Packages and linked travel arrangements

If you book a package or linked travel arrangement after 1 July 2018, you will be protected under European Directive (EU) 2015/2302.

Packages booked before 1 July 2018 fall under the old Directive 90/314/EEG, for which different rules apply.

Take a look at the main rules per situation.

Briefjes met 'travel' op een prikbord

Good to know

What is a package?

A package is a combined trip that you book with a travel organiser. The trip takes at least 24 hours and consists of at least one overnight stay and transport or some other form of tourist service such as an excursion. The organiser offers these components as a package and is responsible for all aspects of the package’s performance.

What is a linked travel arrangement (LTA)?

An LTA is a combined trip that you create yourself via a trader such as a booking website. The trip takes at least 24 hours and consists of at least one overnight stay and transport or some other form of tourist service such as an excursion. The trader does not offer the LTA as a standard package or arrangement. You conclude separate contracts with the individual travel service providers, although this is all facilitated by a single trader.

What information must an organiser provide before I book a package?

Before closing the package travel contract, the organiser must clearly inform you about at least:

  • The type of trip being offered and your rights;
  • The package’s main characteristics, including the destination, periods of stay, means of transport and location of the accommodation;
  • The organiser’s contact information;
  • The total price of the package and the deadline for payments;
  • The minimum number of persons required for the package to take place (if applicable);
  • General information on passport and visa requirements;
  • Required vaccinations and medication;
  • Information that you may terminate the contract before the start of the package in return for payment of an appropriate termination fee;
  • Information on insurance.

What information must a trader provide before I book a linked travel arrangement (LTA)?

Before closing the LTA contract, the trader (the organiser or retailer of the trip, e.g. a travel agency) must clearly inform you about at least:

  • The fact that you are about to book an LTA;
  • The fact that different rules and rights apply to an LTA than to a package;
  • The fact that the trader is responsible for the part of the trip that they offer and the traveller books;
  • The fact that the trader provides security regarding the part of the trip that they offer and the traveller books.

What information must an organiser provide when closing a package travel contract?

When closing the package travel contract, or immediately thereafter, the trader must provide you with a confirmation of the contract, which must contain the following information:

  • Special requirements of the traveller which the organiser has accepted;
  • Information that the organiser is responsible for the proper performance of all travel services and obliged to provide assistance if the traveller is in difficulty;
  • The contact information of the entity that offers protection in the event of a bankruptcy;
  • The contact information of the organiser’s local representative;
  • Information that the traveller is required to report any complaints during the trip;
  • Additional information for minors;
  • Information on complaint handling procedures;
  • Information on the traveller’s right to transfer to contract to another traveller.

Furthermore, the organiser must provide you with the necessary travel documents in good time before the start of the package.

Can the organiser of my package alter any aspect of the trip after booking?

Making alternations after booking is only permitted if the organiser has reserved this right in the contract and the change is insignificant. The organiser is required to inform you of any changes.

If the change is substantial, e.g. a change of the departure date or a transfer to a different hotel, you have the right to:

  • Terminate the contract without paying a termination fee;
  • Accept a substitute package of a lower quality or cost, including an appropriate price reduction.

Can the organiser of my package alter the price of the package after booking?

Prices may only be increased if the contract reserves that possibility and if it concerns changes in:

  • The cost of fuel;
  • Taxes;
  • Fees on the travel services;
  • Exchange rates.

If the price increase exceeds 8% of the total price of the package, you have the right to terminate the contract without paying a termination fee.

If the price change results in a price decrease, you are entitled to a refund of the difference in price.

The price of the package may not be altered anymore from twenty days before the start of the package.

The organiser has terminated my package. What are my rights?

If the organiser terminates your package, you are entitled to a full refund. Furthermore, you are often entitled to additional compensation, except in the event of:

  • Termination due to an insufficient number of participants;
  • Termination due to unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances such as war or a natural disaster. 

I want to terminate my package. Can I?

You may terminate the package travel contract at any time before the start of the package, although the organiser may require you to pay a termination fee. The contract you have entered into with the organiser will usually specify standardised termination fees.

Termination in the event of a calamity

You have the right to terminate the contract without having to pay a termination fee in the event of circumstances outside your control, such as a war or a natural disaster.

The Calamiteitenfonds decides what constitutes a calamity that makes safe travel to the destination an impossibility.

Before booking your trip, always check whether the organiser is affiliated with the Calamiteitenfonds.

You can also download the national government’s Travel App to stay up to date on current travel advice.

 

I want to transfer my package to another traveller. Can I?

If you are unable to go on the trip you booked yourself, you have the right to transfer your package to another traveller under certain conditions. You may do so at the latest seven days before the start of the package. You are liable for any additional fees arising from the transfer. These costs shall not be unreasonable.

With whom can I lodge a complaint about my package?

If you have a complaint about the performance of your package, you can go directly to the organiser with whom you booked the trip. The organiser is responsible for the performance of the package. This means they are also responsible for the services performed by other travel service providers, e.g. an airline.

I am dissatisfied with the package. Am I entitled to compensation?

If you have a complaint about your package and the problem is the responsibility of the organiser, you are entitled to compensation in the form of an appropriate price reduction and/or compensation for damages.

You are required to inform the organiser of your complaint without undue delay. They must remedy the situation within a reasonable period, unless:

  • the situation cannot be remedied;
  • this entails disproportionate costs.

In the event of either one of these exceptions, you are entitled to a price reduction and compensation for damages.

If the organiser fails to remedy the situation within a reasonable period, you may do so yourself and request reimbursement of the necessary expenses from the organiser.

If the problem substantially affects the performance of the package and the organiser fails to remedy the situation within a reasonable period, you have the right to terminate the package travel contract without paying a termination fee and request a price reduction and compensation for damages.
 
If a significant portion of the travel services cannot be provided, the organiser must offer you a suitable alternative arrangement. If this results in a package of lower quality, the organiser shall give you an appropriate price reduction.

With whom can I lodge a complaint about my linked travel arrangement (LTA)?

If you have a complaint about the performance of your LTA, you must directly approach the trader responsible for the part of the trip you are dissatisfied with.

If, for example, you are dissatisfied with the performance of your flight, you must report this directly to the airline.

I am dissatisfied with my linked travel arrangement (LTA). Am I entitled to compensation?

If you have a complaint about your LTA and the problem is the responsibility of the organiser, you are entitled to compensation in the form of an appropriate price reduction and/or compensation for damages.

You are required to inform the organiser of your complaint without undue delay. They must remedy the situation within a reasonable period, unless:

  • the situation cannot be remedied;
  • this entails disproportionate costs.

In the event of either one of these exceptions, you are entitled to a price reduction and compensation for damages.

If the organiser fails to remedy the situation within a reasonable period, you may do so yourself and request reimbursement of the necessary expenses from the organiser.

If the problem substantially affects the performance of the package and the organiser fails to remedy the situation within a reasonable period, you have the right to terminate the package travel contract without paying a termination fee and request a price reduction and compensation for damages.

If a significant portion of the travel services cannot be provided, the organiser must offer you a suitable alternative arrangement. If this results in a package of lower quality, the organiser shall give you an appropriate price reduction.

I am stranded abroad. What are my rights?

If you are stranded abroad and it is impossible to return to the point of departure due to unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances, you are entitled to a stay of up to three nights.

This limitation of three nights does not apply to persons with special medical conditions, such as pregnant women.

The organiser shall bear the costs of the accommodation. They must also offer you immediate aid and assistance if you are in difficulty.

Package: the organiser is bankrupt. What are my rights?

The organiser is legally required to provide security. If they have financial difficulties, you are fully protected as a traveller.


This means that you are entitled to reimbursement of the total costs of the package. If the package travel contract includes the carriage of passengers, your repatriation will also be provided for.


Before booking, check whether the organiser is affiliated with a travel security fund.
 

Linked travel arrangement (LTA): the retailer is bankrupt. What are my rights?

With an LTA, you enter into contracts with different retailers. If one of these retailers goes bankrupt, they are only liable for the part of the trip for which they have a contract with you. The bankrupt retailer must reimburse you for the costs of their component of the trip.

For example, if an airline goes bankrupt and you are staying abroad, they are also required to arrange and/or pay for your repatriation.

Something went wrong during the booking of my linked travel arrangement (LTA). What are my rights?

If an error occurs during the booking procedure that you had no influence on, for example due to a technical defect, you can hold the trader responsible.

You are responsible for any errors that you caused yourself, for example by misspelling your name. The trader may charge costs to rectify the error.