BRUSSELS - During the Covid19 pandemic, package organisers/retailers could not refund their customers due to their inability to recover the traveller’s monies from service providers, and more specifically from airlines. This situation had been detrimental for the whole value chain in particular for travellers using a travel agent or a tour operator. There is an urgent need to strengthen travellers rights in areas not addressed by the PTD yet.
ECTAA position aims at tackling the two main lessons learnt from the pandemic. Firstly, aligning the standards of protection of other passenger legislations (in particular Air Passenger rights regulation) to the ones of the PTD to resolve conflicting provisions. Secondly the importance to legislate about Business-to-Business relations to allow the travel ecosystem to keep functioning is case of disruptive events.
ECTAA is therefore inviting the Commission to revise the Package travel directive. In particular the Commission should set up the long-awaited and much needed protection against airlines’ insolvency and provide for the obligation for service providers holding package traveller’s prepayment to swiftly refund package organiser, so they can in turn refund their customers.
Said Pawel Niewiadomski, President of ECTAA “In the end, the crisis has shown that travellers protection could be improved only if the whole ecosystem works in a harmonised way. This is why air passengers’ protection and Business-to-Business relationships have to be up to package travel standards”.