General Terms and Conditions for Package Travel
Article 1: Scope of application
These general terms and conditions apply to package travel contracts booked from 1 July 2018 as defined by the Act of 21 November 2017 on the sale of package travel, related travel services and travel services.
Article 2: Information from the organiser and the retailer before the conclusion of the package travel contract
2.1 The organizer and the retailer shall provide the traveller with the legally prescribed standard information before he is bound by a package travel contract, as well as the information mentioned below if it applies to the package tour :
1° The main characteristics of travel services:
the destination(s), itinerary and periods of stay, with dates and the
number of nights included;
the means, characteristics and categories of transport, the places and dates and times of departure and return, the duration and location of stopovers and connections; where the exact time has not yet been determined, the traveller is informed of the approximate time of departure and return;
the location, main characteristics and category of accommodation under the rules of the country of destination ;
the meals provided;
the visits, excursions or other services included in the total price agreed for the package tour;
where it is not clear, whether the travel services will be provided to the traveller as a member of a group;
the language in which the other tourist services will be provided;
whether the travel is, in general, suitable for persons with reduced mobility
2° the total price of the package tour and, if applicable, any additional costs that the traveller may still have to bear;
3° the terms of payment
4° the minimum number of persons required for the package tour and the deadline for a possible termination of the contract in case this number is not reached;
5° general information on passport and visa requirements, including the approximate time required to obtain visas, as well as information on health formalities;
6° a statement indicating that the traveller may terminate the contract upon payment of a termination fee;
7° information on cancellation insurance and assistance insurance
2.2 The professional shall ensure that the appropriate standard information form is provided to the traveller.
2.3 The pre-contractual information provided to the traveller shall form an integral part of the package travel contract. It may not be changed except by common agreement of the contracting parties.
Article 3: Information for the traveller
3.1 The person concluding the package travel contract shall provide the organiser and the retailer with all relevant information which could influence the conclusion of the contract or the smooth running of the tour.
3.2 If the traveller provides incorrect information which results in additional costs for the organiser and/or retailer, these costs may be charged to him.
Article 4: The package travel contract
4.1 Upon conclusion of the package travel contract or within a reasonable period of time, the organizer or, if there is a retailer, the retailer, shall provide the traveller with a copy or confirmation of the contract on a durable medium, e.g. e-mail, paper document or pdf.
The traveller is entitled to request a paper copy if the package travel contract is concluded in the physical and simultaneous presence of the parties.
4.2 The package travel contract or its confirmation shall contain the entire content of the agreement, which shall include all the information referred to in Article 2 and the following information: 1° the particular requirements of the traveller that the organizer has accepted;
2° that the organizer is responsible for the proper performance of all travel services included in the contract and that he has a duty of assistance;
3° the name of the entity responsible for protection against insolvency and its contact details;
4° the name, address, telephone number and e-mail address of the organizer's local representative, or another service through which the traveller can quickly contact the organizer to request assistance if the traveller is in difficulty or to complain about any non-compliance;
5° the obligation for the traveller to communicate any non-conformity that he notices during the performance of the trip;
6° information making it possible to establish direct contact with an unaccompanied minor or the person responsible for the minor at the place of stay;
7° information on internal procedures for handling complaints;
8° information on the Travel Complaints Commission and the EU's online dispute resolution platform;
9° information on the traveller's right to transfer his contract to another traveller.
4.3 In good time before the start of the package tour, the tour operator shall provide the traveller with :
2° the necessary vouchers and tickets,
3° information on the scheduled time of departure and, where applicable, the latest check-in time, the scheduled times of stopovers, connections and arrival.
Article 5: The price
5.1 After the conclusion of the package travel contract, prices may only be increased if the contract expressly provides for this possibility.
In this case the package travel contract shall specify how the price revision is calculated.
Price increases are only possible if they are the direct result of a change in the price:
1° in the price of passenger transport resulting from the cost of fuel or other energy sources, or
2° the level of taxes or charges on the travel services included in the contract, imposed by a third party not directly involved in the execution of the package tour, including tourist taxes, embarkation and disembarkation taxes at ports and airports, or
3° exchange rates related to the package tour.
If provision is made for the possibility of an increase, the traveller shall be entitled to a price reduction corresponding to any reduction in the costs referred to above.
5.2 If the price increase exceeds 8% of the total price, the traveller may withdraw from the contract without paying a cancellation fee.
5.3 An increase in the price shall only be possible if the Tour Operator notifies the Traveler of the price increase with a justification and calculation, on a durable medium, such as an e-mail, paper document or pdf, no later than 20 days before the start of the package tour.
5.4 In the event of a reduction in the price, the organizer is entitled to deduct his administrative expenses from the reimbursement due to the traveller. At the traveller's request, the Tour Operator shall provide proof of these expenses.
Article 6: Payment of the price
6.1 Unless expressly agreed otherwise, the traveller shall pay a fraction of the total price of the package as a deposit at the conclusion of the package tour, as set out in the Special Travel Conditions.
6.2 Unless otherwise agreed, the traveller shall pay the balance of the price at the latest one month before departure.
6.3 If the traveller, after having been given notice of default, fails to pay the deposit or the price of the package tour duly claimed from him, the organizer and/or retailer shall be entitled to terminate the contract with the traveller by operation of law and to charge the costs to the traveller.
Article 7: Assignment of the package travel contract
7.1 The traveller may assign the package travel contract to a person who satisfies all the conditions applicable to the contract, provided that :
1° he informs the organizer and possibly the retailer via a durable medium such as e-mail, paper document or pdf, as soon as possible and at the latest 7 days before the start of the package tour, and
2° to bear any additional costs incurred by this transfer.
7.2 The person who assigns the package tour and the person who takes over the package tour shall be jointly and severally liable for the payment of the balance of the price and any additional costs arising from the assignment. The organizer shall inform the transferor of the costs of the transfer.
Article 8: Other changes by the traveller
The organizer and/or retailer may charge the traveller for all costs resulting from other changes requested by the traveller and accepted by the organizer and/or retailer.
Article 9: Amendments to the contract by the organizer prior to the journey
9.1 The organizer may not unilaterally change the terms of the package travel contract other than the price before the start of the package tour, unless
1° the organiser has reserved this right in the contract, and
(2) the amendment is minor, and
3° the organiser only informs the traveller about it on a durable medium, such as an e-mail, a paper document or a pdf.
9.2 If, before the start of the package tour, the organizer is forced to significantly change one or more of the main characteristics of the travel services or if he cannot meet the particular requirements of the traveller that are confirmed or if he proposes to increase the price of the package by more than 8%, he shall inform the traveller :
1° of the proposed changes and their repercussions on the price of the package;
2° the fact that the traveller may cancel the contract without paying cancellation fees, unless he agrees to the proposed changes
3° the time limit within which he must communicate his decision to the organizer
4° the fact that if the traveller has not expressly accepted the proposed change within the time limit, the contract is automatically terminated, and
5° if applicable, the proposed alternative as well as its price.
9.3 If changes to the package travel contract or the substitute package tour result in a reduction in the quality of the package tour or its cost, the traveller shall be entitled to an appropriate price reduction.
9.4 If the package travel contract is terminated according to Article 9.2 and the traveller does not accept another package, the organizer shall refund all payments made no later than fourteen days after the termination of the contract.
Article 10: Cancellation by the organizer before the trip.
10.1 The organizer may terminate the package travel contract:
1° if the number of persons registered for the package tour is less than the minimum number specified in the contract and the organizer notifies the traveller of the cancellation of the contract within the period specified in the contract, but at the latest:
(a) 20 days before the start of the package tour in the case of tours lasting more than six days;
(b) seven days before the beginning of the package tour in the case of tours of a duration of between two and six days;
(c) 48 hours before the beginning of the package tour in the case of journeys lasting not more than two days,
2° if he is prevented from fulfilling the contract due to exceptional and unavoidable circumstances and notifies the traveller of the cancellation of the contract before the package tour begins. 10.2 In such cases the organizer shall reimburse the traveller for the payments made for the package tour, without being liable for additional compensation.
Article 11: Cancellation by the traveller
11.1 The traveller may terminate the package tour contract at any time before the start of the package tour. If the traveller cancels, he may be required to pay the organizer a cancellation fee.
The package travel contract may stipulate a standard cancellation fee, calculated on the basis of the date of cancellation of the contract before the start of the package tour and the expected cost savings and income resulting from the provision of the travel services concerned.
If there is no standard cancellation fee, the amount of the cancellation fee shall be the price of the package tour minus the cost savings and the revenue generated by making the travel services available again.
11.2 The traveller has the right to cancel the package travel contract without paying a cancellation fee if exceptional and unavoidable circumstances at the place of destination have a significant impact on the performance of the package tour or on the transport of passengers to the place of destination. In the event of cancellation of the package travel contract pursuant to this Article, the traveller shall be entitled to a full refund of the payments made in respect of the package tour but not to any additional compensation.
11.3 The organizer shall reimburse all payments made by or on behalf of the traveller within 14 days, less any cancellation fee, if applicable.
Article 12: Non-compliance during the trip
12.1 The traveller shall inform the organizer without delay of any non-conformity that is discovered during the performance of a travel service included in the package travel contract.
12.2 If one of the travel services is not performed in conformity with the package travel contract, the organizer shall remedy the non-conformity, unless this is not the case:
1° is impossible, or
2° results in disproportionate costs, taking into account the importance of the non-compliance and the value of the travel services concerned.
If the organizer does not remedy the non-conformity, the traveller is entitled to a price reduction or compensation in accordance with Article 15.
12.3 If the Tour Operator does not remedy the non-compliance within a reasonable period of time set by the traveller, the traveller may remedy the non-compliance himself and claim reimbursement of the necessary expenses. It is not necessary for the traveller to specify a time limit if the Tour Operator refuses to remedy the non-conformity or if an immediate solution is required.
12.4 If a substantial part of the travel services cannot be provided as planned, the Tour Operator shall offer, without any additional charge to the traveller, other services, if possible of equal or higher quality.
If the other services offered result in a package tour of inferior quality, the organizer shall grant the traveller an appropriate price reduction.
The traveller may not refuse the other services offered only if they are not comparable to what was provided for in the package travel contract or if the price reduction granted is not appropriate.
12.5 If a non-conformity significantly disrupts the performance of the package tour and the organizer does not remedy the non-conformity within a reasonable period set by the traveller, the traveller may terminate the package tour contract without paying a termination fee and, if applicable, request a price reduction and/or compensation.
If the package tour includes the transport of passengers, the organizer shall also provide the traveller with repatriation.
If it proves impossible to offer other services or if the traveller refuses the other services offered, the traveller is entitled to a price reduction and/or compensation, if applicable, also without cancellation of the package travel contract.
12.6 If, due to exceptional and unavoidable circumstances, it is impossible to ensure the return of the traveller as provided for in the package travel contract, the Tour Operator shall bear the costs of the necessary accommodation for a maximum of three overnight stays per traveller.
12.7 The limitation of costs referred to in 12.6 does not apply to persons with reduced mobility, accompanying persons, pregnant women, unaccompanied minors or persons requiring special medical assistance, provided that the organizer has been notified of their special needs at least 48 hours before the start of the package tour.
12.8 The organiser may not invoke exceptional and unavoidable circumstances to limit his liability if the transport provider concerned cannot rely on such circumstances under the applicable European Union law.
12.9 The traveller may address messages, requests or complaints related to the execution of the package tour directly to the retailer through whom the package tour was purchased. The retailer shall forward these messages, requests or complaints to the organiser without undue delay.
Article 13: Liability of the traveller
The traveller shall be liable for any damage caused to the tour operator and/or travel intermediary, their employees and/or their representatives, through his fault or as a result of the non-fulfilment of his contractual obligations.
Article 14: Liability of the organizer or the travel professional
14.1 The organizer is responsible for the performance of the travel services included in the package travel contract, regardless of whether these services are to be performed by himself or by other travel service providers.
14.2 If the organiser is established outside the European Economic Area, the retailer established in a Member State shall be subject to the obligations imposed on organisers unless he provides proof that the organiser fulfils the conditions laid down in the Law of 21 November 2017.
Article 15: Price reduction and compensation
15.1 The traveller is entitled to an appropriate price reduction for any period of non-compliance of the services provided, unless the Tour Operator proves that the non-compliance is attributable to the traveller.
15.2 The traveller shall be entitled to appropriate compensation from the Tour Operator for any damage suffered as a result of the non-conformity of the services provided. Compensation shall be paid without undue delay.
15.3 The traveller shall not be entitled to any compensation if the Tour Operator proves that the non-compliance is due:
1° to the traveller;
2° to a third party not involved in the provision of the travel services included in the package travel contract and that the nonconformity is unforeseeable or unavoidable, or 3° to exceptional and unavoidable circumstances
Article 16: Duty to assist
16.1 The Tour Operator shall provide the traveller in difficulty in particular with appropriate assistance without undue delay:
1° by providing useful information on health services, local authorities and consular assistance;
2° by helping the traveller to make long-distance calls and to find other travel services.
16.2 The Tour Operator is entitled to charge for such assistance if the difficulty is caused intentionally by the traveller or through his negligence. The price invoiced shall in no case exceed the actual costs incurred by the Tour Operator.
Article 17: Complaints procedure
17.1 If the traveller has a complaint before departure, he must submit it as soon as possible and in a convincing manner to the Tour Operator or retailer.
17.2 Complaints that arise during the execution of the package travel contract must be submitted as soon as possible on the spot, in an appropriate and evidentiary manner, so that a solution can be found.
17.3 Complaints that were not satisfactorily resolved on the spot or that could not be made on the spot must be submitted without delay after the end of the trip to the organiser or retailer in a manner that can serve as evidence.
Article 18: Conciliation procedure
18.1 In the event of a dispute, the parties shall first attempt to reach an amicable settlement between themselves.
18.2 If this attempt at an amicable settlement is unsuccessful, each of the parties concerned may contact the secretariat of the non-profit association Commission de Litiges Voyages to initiate a conciliation procedure. All parties must agree. 18.3 The secretariat shall provide the parties with a conciliation settlement and a "conciliation agreement".
18.4 In accordance with the procedure described in the rules, an impartial conciliator shall contact the parties to pursue a fair conciliation between them.
18.5 The agreement, if reached, shall be embodied in a binding agreement between the parties.
Article 19: Arbitration or Tribunal
19.1 If no conciliation proceedings have been initiated or if these have failed, the complaining party may initiate arbitration proceedings before the Travel Disputes Commission or proceedings before the court.
19.2 The Traveller, whether as plaintiff or defendant, is never obliged to accept the jurisdiction of the Travel Disputes Commission.
19.3 The Tour Operator or retailer who is the defendant may only refuse arbitration proceedings if the amounts claimed exceed 1,250 euros. He shall have a period of 10 calendar days from receipt of the registered letter or e-mail with acknowledgement of receipt informing the Travel Disputes Committee of the opening of a file for an amount of 1,251 euros or more.
19.4 This arbitration procedure is subject to dispute settlement and may be initiated after a complaint has been lodged with the company itself as soon as it appears that an amicable solution has not been found or as soon as 4 months have elapsed from the (planned) end of the trip (or possibly from the service that gave rise to the dispute). Disputes concerning personal injury can only be settled by the courts. 19.5 The arbitration board, composed of equal numbers of members, shall make a binding and final award in accordance with the dispute settlement. No appeal is possible.
Secretariat of the Travel Disputes Commission: telephone: 02/277 62 15 (9h to 12h) fax: 02/277 91 00 City Atrium, Rue du Progrès 50, 1210 Brussels e-mail: email@example.com