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What Laws Protect Holidaymakers?

Date: 25th November 2019

When you book a package holiday abroad, you’ll probably not expect to fall ill or suffer an injury through no fault of your own. While travel insurance can help to soften the blow somewhat, the level of protection varies depending on what type of policy you took out.


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However, there are many laws that provide extra protections to customers who are unlucky enough to get a holiday sickness or injury, which could prove a lifeline if the worst happens and you decide to take legal action against your tour operator.

Package Travel Regulations

If you book a package holiday, rather than arrange each element of your holiday separately, you have special protections under the Package Travel Regulations 1992. Your tour operator is responsible for every aspect of your holiday, from your flights and hotels to your airport transfers and hire cars. So if anything isn’t right with just one of these, you could be entitled to compensation.

Under the Package Travel Regulations, you can claim compensation for:

  • Personal Injury, such as a slip on a wet surface after no sign warning of the hazard had been displayed, or food poisoning caused by eating unsafe food
  • Loss of value – If the holiday wasn’t up to the standards you expected and had paid money for, you could be able to claim back compensation
  • Loss of enjoyment if your holiday illness or injury caused distress and upset during your holiday
  • Out of pocket expenses – Any financial losses you’ve incurred as a result of the problems you’ve experienced. This could include the cost of medication, or booking another hotel because the accommodation you booked wasn’t safe

Montreal Convention

Under the Montreal Convention, airlines are responsible if you suffer an injury or have an accident at any stage of the flight, including while getting on and off the aircraft. The Convention also means that airlines are responsible for any luggage they handle and check in, so you can claim back money if any of your possessions are damaged or lost.

ATOL Protections

If a travel operator is selling a package holiday that includes air travel, they must have an Air Travel Organisers Licence (ATOL). That means you’ll be protected from losing your money or being stranded abroad should anything go wrong, as we’ve seen recently following the collapse of Thomas Cook. Travel operators can obtain an ATOL after being checked by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and paying money into its financial security scheme. So if the worst does happen and your travel operator can’t pay you back, you can be compensated by the CAA. If you’re thinking of booking a package holiday with a particular tour operator, you can simply go on the CAA website to see if they’re a member.

Contact our Holiday Claims Solicitors

Our Holiday Claims Solicitors are specialists in this area of law, so we can advise you if you want to make a holiday sickness or injury claim and if your claim has a good chance of success. We may be able to act on a No Win, No Fee basis, so ask us for details about this funding option.

Start your No Win No Fee Holiday Claim by calling 0808 145 1353