FCCA attends the Nordic Travel Fair: Consumer protection for travel and the security provision system for travel agents will change in the summer of 2018

The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) and the European Consumer Centre Finland will attend the Nordic Travel Fair 2018, from 18 to 21 January 2018. At stand 6s59, the FCCA will provide travel agents and consumers with information on the changes, forthcoming in summer 2018, to consumer protection and the Finnish security provision system.

From the consumer perspective, the changes will affect journeys booked after 1 July 2018. The old legislation will continue in parallel with the new law for some time; for example, the old Package Travel Act will still apply to journeys booked in the spring of 2018 for the winter of 2019. However, travel agents will need to prepare for the legislative changes in a number of ways during the spring of 2018.

Package tours are covered by comprehensive consumer protection – right of cancellation and the possibility to apply for compensation will widen

The new law on travel service combinations, which will replace the Package Travel Act, will apply to situations in which the consumer buys transport (for example flights) and accommodation or other additional services (such as car rental or tours) for a combined price. In such a case, a so-called ‘travel package’ has been sold and this will replace the formerly used term of ‘package travel’.

The new law will provide consumers with broader cancellation rights. The change will affect travel packages for which a booking fee is paid on 1 July 2018 or thereafter. Under the new law, the consumer can cancel the travel package at any time, but the travel agent can charge a cancellation fee, including (unlike now) in cases of illness. This will give travel insurance a more important role.

Under the new act, the consumer will also be able to apply for compensation for “lost enjoyment of a holiday” if the journey was marred by a major defect. Consumers already have the right, under the current legislation, to a price reduction and compensation if the trip is not as agreed. However, consumers must present complaints about such defects on the spot, for example if the hotel room is not as agreed. In this way, the consumer does not lose the right to compensation.

The key elements of the changes to consumer protection will be summarised in a continuous presentation and material given out at the FCCA’s stand at the Nordic Travel Fair (6s59). During the spring of 2018, a comprehensive information package on the new legislation on travel service packages will be posted on the kkv.fi website.

Find out about Complaint Assistant and Travel Package Assistant at our stand

At KKV’s stand at the Nordic Travel Fair 2018, in addition to the changes to travel consumer protection you can become acquainted with Complaint Assistant, which is available on the FCCA’s website. Complaint Assistant provides consumers with guidance on travel issues, if the journey was not as agreed. At the stand, the European Consumer Centre Finland will provide information on booking flights online, and on consumer protection in the case of travel bought from European tour operators or airlines.

On Saturday 20 January and Sunday 21 January, at 10.30-11.30 and 14.30-15.30, in addition to staff from the FCCA and the European Consumer Centre, consumer rights advisors from local register offices will be present at the stand to answer consumer’s questions on travel.

The FCCA will also present the online Travel Package Assistant, developed for domestic travel agents, which a company or entrepreneur can use to clarify whether it should provide the FCCA with security in line with the new legislation on the issue, which will apply from 1 July 2018.

The Travel Package Assistant will be finalised on the basis of feedback received, for example, from the tour operators at the Nordic Travel Fair 2018 and be released later, in the spring of 2018, on the FCCA’s website, alongside new guidance for tour operators on registration and providing security.

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