A Guide to Package Holidays
National Consumer Agency
Who are we?
The National Consumer Agency is an independent national agency that was established by the Irish government under the Consumer Protection Act 2007. Our activities incorporate the work that was previously done by the Office of the Director of Consumer Affairs (ODCA). We also have additional areas of focus, which are outlined below, and we have extensive new powers. Among other things, these powers allow us to deal with unfair, misleading or aggressive commercial practices. • promote a strong consumer culture in Ireland through consumer education and awareness; • help businesses obey consumer law through our enforcement activities; and • represent consumer interests at all levels of local and national consumer policy development through targeted research and forceful advocacy. Our consumer website, www.consumerconnect.ie, provides a broad range of consumer-related information, news, top tips and an email enquiry service. If you can’t find what you are looking for on our website, ring our friendly and helpful advisors on LoCall 1890 432 432. Our corporate website, www.nca.ie, helps businesses understand their obligations. It also provides useful references for the media and researchers. Further information is available in our leaflet A Guide To The National Consumer Agency.
What do we do?
Our aim is to provide strong and modern consumer protection, safeguarding consumers in Ireland and empowering them to understand and to exercise their rights. To achieve our aim, we: • inform consumers of their rights through consumer information;
Consumer Helpline LoCall 1890 432 432
1. What is a ‘package holiday’? 2. Where and how is a
4 4 5 6 6 8 8 9 10 12
‘package holiday’ sold?
3. Consumer protection 4. Brochures 5. What information must be in 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
a guide to package holidays
We all look forward to our holidays, whether it is a short weekend break or a long trek to somewhere exotic. But sometimes we end up disappointed. When this happens we need to know our rights. This booklet describes the law covering ‘package holidays’, what information should be contained in the brochure, and what to do if things go wrong.
the brochure? Booking the Holiday Paying for the holiday What is bonding? Cancelling or Transferring a Holiday If things go wrong
what is a ‘package holiday’?
Under consumer law, a ‘package holiday’ is defined as a pre-arranged holiday that is sold at an inclusive price. The duration of the holiday must be for at least 24 hours (or include an overnight stay) and has at least two of the following: • travel or transport; • accommodation (for example hotel or apartment); and • a tourist service or activity (for example golf or hill-walking) not directly linked to transport or accommodation, but which makes up a large part of the package. However, if you ask a tour operator or travel agent to organise a trip to meet your specific needs, this is not regarded as a package holiday. The law says that a ‘package holiday’ is a holiday that is arranged in advance and includes the cost of the entire holiday. This means that if you book a flight from an airline's website and then book your accommodation from a link on that website, you are not booking a package holiday as defined in the Act.
Where and how is a ‘package holiday’ sold?
A package holiday is usually sold by a tour operator or by a retailer. The tour operator puts the package together and the retailer (almost always a travel agent) then sells it to the public. Most package holidays are sold to consumers by retailers or travel agents or directly by the tour operator.
Consumer Helpline LoCall 1890 432 432
The legislation governing the sale of package holidays is called the Package Holidays & Travel Trade Act, 1995. It is designed to protect consumers who take package holidays. It includes package...
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