Why definitions are important when booking a holiday.
A recent case has highlighted why it matters so much whether a holiday is a ‘package’ or just a booking of travel. A man and his girlfriend were seeking a ‘last minute’ holiday, and after seeing one advertised online, he telephoned the travel agent and the couple booked their holiday.
After suffering an injury whilst on the holiday, the man sought compensation from the firm with which he had made the booking. However, the firm claimed that their sales agent would have read a telephone script to him, making it clear that it was only acting as the agent for the holiday provider.
Firms providing package holidays are liable for injuries arising from negligence in the provision of services or accommodation that are part of the package. However, according to Claire Bond: "Where a travel agent just organises travel and accommodation which are not a “package”, liability will rest with the individual firm whose negligence caused the injury.”
After initially failing in his action, the man took his case to the Court of Appeal, which decided that as the man was not specifically told that he could book the flights without the accommodation or vice versa, and secondly, that the original invoice included ‘service charges’, which were not explained, these represented the cost of creating a package out of the cost of the flights and accommodation. Claire commented: “In light of this important distinction, the man was able to bring his action against the travel agent for compensation. People need to be aware of this crucial distinction.”
If you feel you may need advice in relation to a potential claim, we can advise you. Call Claire on 02392 820747 for further information.