Knowledge Platform

Impact of the Package Travel Directive

The current Package Travel Directive [3] (the PTD), which has been transposed into the national law of EU Member States through secondary legislation, sets out common rules on the provision of package holidays.

Although the definition may vary slightly between Member States, ‘package’ is currently defined under the Directive as:

“… the pre-arranged combination of not fewer than two of the following when sold or offered for sale at an inclusive price and when the service covers a period of more than twenty-four hours or includes overnight accommodation:

(a)  transport;

(b)  accommodation;

(c)  other tourist services not ancillary to transport or accommodation and accounting for a significant proportion of the package.

The separate billing of various components of the same package shall not absolve the organiser or retailer from the obligations under this Directive.” 

Whilst the significance of the PTD in the context of multi-modal travel may not be immediately apparent, it will certainly be relevant in its current and new form in a situation where a multi-modal ticket is booked in conjunction with accommodation. However, as the use of multi-modal travel increases and case law develops, the PTD may provide the courts with a mechanism to enhance consumer protection for multi-modal passengers. It is not inconceivable that a court might in the longer term find that multi-modal travel under a single ticket falls within the scope of the PTD on the basis that two or more (albeit of the same type of travel service) are being combined and sold for an inclusive price at a single point of sale.

It is therefore important to understand the nature of the liability that can arise under the PTD which operates concurrently to the various passenger rights regimes discussed above.

[3] Council Directive 90/314/EEC of 13 June 1990 on package travel, package holidays and package tours