GENERAL CONDITIONS FOR CONTRACTING A PACKAGE TOUR: "CLAUSULAT 2000"
A) CONTRACT TERMS FOR THE PACKAGE TOUR
1. Booking application
Consumers who wish to contract a package tour must make a booking application. After this application, the retail agency or, where applicable, the organising agency, agrees to undertake those management tasks appropriate, in order to obtain the confirmation of the booking in accordance with the number of seats available and the period requested.
At the moment of the booking application, the agency may request from the consumer a deposit of an amount equal, at the most, of 20% of the price. If the booking is confirmed, the amount paid will be included in the cost of the tour. If the consumer withdraws his booking application before confirmation, the amount deposited will be returned to him, with the deductions, if necessary, of those administration fees that are deemed to be reasonable.
If the consumer requests the creation of a ‘tailor made’ package tour, the agency may request the payment of an amount in order to proceed with the project. If the consumer accepts the offer of the package tour created by the agency, and the latter confirms the services it comprises, the amount paid will be included in the cost of the tour. If confirmation cannot be made, the agency must return those amounts paid by the consumer.
In those cases detailed above, if the agency cannot offer the tour requested and offers the consumer the opportunity to make a different tour, unless where stated otherwise, it will be understood that this offer is maintained for 24 hours. In these cases, the contract will be executed if the consumer accepts the offer within this period or that which has been expressly established.
2.People with disabilities
People with disabilities, before making their booking application, must inform the retail agency of their situation in order to evaluate the possibility and viability of contracting the tour in accordance with their situation.
According to that established by EC Regulation 1107/2006, a disabled person is considered to be any person whose mobility, with respect to taking part in the tour, is reduced due to reasons of physical disabilities (sensory or locomotor functions – be they permanent or temporary), intellectual disability or impairment, or any other cause of disability, or due to age, in which their situation requires suitable attention and the adaptation of the service being made available to other participants on the tour to their particular needs.
3. Booking Confirmation
The execution of the package tour contract takes place with the confirmation of the booking. From this instant, the contract of the package booking must be fulfilled by both parties.
4. Payment of the Price
- On the execution of the contract, the consumer must pay an amount that corresponds to 40% of the price of the package tour or, where applicable, to pay, until this amount is reached, those quantities that he would have paid in advance. If the consumer does not make this payment, the agency will demand that he makes payment in a reasonably short period established for the consumer.
- The payment of the remaining cost will be made when the agency offers or delivers the transport tickets, travel documents or any other document that is essential for the correct undertaking of the features that comprise the package tour to the consumer. If the consumer does not make this payment, the agent will demand that he undertakes it in the period established for the consumer. If no period is established, it will be considered that that payment must be made at the most, 7 days before departure.
- The agency will be able to resolve the contract and apply those rules established for renunciation before departure, if the consumer does not undertake any of the payments established in the preceding paragraphs in the corresponding period.
B) REGULATIONS APPLICABLE TO THE FEATURES OF THE PACKAGE TOUR
- The features comprised in the package tour contract result from the information provided to the consumer in the booklet or the programme, in addition to those indications that refer to this information that have been made on confirmation of the booking.
- However, the organising agency reserves the right to modify the information in the booklet before the execution of the contract. To ensure its validity, the changes made to this information must have been clearly communicated in writing to the consumer.
Unless otherwise indicated in the booklet, or where established in the specific conditions:
- With respect to those countries in which the official classification of hotels or of any other type of accommodation is specified, the booklet provides the tourist classification assigned in the corresponding country. In those countries in which there is no official classification, the category that is indicated in the booklet is merely used as a guideline. In all events, the agency must ensure the highest level of correspondence between the designation used and the expectations that this may create in a reasonable manner in a Spanish consumer.
- The timetable for room occupation depends on the regulations established in each country. In general terms, the room may be occupied after two o’clock in the afternoon for arrivals and rooms must be vacated before twelve o’clock midday on the day of departure, regardless of the time when the time of arrival at the hotel is planned or the planned time for the continuation of the tour.
- The triple or quadruple rooms or cabins on a ship to which one or two beds are added (which are usually sofa beds or folding beds) are usually double rooms where a one or two beds are added, which are usually sofa beds or folding beds, except in certain establishments, where, instead of additional beds, larger beds are used.
- Consumers must be present at the place indicated for departure at the statutory pre-departure waiting time stated by the agency, or failing this, by the booklet. In general terms, in the case of air transport, the minimum statutory period is an hour and a half before the planned departure time.
- If a consumer cannot make the tour, due to a failure to appear during the statutory pre-departure period, the rule established in Section 15 will be applied for not having been present at departure or, where applicable, that established in Section 13 on consumer withdrawal.
- Losses or damages caused to hand luggage or other objects that the consumer brings with him and keeps in his custody are exclusively the responsibility of the consumer.
- In general terms, full board includes a continental breakfast, lunch, dinner and lodging. Half board, unless otherwise indicated, includes continental breakfast, dinner and lodging. Drinks are not usually included at these meals.
- Special diets (vegetarian or others) can only be guaranteed if agreed on by the parties in specific conditions.
- It shall be understood that the presence of pets onboard is only permitted if it has been previously indicated on respective publicity material or other information prior to travel. Failing that, if a passenger wishes to travel with their pet, they will have to communicate this to the agency prior to making a reservation in order to find out if it will be possible.
C) THE RIGHTS OF THE PARTIES BEFORE BEGINNING THE TOUR
- If at any time before departure, consumers wish to request changes with respect to destinations, the means of transport, duration, the calendar, the route of the contracted tour, or any other matter regarding features and the agency can implement them, the latter may request the consumer for payment of any justified additional expenses that may have arisen from these modifications, in addition to a fee for the modification of a booking that may not exceed 3% of the tour price.
- Before departure, the agency may only make those changes necessary that ensure the successful completion of the package tour and that are not significant. Significant changes are those that hinder the attainment of the objectives of the tour with respect to its general or specific characteristics.
- In the event that the agency is forced to make significant changes, it will immediately inform the consumer. The latter may choose between accepting the modification of the contract in which the variations introduced are necessary, and their resulting impact on the price, or terminate the contract. The consumer must communicate the decision taken to the agency three days after notification of the modification. If the consumer does not communicate his decision in the period indicated, it will be considered that he has chosen to terminate the contract.
- The agency may only change the price by increasing or decreasing the cost, provided that this revision is made before 20 days prior to the departure date and that the price change is not significant, i.e. above 15% of the tour price. Furthermore, this modification may only be made in order to adjust the price of the tour to the following variations:
a) Exchange rates that apply to the organised tour.
b) Transport prices involved in the tour, including fuel costs.
c) The taxes and fees pertinent to determined services, such as airport taxes, boat and landing fees, and others that are included in the price.
d) The revised price will be determined by taking the exchange value of the currency of the destination country as a reference, in addition to the prices, taxes and fees applicable on the date when the booklet was published.
e) In the case of circuits that include two or more countries, the exchange rate used as reference is that of the U.S. dollar, on the same date.
f) If the price modification is higher than 15% of the tour price, the consumer will be immediately informed of this, and he will be able to terminate the contract.
g) The consumer must communicate his decision to the agency three days after receiving notification of the modification. If the consumer does not communicate his decision in the period indicated, it will be considered that he has decided to terminate the contract.
11.Consumer rights in the event of contract termination
- In those events in which the consumer, in accordance with the preceding paragraphs, terminates the contract, he may choose between: Reimbursement of all amounts paid before 14 calendar days have passed or that, provided that the agency can do so, offer the consumer another package tour of the same or of a higher standard. If the tour offered is of a higher standard, the agency will not demand any additional fee whatsoever. The consumer may also accept a package tour of a lower standard, however in this case the agency must discount the price difference.
- In both cases, the consumer is entitled to claim the compensation established for tour cancellation as detailed in Section 14 and in the same concepts.
- Consumers may transfer their reservations to another person who satisfies all the conditions required in the booklet and in the contract with respect to undertaking the package tour.
- The transfer must be communicated by any means to the agency and will be free if the latter receives the communication at least fifteen days before the departure date of the tour. If the transfer is made later and the agency can accept it, the agency may demand a transfer fee that does not exceed 3% of the tour price.
- In all events, the consumer and the person to whom the booking has been transferred respond severally to the agency for the payment of the remaining cost, in addition to those additional justified costs that may have arisen as a result of the transfer.
13.The consumer’s right to withdrawal
- The consumer has the right to withdraw from the contracted tour at any time before the departure. However, if this withdrawal occurs within a 15 day period before the tour departure, he must pay a penalty fee with respect to the time remaining before the departure date, which will be:
a) 5% of the tour price, if notice is given between 10 and 15 days.
b) 15% of the tour price, if notice is given between 10 and 3 days.
c) 25% of the tour price, if notice is given within 48-hours of the departure.
- When the cancellation takes place less than 2 hours before the departure time, the consumer has no right to a refund.
- The consumer will not have to pay any percentage as a penalty fee if the withdrawal is due to force majeure. To this end, force majeure is considered to be; death, an accident or serious illness – of the consumer or of any of the persons with whom he lives or any similar event that hinders participation in the tour.
- In all events, the consumer must pay those administration and cancellation fees that arise from a withdrawal.
- Withdrawal takes effect from the moment when the agency is informed of the consumer’s decision to withdraw.
- Once informed of the withdrawal, the agency will return to the consumer, those quantities to be paid in a maximum period of one month, after deducting administration fees and, where applicable, justified cancellation expenses and penalties.
- If the package tour is subject to special economic contractual conditions, such as the charter of aeroplanes, boats, special fees or other similar conditions, the administration fees, cancellation fees and penalties will be those indicated in an explicit manner in the booklet for this tour, or those agreed on in a specific manner in the contractual document.
14.Tour cancellation by the organiser
The cancellation of the tour for any reason not attributable to the consumer gives the latter the right to cancel the contract, with those rights established in Section 11.
If the cancellation of the tour is communicated within two months prior to departure, the agency must pay the consumer compensation with respect to the time remaining before the departure date, which will be at least:
a) 5% of the tour price if cancellation occurs between 15 days and 2 months.
b) 10% of the tour price if cancellation occurs between 15 days and 3 days.
c) 25% of the tour price, if cancellation occurs within 48-hours of the departure.
No obligation to pay compensation exists in the following cases:
d) When the cancellation is due to the fact that the number of people registered is below that required in the booklet or in the contract for the package tour.
e) In this event, the agency must communicate cancellation to the consumer in writing before the deadline established in the booklet or in the contract.
f) If there is no deadline, the agency must notify the consumer regarding cancellation at least ten days before the departure date.
g) When the cancellation of a tour is due to causes of force majeure. Force majeure is considered to be circumstances beyond the control of the agency that are abnormal and unforeseeable, the consequences of which could not have been avoided, despite having acted with due diligence.
15.Non-appearance at departure
Non-appearance at departure will be deemed to have occurred if the consumer does not communicate his decision to not undertake the tour and does not appear at the time and at the place established for departure. In this event he forfeits his right to the return of those amounts paid and remains obliged to pay those amounts pending payment.
However, if non-appearance is due to causes of force majeure, the consumer is entitled to be returned those amounts paid after the deduction of cancellation and administration fees.
To this end, causes of force majeure will be considered to be; death, an accident or serious illness – of the consumer or of any of the persons with whom he lives or any similar event that hinders participation in the tour and the communication to the agency of the impossibility to participate before departure.
D) THE RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF THE PARTIES AFTER THE TOUR BEGINS
16.Defective fulfilment or failure to provide services
- When the consumer finds, during his tour, that there is a defect in, or the lack of provision of, any contracted service, he must communicate this where it occurs and as soon as possible to the organiser or to the retail agency and, where applicable, to the service provider involved. This communication must be made in writing or in any verifiable manner. After receiving this communication, the retailer or the organiser must work diligently to find appropriate solutions.
- In the case of an unexpected failure to provide services or the provision of poor services by the company during travel, the passenger agrees not to worsen the damages already derived as a result of this through their behaviour or actions.
17.The inability to provide an important part of the services by the organiser
- The agency must adopt those solutions appropriate for the continuation of the tour if, once the latter has begun, the agency does not supply or verifies that it cannot supply an important part of the services established in the contract.
- Those services established that are considered to be important are those that, if not undertaken hinder the normal process of the tour and mean that it is not reasonable to expect that the consumer, in the middle of a tour of this kind, continues the latter under such circumstances.
- The agency cannot request any supplement for the solutions adopted for the continuation of the tour and will pay the consumer any difference between the services offers and those supplied.
- If the consumer expressly or tacitly accept the solutions proposed by the agency, he will not be entitled to any form of compensation for these modifications. It will be considered that he tacitly accepts these proposals if he continues the tour with the solutions offered by the organiser.
- If the solutions adopted by the organiser are unviable or the consumer does not accept them for reasonable causes, the agency must:
a) Provide him with a means of transport equivalent to that contracted for the tour in order to return to the point of departure or any other place that both have agreed upon, if the contract includes a return journey.
b) Refund the amount paid with a deduction for the amount of the activities provided to the termination of the tour, except if the defect that prevents the continuation of the tour is attributable to the consumer.
c) Pay him the appropriate compensation.
18.Cancellation by the consumer during the tour
- The consumer has the right to cancel the package tour contract once the tour has begun, however he may not claim for the reimbursement of those amounts paid and will remain obliged to pay those amounts outstanding.
- If the cancellation is due to an accident or to an illness suffered by the consumer, which stops him from continuing the tour, the agency is obliged to provide the assistance necessary and, where applicable, to pay the amount of the difference between the established activities and those provided, deducting those duly justified expenses for cancellation that correspond.
- In both cases, all those additional costs that arise from cancellation, and especially those regarding repatriation or transfer to the place of origin, are borne by the consumer.
19.Cooperation duties of the consumer for the normal undertaking of the tour
- The consumer must abide by those instructions that the agency provides him with regarding the proper undertaking of the tour, in addition to those regulations that generally apply to the users of the services that comprise the package tour. Specifically, on group tours, he will maintain due respect to other participants and will behave in a manner that does not impede the normal undertaking of the tour.
- The serious breach of these duties will entitle the agency to terminate the package tour contract. In this case, if the contract includes a return journey, the agency will provide the consumer with a means of transport equivalent to that contracted for the tour in order to return him to the point of departure or any other place that both have agreed on. The agency will also be entitled to compensation, as appropriate, for damages attributable to the behaviour of the consumer.
- The organising agency and the retail agency will be responsible, with respect to the consumer, for the proper fulfilment of the package tour contract, with respect to the obligations that correspond to them in relation to their respective administrative areas.
- The organising agency and the retail agency will be responsible to the consumer whether they themselves undertake the services included in the package tour, or if their subsidiary agencies or other service providers perform these duties.
- The organising agency, being responsible for planning the package tour, must be answerable for any injuries, damages or losses caused to the consumer for the non-fulfilment or insufficient fulfilment of the activities included in the package tour, in addition to any damages, injuries or losses that arise from the non-fulfilment of any other obligation that corresponds to its area of management, in accordance with applicable legislation.
- The retail agency, being that which sells or offers the sale of the package tour proposed by an organising agency, must be answerable to the consumer for any damages, losses or injuries caused to the latter for any errors made on providing information regarding the package tour, or on having omitted the information it needed to provide the consumer, not having provided the documentation needed for the proper undertaking of the tour and in general terms, for having failed to fulfil any other obligation that corresponds to its area of management, in accordance with applicable legislation.
The responsibility of organisers and retail agencies ceases with respect to any of the following circumstances:
a) When any defects observed in the execution of the contract are attributable to the consumer.
b) When these defects are attributable to a third party, beyond the provision of the activities established in the contract and which are unforeseeable or unavoidable in nature.
c) When the defects mentioned are due to causes of force majeure: the latter being considered to be those circumstances, abnormal and unforeseeable beyond the control of those who appeal to the application of this concept and the consequences of which could not have been avoided, despite having acted with due diligence.
d) When the defects are due to an event that the retail agency or the agency, despite having acted with the necessary diligence could not foresee or forestall.
22.The duty of the consumer to reduce damages
In all events, the consumer is obliged to take appropriate and reasonable measures to attempt to reduce the damage that may arise from the non-execution or the deficient execution of the contract or to prevent the aggravation of damages. Those expenses arising from the damages that arise from not having adopted these measures will be borne by the consumer.
23.The agency’s duty to assist
- The obligation of the organising agency and the retail agency to provide the necessary assistance to consumers in difficulty will remain, despite the former being exonerated from responsibility.
- The duty to provide assistance will not be applicable, as established in the above paragraph, when the defects that arise during the execution of the contract are attributable in an exclusive manner to intentional or negligent consumer conduct.
24.Liability limitations with respect to international conventions
When the activities included in the package tour contract are governed by international conventions, the compensation or reimbursement for personal and non-personal damages or injuries that arise from non-fulfilment or improper execution will be subject to the limitations that these conventions establish.
25.Liability limitations for non-personal damages
- When the activities included in the package tour are not governed by international conventions:
a) Compensation for non-personal injuries or damages will be limited for all items at twice the cost of the tour price, including non-pecuniary damages that do not arise from personal injury and those reimbursements required.
b) Compensation from the organising agency for those damages arising from the loss or deterioration of luggage will be limited to € 350.
- The limitations established in the two preceding paragraphs will not be applicable if the agency or the service providers have intentionally caused damages or injuries, or where they have acted recklessly, in the knowledge that such damage, loss or injury was highly probable.
26.Information on provisions applicable to passports, visas and vaccinations
- The agency has the duty to provide information on the health regulations and formalities required for the tour and the countries visited, in addition to the conditions applicable to citizens of the European Union with respect to passports and visas, and will be answerable for the accuracy of the information facilitated.
- The consumer must obtain the necessary documentation for the tour, including their passport, visas and undertake those health-related procedures necessary. Any personal injuries, losses or damages that may arise from the lack of this documentation will be the responsibility of the consumer, especially those expenses that arise from the interruption of the tour and repatriation.
If the agency accepts the consumer’s request to process those visas necessary for any of the destinations established in the itinerary, it may demand payment for the cost of the visa, in addition to the administration fees required by the corresponding diplomatic representative or consulate.
- In this event, the agency will be responsible for any damages or losses attributable (in accordance with the diligence normally required) for any delays in the obtaining the documentation necessary or due to any lack or insufficiency regarding the documentation required.
27. Responsibility with respect to air transportation incidents
When an airline cancels a flight or incurs an extended delay, it will be responsible for providing the proper assistance and care for those passengers affected, and it must bear the costs for meals, calls, transport and overnight stays, if applicable, by virtue of that established in EEC Regulation 261/2004, which establishes the common rules on compensation and assistance for airline passengers in the event of cancellation, embarkation refusal, cancellation or the extended delay of flights.
In the event of flight cancellation, the airline will also be required to pay compensation to passengers, in addition to reimbursing the price of the airline ticket if passengers choose this option. If the cancellation is due to extraordinary circumstances that could have been avoided, even if all reasonable measures had been taken, the air carrier responsible for the flight will not be liable to pay compensation, but must ensure appropriate passenger assistance and care for those affected and reimburse the ticket price if they choose this option.
28. Liability for services not included in the package tour
- The regulations concerning contractual responsibility for the tour are not applicable to activities such as the undertaking of excursions, attendance at cultural or sporting events, visits to exhibitions or museums or other similar activities that are not included in the overall price of the package tour and which the consumer purchases on an optional basis during the tour.
In these cases, the agency must inform the consumer of the optional nature of the activity and that it does not form part of the package tour.
- If the agency takes part in the commercial activity with respect to these activities it will be held responsible, in accordance with the specific regulation of the contract undertaken.
F) COMPLAINTS AND LEGAL ACTIONS ARISING FROM THE CONTRACT
29. Applicable legislation
This package tour contract is governed by that agreed on by the parties and by that established in the general conditions, to the regional standards the apply in the place where the contract is signed and, in the absence of these regulations, by that established in Legislative Royal Decree 1/2007, of 16 November, which approves the revised text of the General Law for the Defence of Consumers and Users and other additional laws.
30.Complaints to the agency
- Notwithstanding the legal actions that assist the consumer, he may send written complaints regarding the non-execution or the deficient execution of the contract to the retail agency.
- Within a maximum period of another 30 days, the organising agency or the retail agency, with respect to the obligations that correspond to their respective area of management for the package tour, must reply in writing to the complaints made within the stipulated period.
- At this stage, the consumer and the agency may request mediation by the competent authorities or by those organisations that have been created for this purpose, in order to seek a solution to the conflict that is satisfactory to both parties.
- If the conflict cannot be resolved by the complaints made to the agency, the consumer, may submit the matter to a consumer arbitration organisation if the agency subject to complaint had previously become a member of a consumer arbitration organisation, or in all events, lodge appeal proceedings through legislation.
31. Consumer arbitration
- If the agency subject to the complaint had previously joined a consumer arbitration system, the consumer may address his complaints to the Consumer Arbitration Board responsible in the region.
- Those complaints or appeals involving intoxication, injury, death, or where there is reasonable evidence of illegal actions cannot be the subject of consumer arbitration.
- Unless established otherwise in the public proceedings of submission to the consumer arbitration system, arbitration at law will be implemented and the arbitration proceedings will be governed by that established in Royal Decree 231/2008, of 15 February.
- The sentence issued by the arbitration tribunal designated by the Consumer Arbitration Board will make the final decision on the complaint lodged, this decision will be binding for both parties.
- If the matter is not submitted to consumer arbitration, the consumer may lodge an appeal.
- The legal actions deriving from the package tour are prescribed by a period of 2 years, to be calculated from the date on which the tour was due to end.
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Those persons interested may, at any time, exercise their rights, as established in the *LOPD with respect to access, rectification, cancellation and opposition. These rights may be exercised by the interested party themselves, in writing and addressed to: El Responsable de Protección de Datos de Viatges Plus, Apartado de Correos 31, 08100 de Mollet del Vallès, or by sending an e-mail to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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