If you offer package trips, airline tickets, immovable property in part-time use (timeshare), or memberships for holiday clubs, you must make clear what exactly is included and what the price is.
Rules for selling trips and holidays
You must inform your clients (in Dutch) on what exactly you are selling and at what price. You must make clear:
- for how many persons the stated price is
- what is included in the price
- the advertised price of an offer must be the price for which the client can book
- additional costs must be included in the price, such as surcharges and administration costs
- additional costs of which you do not yet know the amount must be announced
- include payment costs in the price
Corona: voucher or money back
You may offer your customers a voucher or credit note if you have (had) to cancel holiday trips or airline tickets. However, under EU rules, passengers and travellers have the right to choose between vouchers or cash reimbursement for cancelled transport tickets (plane, train, bus/coach and ferries) or package travel. You are no longer allowed to offer vouchers or credit notes for package trips that were booked after 1 January 2021 and which you want to cancel. You should pay your customer back within 14 days.
A package trip is a package with at least 2 travel services such as transport, hotel or rental car. A package trip lasts at least 24 hours or has at least 1 overnight stay. If you sell a package trip you must:
- take measures to protect your clients in case you meet financial problems. For instance by joining a travel guarantee fund. You mention these measures in your brochure or on your website.
- inform your clients in clear language about among others the nature of the trip and the rights that come with it (use the standard forms), the destination, the price, what is included in the price, and when payment is due. You put this in a travel agreement.
- inform your clients on passport and visa requirements
- make sure the trip is carried out as is agreed with and as can be expected by the customer
- optional elements must be mentioned clearly at the start of the booking process
- you may not preselect any options
- You sell the trip at the price you confirmed upon your client's booking, unless you can make it plausible that the client knew that you had made a mistake
If you offer the possibility to take out an option on a package trip, you must inform your client in advance about the consequences. For instance, will you cancel the trip or wil you consider it to be booked if the client does not contact you?
If a trip does not satisfy reasonable expectations you must offer and pay for help and support to your clients, supply your clients with a substitute package or pay them compensation.
You may only change or cancel a package trip in exceptional circumstances, such as if the hotel has burned down. You must include this in your terms and conditions.
You are only allowed to increase the price in specific instances (in Dutch), as you are dependent on other parties that may raise their prices. You may only pass on a price increase to your clients if:
- the travel agreement contains arrangements on how to deal with price increases and price reductions, and
- the costs are related to transport, fuel prices, levies or exchange rates, and
- you do not pass on the price increase later than 20 days before the start of the trip, and
- you make sure your clients can retain your statement of the reason and the calculation of the price increase
Rules for linked travel arrangements (LTA)
Do you sell linked travel services, for instance an airline ticket and a hotel? This is called a linked travel arrangement (LTA). An LTA is not a package trip and different rules apply. You must make clear to you clients that they have an LTA. If you fail to do so the rules for package trips apply, except the rules concerning price increases.
Airline tickets and accommodations
If you offer airline tickets for flights departing from EU airports, you have to comply with the rules from the European Regulation for the operation of air services in the EU, such as:
- The total price of the ticket - including all compulsory elements such as taxes, levies and surcharges - must at all times be indicated. You must specify all these costs.
- Any extra options, for example for cancellation insurance, travel insurance or extra luggage, may be suggested on an opt-in basis only.
Long-term holiday contract (timeshare holidays and holiday clubs)
You sell a long-term holiday contract (more than 1 year) with which a customer:
- can stay for a period each year in an accommodation (for example a holiday home) within the EU (timeshare)
- can book an accommodation within the EU on a discount (holiday clubs or hotel cards)
If you do so, you must among others:
- inform your client of their rights and what is included in the price before you conclude an agreement
- have them sign the European directive standard information form and the standard withdrawal form
- observe a reflection period of 14 days and not ask an advance payment during this period
- offer a payment arrangement in annual instalments. Every year you send your client a payment reminder.