Linked Travel Arrangements (LTAs) will be introduced as part of the new PTD, which is currently being considered by the government and is due to come into law by January 1, 2018.
Noel Josephides told TTG that the newly created holiday regulation would be “very ineffective and confusing” for both agents and their customers.
He said the process by which an LTA was formed and the lack of protection it is set to offer to agents and clients would be “problematic”.
An LTA is defined as a holiday that includes two or more travel services and is created when all the components of a booking are organised, invoiced and paid for separately, meaning the customer has entered into separate contracts with the trader.
Customers must make their second purchase within 24 hours of the first.
“The big problem about it is very often an agent won’t realise they’ve created an LTA, so it will be very confusing,” said Josephides.
He also criticised the lack of financial protection offered by LTAs, which only cover the agency’s insolvency and not those of the travel or accommodation provider. Once pipeline monies have been passed on to the supplier, there will be no protection for the customer should the airline or operator fail.
“Obviously if you belong to one of the big consortia then you probably have some cover, but it’s not a very easy thing to sell because it is very clear you will have to tell the client exactly what is and isn’t covered, and by the time you’ve finished, the client will ask ‘well what exactly am I getting for all this?’”