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General terms and conditions for package travel

These terms and conditions apply to contracts concluded on or after 1 January, 2021. These terms and conditions are based on the mandatory provisions of Directive (EU) 2015/2302 of the European Parliament and of the Council on package travel and linked travel arrangements.

These terms and conditions apply to packages that cover a period of at least 24 hours or include overnight accommodation and are purchased primarily for private purposes, combining at least two of the following types of travel services: 1) carriage of passengers, 2) accommodation 3) food 4) any other essential tourist service, provided that the package is sold or marketed in the Netherlands. Accommodation also includes a few days or weeks’ stay in a hotel, hostel, guest house, with a host family in connection to educational purposes. example, exchange program or research.

Additional terms and conditions

The organizer has the right to supplement and add more details to the general terms and conditions of package travel, provided that the additional terms and conditions are not to the detriment of the traveler or in conflict with these general terms and conditions.

Special terms and conditions

The organizer has the right to introduce special terms and conditions that deviate from these terms and conditions if the introduction of special terms and conditions can be justified due to the special nature of the trip, special regulations concerning the form of transport (such as the terms and conditions applicable to booking and paying for scheduled flights), special terms and conditions applicable to accommodation resulting from the special nature of the trip or special conditions at the destination. Any such special terms and conditions must not be in conflict with the provisions of the Act on Travel Service Combinations to the detriment of the traveler.

The organizer who applies special terms and conditions in the event of cancellations and charges the traveler for the actual costs of cancellations on that basis must, if requested by the traveler, provide an account of how the costs are split between the various components of the trip.

 Package travel contracts and responsibility for delivering on contracts

 Responsibility for delivering on contracts

The organizer is responsible for ensuring that the travel package delivers what has been agreed with the traveler. The organizer is also responsible for any services they procure from service providers in order to deliver on the contract (such as tours, transport operators and hotels).

The retailer is responsible for the information they provide to the traveler and for delivering on the contract in the same way as organizers.

The traveler can report breaches of contract pursuant to these terms and conditions by contacting either the organizer or the retailer.

Content of contracts

Each trip must include the services and arrangements that have been agreed between the traveler and the organizer. The contract must cover all the terms and conditions supplied in writing or electronically before the conclusion of the contract, the standard information form and other information concerning the trip required under the Act on Travel Service Combinations and the Decree on Information to Be Provided to Travelers on Travel Service Combinations

Travel documents and travel insurance

The organizer must provide the traveler with general information about the passport and visa requirements of the destination country prior to concluding the contract, including the average processing time for visa applications.

The traveler is responsible for observing the organizer’s instructions and ensuring that they have the necessary documents for their trip (e.g. passport, visa, vaccination certificates) and that these documents and tickets are correct and match each other. The traveler is also responsible for checking transport timetables. As long as the organizer has provided all the necessary information, they cannot be held liable for any loss incurred by the traveler if the traveler is unable to participate in all or part of the trip due to inadequate travel documents (e.g. a damaged passport) or not having or being denied a visa.

The organizer cannot be held liable for any voluntary insurance that the traveler may need for the trip. Instead, the traveler is responsible for obtaining insurance themselves and for ensuring that it covers what is needed in the event of cancellations, for example. To this end, the organizers shall instruct the traveler to obtain sufficient insurance to cover accidents and property damage as well as cancellations.

Potential safety risks at the destination

The organizers must inform the traveler of any special risks relating to the trip and the general health regulations in force in the destination country prior to the trip. The traveler is responsible for obtaining any advice specific to their personal health concerns themselves. The traveler must be provided with instructions in the event of an illness, an accident or another similar event.

The safety of the traveler while abroad is primarily the responsibility of the traveler themselves and the authorities of the country in question. The traveler must take local conditions into consideration in their actions.

Key information about the safety and other characteristics of specific travel destinations is available to the traveler. The traveler must read the information in order to familiarize themselves with local conditions at the destination.

The organizer’s obligation to provide assistance

If the traveler falls ill, has an accident, becomes a victim of a crime or suffers other losses during the trip, the organizers must provide the traveler with information on health services, local authorities and consular assistance as well as access to a means of distance communication and help the traveler to make alternative travel arrangements and provide other necessary assistance without undue delay. The traveler will bear the costs of these and any other special arrangements required by the circumstances (such as new transport, additional nights in a hotel and any additional costs incurred by the organizers) that the organizers makes to accommodate the traveler’s situation.

The organizer has the right to charge a reasonable fee for any such assistance provided, if the traveler has caused the situation intentionally or through negligence. However, the fee must not exceed the actual costs incurred by the organizer from providing the assistance.

An organizer who does not have local staff available to assist travelers at the destination must provide the traveler, prior to the trip, with the name and contact details of the local representative of the organizer or retailer, or similar information about local points of contact that the traveler can turn to for assistance. In the absence of such representative or point of contact, the traveler must be given information on how they can contact the organizer or retailer if necessary.

The traveler’s responsibilities

The traveler must observe any instructions and orders regarding the execution of the trip, given by the authorities, the organizer or the organizer’s representatives, as well as any applicable hotel and transportation rules.

The traveler must not disturb other travelers by their conduct. A traveler who fails to observe these responsibilities risk losing their place on the trip or being repatriated prematurely. Such travelers will not be entitled to a refund and they will bear all the costs of their return journey.

The traveler is liable for any damage they cause intentionally or through negligence to the organizer or third parties.

The traveler must provide the organizer with contact details where they may be contacted before and during the trip.

A representative of a traveler group must provide their group with all the information and documents required for the trip and the organizer with all necessary information and documents concerning the travelers. The organizer is deemed to have satisfied their duty to provide information by making the information concerning the trip available to the group’s representative and do not need to provide the information to each individual traveler separately.

A representative of a traveler group can make changes to the group’s bookings alone or together with the individual traveler requesting the changes.

The traveler or the representative of a traveler group is responsible for the accuracy of the information they provide to the organizer, such as the timing of the trip, the name/s, date/s of birth and other personal details of the traveler/s or any special requirements, and for providing the information on time. The organizer cannot be held liable for any losses resulting from inaccurate or incomplete information having been provided by the traveler or the representative of a traveler group.

The traveler may be held liable for any consequences and/or costs incurred from their use of the services or components included in the package in a manner that violates the package travel contract. For example, failure to use all or part of any transport services included in the package may cause the traveler to lose their right to some or all remaining services.

Conclusion of the contract and payment

The contract becomes binding once the initial payment is made to the organizer by the given due date.

The total price of the package must be paid by the due date given by the organizer or by another agreed due date. Provided that they pay for the package, the traveler is entitled to receive their tickets and other documents relating to their trip well in advance of the trip.

The traveler’s right to cancel the booking before the start of the trip

The traveler has the right to cancel their booking at any time before the start of the trip. In such circumstances, the organizer has the right to charge a cancellation fee as follows:

  • Administrative costs as agreed, if a booking is cancelled at least 45 days before the start of the trip
  • A booking fee, if a booking is cancelled less than 45 days but at least 21 days before the start of the trip
  • 50% of the price of the package, if a booking is cancelled less than 21 days but at least seven days before the start of the trip
  • 75% of the price of the package, if a booking is cancelled less than seven days but at least three days before the start of the trip
  • 95% of the price of the package, if a booking is cancelled less than three days before the start of the trip.

 If the price of a package is based on two or more travelers sharing a room or an apartment and one of the travelers cancels their booking, the organizer has the right to charge for the cancellation as well as for any costs incurred from the accommodation not being used in full. Liability for the aforementioned costs will be shared between the traveler who cancels their booking and the other travelers in the group. The organizer and the travelling entourage can agree to deviate from the above by finding accommodation that is more suitable for the remaining travelers, in which case the travelers attending the trip will bear any additional costs incurred.

Travelers who fail to show up for their trip at the appointed time without cancelling their booking or who are unable to attend the trip due to missing documents for which the traveler is responsible, such as their passport, visa, proof of identity or vaccination certificate, will not be entitled to a refund.

Cancellation costs may differ from those listed above in the case of a trip subject to special terms and conditions. In such circumstances, the special terms and conditions must specify the cancellation costs or how such cancellation costs will be calculated.

The traveler’s right to cancel their booking before the start of the trip due to changes made by the organizer or conditions at the destination

The traveler has the right to cancel their booking if

  • the organizer makes substantial changes to the travel arrangements. Substantial changes include, for example, a change in transportation that results in a considerably longer travel time, changes to departure and arrival times that cause considerable inconvenience or extra costs to travelers, for example, due to having to rearrange their transport or accommodation, a daytime flight being replaced by a night-time flight (an afternoon arrival time is replaced by an arrival time after midnight), a change of destination or a change that significantly decreases the standard of accommodation, as well as substantial changes in the nature of the trip, such as a trip having been advertised as accessible for disabled passengers not turning out to be so; or
  • they have reason to believe that the organizer’s ability to perform the trip as agreed has been significantly compromised after the conclusion of the contract due to war having broken out at the destination or in its vicinity or other serious security issues, such as terrorism or a natural disaster such as flooding, an earthquake or weather conditions, workers’ strikes, significant risks to human health, such as the outbreak of a serious disease at the destination, or other similar circumstances, or if the trip cannot be run without endangering the traveler’s health or life for some other unexpected reason.

The traveler’s right to cancel the booking depends on the official view of Netherlands authorities on the situation or official reporting by a Travel Association, for example.

The dates or times of the trip change

  • by more than 24 hours in the case of trips lasting at least seven days
  • by more than 12 hours in the case of trips lasting between two and six days

 The organizer must inform the traveler of any changes by means of a durable medium, and the notice must explain what changes the organizer intends to make, whether the changes will affect the standard of the package or lower its value, the amount of any discount given to the traveler due to the changes and whether the changes entitle the traveler to cancel their booking.

A traveler who wishes to cancel their booking must communicate their wish to the organizer without undue delay. A traveler who does not inform the organizer of their wish to cancel their booking by a reasonable deadline, given in the notice of changes, is deemed to have accepted the proposed changes.

The traveler has the right to make changes to passenger details on their booking or transfer the package to another person as long as the other person satisfies the terms and conditions of the package.

The organizer must be notified of any such changes in passenger details at least seven days before the start of the trip. Changes may also be made closer to the start of the trip if this does not cause unreasonable inconvenience to the organizer.

The organizer has the right to reasonable compensation for any actions they must take due to the changes. Unless otherwise stated in the organizer’s additional terms and conditions, the amount of compensation will be based on the administrative costs incurred.

Changes to prices

The organizer has the right to increase the price of the package and a duty to lower the price after the conclusion of the contract on the following grounds:

  • Changes in transport costs due to fuel and other energy prices; or
  • Changes in taxes or third-party charges that affect the price of the package, such as airport or seaport charges or taxes in the destination country or city. Both domestic taxes and charges and taxes and charges levied by the authorities of the destination country are taken into account; or
  • Changes in currency exchange rates that affect the price of the package, determined on the basis of the exchange rate in force six weeks before the start of the trip. The reference exchange rate is the rate that the organizer has given as the basis for their prices. If the exchange rate on which prices are based has not been specified, the reference exchange rate is the rate of the day when the contract was concluded.

Price increases must not exceed the increase in costs.

The organizer must inform the traveler of the new price as soon as possible and provide an explanation for why the price has changed and identify the components of the package affected by the change.

The traveler must be informed of the price increase by means of a durable medium at least 20 days before the start of their trip.

 If the price of a traveler’s package is increased by more than 8% after the conclusion of the contract, the traveler has the right to terminate the contract. The traveler must notify the organizer of their wish to terminate the contract by a reasonable deadline given by the organizer or, if no deadline has been set, within seven days of the traveler receiving notice of the price increase. Notices sent electronically are deemed to have been received on the day they were sent. If no other evidence can be presented of the date on which a communication was received, notices sent by post are deemed to have been received on the seventh day after they were sent.

A traveler who cancels their contract is entitled to be refunded any amounts they have paid without undue delay and in any case within 14 days of the cancellation. The traveler’s right to compensation is laid down below.

Changes to the package travel contract introduced by the organizer

  • The traveler is not entitled to cancel their contract or to receive a price reduction or compensation in the event that the organizer introduces minor changes to the package travel contract before the start of the trip. Minor changes include changes that the traveler can reasonably be expected to have foreseen due to the nature of the destination or the trip, such as the cancellation of one excursion, if the package includes several excursions.
  • The organizer must inform the traveler of any changes by means of a durable medium in a clear, comprehensible and prominent manner.

Instead of cancelling a trip or a series of trips due to low demand, the organizer has the right to run the trip by changing the form of transport, route and/or timetable as long as these changes do not significantly affect the nature of the trip. The traveler must be informed of such changes

  • at least 20 days before the start of the trip in the case of trips lasting more than six days;
  • at least seven days before the start of the trip in the case of trips lasting between two and six days;
  • at least 48 hours before the start of the trip in the case of trips lasting less than two days.

The aforementioned changes may entitle the traveler to a price reduction and/or compensation.

 The organizer’s right to cancel or interrupt a trip

The organizer has the right to cancel a trip if

  • not enough people have signed up for the trip and the organizer has specified that the performance of the trip is subject to demand in the documentation provided to the traveler beforehand (e.g. the programmer or other documentation). A minimum number of participants can be set for individual trips or series of trips to a particular destination.

Travelers must be informed of such cancellations

  • at least 20 days before the start of the trip in the case of trips lasting more than six days;
  • at least seven days before the start of the trip in the case of trips lasting between two and six days;
  • at least 48 hours before the start of the trip in the case of trips lasting less than two days
  • the organizer’s ability to perform the trip as agreed has been significantly compromised after the conclusion of the contract due to war having broken out at the destination or in its vicinity or other serious security issues, such as terrorism or a natural disaster such as flooding, an earthquake or weather conditions, workers’ strikes, significant risks to human health, such as the outbreak of a serious disease at the destination, or other similar circumstances, or if the trip cannot be run without endangering the traveler’s health or life for some other unexpected reason. Such reasons also include interruptions in the supply of essential services, such as electricity or water, at the destination due to a natural disaster or workers’ strike, for example. The traveler must be informed of such cancellations as soon as possible.

The organizer has the right to terminate a traveler’s contract if the travelled fails to pay for all or part of their package by the agreed due date. The due date must be reasonable. The document in which the due date is specified must explain the organizer’s right to terminate the contract on the grounds of non-payment.

Breach of contract and complaints

The organizer is deemed to be in breach of contract if

  • the services or other arrangements associated with a trip do not correspond to what has been agreed or what can be deemed to have been agreed; or
  • they fail to provide the traveler with all the information required under the Act on Travel Service Combinations concerning the terms and conditions applicable to the trip, the contents of the package, the necessary travel documents, applicable health regulations, transport links and timetables as well as other necessary information such as instructions in the event that a traveler falls ill, has an accident or encounters other similar difficulty and this can be deemed to have affected the traveler’s decision-making process; or

The traveler must be prepared for reasonable changes to transport timetables. Changes to transport timetables that do not result in a traveler’s stay at the destination being shortened or lengthened by more than four hours in the case of trips lasting between two and five days, by more than five hours in the case of trips lasting between five and eight days or by more than eight hours in the case of trips lasting more than eight days do not constitute a breach of contract. In the case of trips lasting less than two days, what constitutes a breach of contract is assessed case by case.

 A traveler failing to take advantage of some or all of the transport or other services included in the package does not constitute a breach of contract on the part of the organizer.

Complaints

A traveler wishing to complain about a breach of contract by the organizer after the trip must notify the organizer or the retailer of their complaint within a reasonable period of time from when they notice or should have noticed the breach. A traveler who notices a breach of contract that can be remedied during the trip must alert the organizer or retailer as soon as possible.

Unless the breach of contract requires immediate remedial action, the traveler must allow a reasonable period of time for the breach to be rectified. What constitutes a reasonable period of time depends on the duration of the trip, the destination and other factors relating to the nature of the trip.

However, the above does not prevent the traveler from filing a complaint if the organizer or a trader used by the organizer for assistance in delivering on the contract has acted with gross negligence or in bad faith.

Rectifying breaches of contract

Organizers must rectify any breaches of contract immediately or, if immediate remedial action is not necessary, by a reasonable deadline set by the traveler and in a manner, that does not result in the traveler incurring any costs or major inconvenience. What constitutes a reasonable deadline for rectifying breaches of contract depends on the nature of the breach and its effect on the traveler as well as the organizer’s possibilities of rectifying the breach.

The traveler may be entitled to a price reduction covering the duration of the breach.

The organizer cannot be expected to rectify a breach of contract if remedial action is impossible or would result in the organizer incurring unreasonable costs. What constitutes unreasonable costs depends on the scale of the breach and the value of the affected travel services.

If an organizer decides not to rectify a breach of contract or fails to take immediate remedial action if immediate remedial action is required or fails to rectify the breach by the deadline set by the traveler, the traveler has the right to take action themselves. In such circumstances, the traveler is entitled to be reimbursed for any costs incurred from the remedial action taken.

The organizer is not required to reimburse the traveler for costs incurred by them from rectifying a breach of contract by the organizer if the costs are unreasonable. An organizer who refuses to rectify a breach of contract pursuant to this section has a duty to provide the affected traveler with a price reduction and compensation.

Provision of alternative services during a trip

If a significant portion of travel services included in a traveler’s package cannot be provided as agreed during a trip, the organizer must make alternative arrangements to complement the package without the traveler incurring any additional costs. Such alternative services must, where possible, be of at least the same standard as the agreed travel services. Organizer’s duty to make alternative arrangements also applies in cases where a traveler cannot be returned to their original departure location as agreed.

If the alternative arrangements lower the value of the package compared to what was agreed in the package travel contract, the organizer must give the traveler an appropriate price reduction.

The traveler has the right to turn down any alternative arrangements offered if they differ considerably from what was agreed in the package travel contract or if the price reduction offered by the organizer is not proportionate to the impact of the change. A traveler who exercises their right to turn down alternative arrangements or to whom no alternative arrangements can be offered has the right to an appropriate price reduction and compensation even if they do not terminate the contract. If the traveler’s package includes a return journey home, the organizer must arrange for the traveler to be repatriated in the manner agreed in the contract without undue delay and without the traveler incurring any additional costs.

A traveler who turns down alternative arrangements offered by the organizer without a justifiable reason as referred to above will not be entitled to compensation or a price reduction.

Price reduction

If an organizer fails to rectify a breach of contract without delay or if the breach cannot be remedied, the traveler is entitled to a price reduction proportionate to the impact of the breach unless the organizers can prove that the breach was caused by the traveler.

No price reduction is necessary if the breach only has a minor impact considering the entire package. The price reduction depends on the total price of the package rather than the price of the individual service affected by the breach. The traveler’s personal needs and any special wishes expressed in connection with concluding the contract can also be taken into account when assessing the impact of the breach.

Compensation

The traveler is entitled to compensation for any losses incurred by them because of a breach of contract by the organizer. The organizer must pay the compensation without undue delay. However, the right to compensation is lost if the organizer can demonstrate that

  • the breach of contract was due to the traveler;
  • the breach was due to third parties who are unrelated to the provision of travel services and it could not reasonably have been foreseen or prevented;
  • the breach was due to the kinds of unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances.

 The traveler can be compensated, for example, for any additional costs incurred by them due to a breach of contract and for any amounts they have spent on their trip that have become worthless as well as any loss of income due to a delayed return home, additional costs incurred from having to arrange additional overnight accommodation as well as any loss of enjoyment from the holiday or trip. Compensation for the loss of enjoyment will only be paid in the case of a serious breach of contract by the organizer.

The traveler is entitled to compensation for the loss of their luggage, if the traveler not having access to their luggage must be deemed to have inconvenienced them, considering the length of the delay and other circumstances.

The traveler must take any reasonable steps to mitigate their losses. The organizer cannot be held liable for losses resulting from the traveler’s own actions.

Compensation in the event of losses incurred during transport by air, sea or rail will be calculated based on the rules or contracts applied by the transport operator to their services. The organizer’s liability for damages in the context of transport is governed by the applicable law.

Incurred by them and is in all cases limited to three times the price of their package. However, this limitation of liability does not apply in the event of personal injury or other losses caused intentionally or through negligence.

be eligible for compensation, the traveler must demonstrate that the organizer has committed a breach of contract and that the losses are directly attributable to the breach. The burden of proof regarding the amount of losses also rests with the traveler.

The traveler’s liability for damages payable to the organizer.

Unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances

The organizer cannot be held liable for any losses resulting from unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances that are beyond the organizer’s control and the consequences of which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable steps had been taken. Such unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances include, for example, orders by the authorities, airspace restrictions, war, other serious security issues, such as terrorism, serious unrest, significant risks to human health, such as the outbreak of a serious disease at the destination, or natural disasters such as flooding, earthquakes or weather conditions that make travelling to the destination in a safe manner as specified in the package travel contract impossible or that otherwise significantly impede running the trip as agreed. Such circumstances also include interruptions in the supply of essential services, such as electricity or water, due to a natural disaster or workers’ strikes, for example.

If a traveler’s return home cannot be arranged as planned due to unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances, the organizer has a duty to cover any costs of up to three nights’ stay in alternative accommodation, where possible, of the standard specified in the package travel contract if the transport operator does not provide accommodation. Where longer periods are provided for in Union passenger rights legislation applicable to the relevant means of transport for the traveler’s return, those periods shall apply. The organizer cannot limit their liability for a traveler’s delayed return home on the grounds of unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances, if the transport service provider in question is prevented by applicable European

Union laws from denying liability in such circumstances. The aforementioned limitation of liability does not apply in the case of disabled passengers and their caregivers, pregnant women, unaccompanied minors or individuals who require specialist medical care, provided that the organizer was informed about the traveler’s need for special assistance at least 48 hours before the start of the trip.

Booking errors

The organizer must without undue delay reimburse the traveler for any losses incurred because of a technical fault in the organizer’s booking system or an error made during the booking process.

However, the traveler is not entitled to compensation if the booking error is due to the traveler or the kinds of unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances.

Booking errors may be attributable to the traveler, for example, if they provide the organizer with incorrect or incomplete information concerning themselves or the trip. The traveler also has a general duty of care to check all provided documents, such as the booking confirmation letter, and to notify the organizer or retailer of any missing information or mistakes as soon as possible. Any failure by a traveler to check the documents may be considered when calculating the amount of compensation payable to the traveler for any losses incurred.

Deduction of compensation paid under other laws

Any price reduction given or compensation paid to a traveler pursuant to European Union laws governing the rights of travelers or international conventions will be deducted from any compensation payable pursuant to these terms and conditions.

The traveler has a duty to declare any compensation they have received because of breaches of the package travel contract from other parties to the organizer or retailer.

Claims for damages

The procedure for filing complaints concerning breaches of contract by the organizer is laid down in

Claims for damages must be made in writing and within a reasonable period of time.

Disputes

If a dispute concerning a package travel contract cannot be settled between the parties, a consumer has the right to refer the case to our consumer Disputes Board for resolution. A traveler can also file a civil suit in their local District Court.

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