FAQ Package Holidays
1. Since when does the new Package Travel Act apply?
The new Package Travel Act (Pauschalreisegesetz in Austria PRG) applies to bookings since 1 July 2018.
2. What is a package holiday?
The combination of at least two travel services as a package, e.g.: Flight + hotel, flight + rental car, hotel + rental car or hotel night + concert ticket.
3. Can individually arranged trips also be considered a package holiday?
Yes, even packages that you put together yourself partly constitute a package holiday, so that the protection of the Package Travel Act applies. This applies online and offline.
4. How do I book a package holiday online?
On the internet, a package tour is booked when you click on the button "Book now for a fee" or similar. Payment can be made later.
5. May the price of the package be increased?
Price increases are only allowed if price reductions are also possible. Less than 20 days before the start of the package, a price increase is not allowed at all. Before that, the price may only be increased for certain reasons specified in the law.
If the price increase is more than eight percent of the travel price, the trader must inform you on a durable medium and give you a reasonable period of time to either agree to the increase or withdraw from the contract free of charge. If you have already paid something, he must refund the money.
Attention: If you do not react within the set reasonable period of time, this is considered as consent to the price increase.
6. Do I have to accept it if the tour operator changes essential parts of my package?
If the tour operator is forced to change essential parts of the trip (e.g. accommodation, destinations, etc.), you do not have to accept this. You can also withdraw free of charge. If you have already paid something, he must refund you the money. The entrepreneur sets a deadline for you to answer whether you accept the changed trip. Attention, silence is considered as acceptance!
7. Can someone else travel instead of me?
You may also transfer your travel contract to another person. However, reasonable additional costs incurred as a result must be paid.
8. What is the best way to deal with deficiencies during the trip?
If there are any deficiencies, you should definitely complain on the spot. And this should be done with the tour operator or the travel agency - not only at the hotel reception! This is best done in writing. If you do not report the deficiencies immediately, this may reduce any claims for compensation. You have the right to a remedy on the spot (e.g. another room) or to a price reduction afterwards. You may also be entitled to compensation for loss of holiday enjoyment.
9. Danger at the holiday destination - what now?
After booking, your holiday destination suddenly becomes a danger zone (natural disasters, political unrest, etc.)? If your trip is thwarted as a result even before it begins, you have a right to cancel free of charge, i.e. you do not have to pay a cancellation fee.
10. What can I do if I am stuck at my holiday destination?
If you are stuck at your holiday destination because of a hurricane or political unrest, for example, the tour operator must pay for a hotel for up to three more days.
11. What insolvency protection do I have for package holidays?
With a package holiday, you are insured against the insolvency of the tour operator. If the trip does not take place, you get back the amount paid to the tour operator. The same applies if you start or continue the holiday but have to pay again for certain services (e.g. hotel). If, on the other hand, the airline booked as part of the package goes bankrupt, the tour operator simply has to rebook you on another airline. If the selected hotel no longer exists, you are entitled to another, equivalent accommodation.
12. What insolvency protection do I have for linked travel services?
With the new category of linked travel services (see article for details), you are protected against the insolvency of the intermediary (e.g. travel agency). If, for example, they go bankrupt before they have forwarded your money to the airline, car rental company, hotel, etc., in practice these companies will probably demand the outstanding payment from you again. If you agree to go ahead with the holiday, you can recover the original payment to the agent from their insolvency insurer.
If, on the other hand, you book a train ticket directly with the railway company and a concert ticket there immediately afterwards, receiving separate invoices, you would be covered against the insolvency of the railway company. But not against the insolvency of the concert operator.
13. So is it safer to book a flight through a travel agent in case the airline goes bankrupt?
As is often the case in legal matters, it all depends on the details. You can find more information on this in this article.