Travel firms should review their booking terms and conditions to avoid legal claims by customers for elements of a package trip that they should not be held responsible for warns law firm Adams & Remers.
Firms that sell travel packages frequently leave themselves open to claims because they haven’t been clear as to who is providing the different components of the package.
Lewis Solomon at Adams & Remers comments: “I recently undertook to revise a specialist travel company’s booking conditions, so that they would no longer be responsible as an ‘organiser’ under the meaning of the Package Travel Regulations for any claims made by their customers for the ski packs and accommodation only services they sold.”
“These revised conditions were then tested under a new claim, which was brought against the operator by customers who had purchased from them accommodation and ski packs only. The customers’ claims regarding the ski packs were that the ski boots provided were ill-fitting and caused pain and discomfort and the ski lessons which were advertised for beginners contained non-beginners. Regarding the accommodation, the customers complained about the standard of food served and overcrowding in the restaurant.”
“All claims failed as the travel firms booking conditions, clearly set out that they had sold these services on an agency basis and as single components, which was reflected on the invoice issued. The gist of the ruling was that the operator concerned had executed its duty to select competent suppliers with reasonable care and skill and that the customers’ claims were not against the travel company concerned but the service suppliers.”
“For any ‘accommodation only’ or ‘winter sports’ operators, just a few simple adjustments to your booking conditions, invoicing and contracts can make a huge difference to your potential liability and risk.”