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Wasted holidays? Claim your compensation

Many people tend to plan their summer holidays through a “travel package scheme”. But, legally speaking, what is a travel package scheme? Travels packages are pre-arranged holidays including a minimum of two main services such as transportation, catering or accommodation, for which you pay a set price and which cover a minimum period of 24 hours or involve overnight accommodation.

Pre-arranged holidays seem like the perfect option for a hassle free vacation. However, unforeseeable problems may arise if the package has not been planned correctly. For example, we may find our flight has been delayed for several hours, our suitcases may have been lost or we may even have an accident during an excursion which has been planned during the holiday. In cases like these…how do we proceed?

Firstly, we strongly recommend you to contact experienced Lawyers within this area of expertise, as the legal problems arising from a claim due to damages to the holidaymaker can only be solved by Tort Law, Civil Liability and Insurance experts, as there are many details to take into account when filing these claims.

In the present case, when purchasing a travel package, the traveler is legally considered a consumer, and, as such, his consumer rights are protected by Royal Legislative Decree 1/2007 of 16 November, which approves the Consolidated Text of the General Law for the Defence of Consumers and Users. The RDL 1/2007 grants consumers the status of “weaker party” and the contract to be signed with the travel agency, either retailer (traditional travel agency) or organizer (tour operator) is considered a standard contract (contract of adherence) in which the consumer does not have the capacity to individually negotiate the clauses within the contract. Therefore, the consumer, as the weaker contracting party, is protected by the RDL 1/2007, which is of obligatory application.

 One of the most typical cases of unsatisfied customers due to incidents during their vacation is when they find that the offer they had contracted is not the holiday they are participating in, either because they have been downgraded at the hotel, the means of transport has changed or some of the services they paid for are not included. In cases like these, we must remember that the offer is binding and the informative brochure is considered as part of the contract. If you have bought a travel package based on an offer or catalogue and your holidays are not what you paid for, you can claim compensation. Another common scenario is that of accidents or food poisoning within the holiday package.

In situations like these, you are entitled to claim compensation for damages, including economic damages, personal injuries or even moral damages under the doctrine of the so-called “wasted holidays.” This doctrine is based on the theory that the consumer is entitled to compensation for damages due to the frustration of expectations that he has suffered from poor execution of the travel contract by the agency or because of liability of the provider of the services (either agency, airline, restaurant etc). Consequential damages include, among others, concepts such as food and accommodation, expenses incurred as a result of breach of contract, being both the retailer and the organizer jointly and severally liable for such breach (art.162 RDL 1/2007). This is an issue of particular relevance as it ensures the consumer that he will be paid compensation because the organizers are always reputed and solvent companies.

According to the provisions of Article 164, the statute of limitations to file this claim is of two years, so there is still time to claim compensation for damages incurred during your last holiday.

Due to the above, if you have suffered food poisoning on board a cruise, if your luggage has been lost, your flight has been delayed or if your hotel is not the standard you paid for, please contact us for a free no obligation consultation and we will help you claim compensation.

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