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Travel industry news

23 Jul 2015

BY Edward Robertson

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Travlaw PTD Briefing: Brace for full impact... in court

The full impact of changes to the Package Travel Directive (PTD) will only be understood once it is tested in a court of law.

Court concept - scales and gavel

Travlaw partner Matt Gatenby said there was very little left that was not defined as a package by the changes.

 

Senior partner Stephen Mason added that circumstances in the courts could mean that even something considered outside of the revised PTD legislation may yet be labelled as a package.

 

He cited the example of a customer who has suffered “life-changing injuries” while on holiday and is suing whoever sold the holiday.


Mason said: “The only thing that’s stopping the judge from giving that person his compensation that would improve his life is a definition.

“There’s a risk that in that type of a scenario… it will be said to be a package.”

 

He added the scenario could also occur even if a customer was suing as a result of suffering an injury while travelling under the new category of a Linked Travel Arrangement (LTA). This is separate to packages, and created if all the components are organised separately and invoiced and paid for separately.

 

Mason said: “In the case of the seriously injured claimant who says I bought a package, and the travel company says: ‘no you didn’t, it was a LTA so you don’t get any compensation’, the judge will be under pressure to say it is a package.”

 

Nor is this the only confusion being created by the new legislation, Mason said, adding that other areas remained open to interpretation in its current form.

 

In a bid to ensure as many different companies are brought under the legislation as possible, the definition of a package has been widened with clause V of article 3 looking to target OTAs, click-throughs and single-component sellers which covers product “purchased from separate traders through linked online booking processes”.

 

Gatenby said: “If someone is going to make a claim against you or all three or four of you, you will need to have in your mind who the organiser is.

“You’re going to have to think carefully about the arrangements with the suppliers you work with.”

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