim in the country concerned under the laws of that country.

What you can do to protect yourself when booking online?

However you choose to buy your holiday you should always check the terms and conditions of your booking before you commit yourself. You should also keep and take hard copies of confirmations and other documentation including emails or receipts with your when you travel so that you have proof of contracts and the full details of what you have actually booked.

If you use your credit card to pay for the holiday and the cost is more than £100 and less than £30,000, the credit card company may be equally liable for any breach of contract.

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