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For most holidays that you book, whether it is in a travel agents or on-line, you will not have any cooling off period.

hoidaysIf you book a hotel and flights together, then in most cases any claim you have will fall under the Package Travel Regulations.  If you purchase them separately, then you will have to claim against then separately – this can have an effect on the amount of compensation that you can claim (see below).



Package Holidays

Generally, package holidays occur when you buy 2 or more components of a holiday together which can include accommodation, transport or another tourist service, at an inclusive price.  When you book a package holiday, if things go wrong then you can make a claim under The Package Travel Regulations.

The Package Travel Regulations set out what an organiser must do if they make changes to your holiday:

If the holiday is cancelled by the organiser they must offer you another holiday of the same  or better quality, of a lower quality and offer you a refund of the difference, or a full refund.  You will be able to chose.  In some cases, you may also be able to claim compensation if the holiday is cancelled.
If the organiser has to made significant changes to the holiday you should be given the option to cancel the holiday and get a full refund, or change the holiday.
If services cannot be provided whilst you are on holiday the organiser should make suitable alternative arrangements at no extra cost to you so that you can continue with your holiday. You may also be able to claim compensation.

If you have problems with your flight then the organiser can limit the compensation to paid to you in line with any Conventions but this must be stated in the terms and conditions of booking.

If you do have a delayed or cancelled flight see EC COUNCIL REGULATION no 261/2004  below.

If the organiser goes out of business, you should not lose out financially as organisers must have arrangements in place to help you if they go out of business.  If the package holiday includes flights, then the tour operator selling the package must hold and Air Travel Organisers License and under the ATOL scheme you receive a refund if the holiday has not started, you may be offered an alternative holiday and if you are on holiday, either arrangements will be made to continue the holiday or get you home.

If things do go wrong and you paid the holiday company directly with your credit card, and it cost over £100 and less than £30000 then your credit card company is jointly and severally liable for any breach of contract.

Other Holidays

If you book your hotel and transport separately, then if the hotel is cancelled, you may not be able to claim compensation for the lost flight, and vice versa.

When booking the accommodation separately, remember to check the terms and conditions – many accommodation providers are acting as agents only – this means you are entering into a contract with the accommodation provider directly – this is important when booking any accommodation abroad.

If things do go wrong and you paid the holiday company directly with your credit card, and it cost over £100 and less than £30000 then your credit card company is jointly and severally liable for any breach of contract.


All of the information set out in relation to flights is only applicable if you are departing from an EU airport  or arriving at an EU airport on an EU airline.

The EC COUNCIL REGULATION no 26/2004 sets out the obligations on airlines in the case of a flight delay or cancellation (for flights within the European Union) – and these will be dependent upon the flight length.  Since the European Judgement in the case of TUI Travel and others v CAA, you can also claim compensation in line with the Regulations for delays of 3 hours or more.  It is important in any claim to state that in the case of delay, you are relying on this Judgement.

If the flight is cancelled or delayed for more than 2 hours then the airline should offer you assistance such as refreshments and meals depending on the length of the delay, and accommodation if the delay is over night.

If you are delayed for more than 3 hours you may be able to claim compensation in light with the above Regulations, from 250 Euros to 600 Euros, depending on the distance that you were travelling.

Compensation for a delayed or cancelled flight will not be payable if the delay was caused by “extraordinary circumstances” such as bad weather.

If you have to purchase your own meals and refreshments, make sure you keep your receipts to reclaim these from the airline.

If the airline goes out of business, and you booked directly with them then you may not be able to claim a refund.  If you paid directly with your credit card you may be able to claim from your card provider.

Lost luggage

The airline has up to 21 days to try and find your luggage.  If an airline cannot find your luggage after 21 days, they must consider it lost and you will need to claim compensation.

During that time, there are no rules as to what an airline should do but generally you will be able to claim for emergency expenses, the amount will depend on how long it takes to find the luggage.  Emergency items may be toiletries, clothes but it is important that you speak to the airline to find out exactly how they are willing to help you. It is important that you keep all receipts.

For detailed information visit

When should I submit a complaint

If you have a complaint, raise it at the time and take a note of who you spoke to, the date, the time and any details.  Always submit your complaint upon returning home as soon as possible.

If the holiday company or service provider refuses your complaints consider the options under the complaints holiday section, or you may refer the matter to the small claims court if you follow the pre-action protocol.  You have up to six years from the date of the issue being complained about (the breach of contract or Regulation) to bring a claim (unless it involves a personal injury, in which different limitation rules apply).  However, you only have 2 years if claiming under the Montreal Convention (for delayed and lost luggage).