Top five tips for travelling to Europe this summerKnow your rights when taking a holiday within the EU
13 June 2013
1. Flight delays and cancellations
If you have problems with a flight departing from or arriving in an EU country, you may be entitled to a refund and compensation under Denied Boarding Regulations.
These regulations state that the airline has an obligation to offer you compensation and assistance if your flight delay is expected to go beyond a certain point.
If you're travelling with a non-EU based airline flying from a non-EU destination, the airline doesn't have the same duty to look after you.
Use our guide to find out your rights if your flight is delayed or cancelled.
2. Have you booked a package holiday?
Check whether you're travelling on a package holiday before you travel.
Package holidays, where all the elements of your trip are arranged by a tour operator for an inclusive price, are protected under EU and UK legislation.
This means if your holiday company or tour operator cancels your package holiday, you'll have a number of options:
- you'll be able to choose to accept an alternative holiday of a similar or better standard or;
- you can accept an alternative holiday of a lower standard and claim back the difference in cost or;
- you'll be able to cancel your holiday and get your money back
3. Eurostar delays and cancellations
You're entitled to stay in a hotel if a delay on the Eurostar extends overnight. Where possible, transport to and from the hotel should also be provided.
If you're travelling by train in the UK and your journey is delayed by more than one hour, you have the choice between a ticket refund, continuing your journey on the same train or alternative transport to your destination.
If the train has broken down on the track, you should be given transport from the train to another station or to your end destination.
4. Mobile phone charges
Data usage and mobile roaming charges are capped in the EU, so if you’ve been on holiday to another EU country, you shouldn’t be able to run up a huge bill on data charges alone.
To protect you against excessive data roaming bills the volume of downloaded data on your mobile device is capped at a value of €50 unless you agree otherwise with your provider.
Your operator must send you a text when you cross an EU border letting you know what it costs to make and receive calls, use data and text services.
Check out our guide on how you can challenge an excessive bill after using your phone abroad if you think you’ve been overcharged.
5. Timeshare and holiday clubs
Many people feel pressurised into signing up for timeshare or holiday clubs while abroad, and timeshare touts often operate in Mediterranean countries.
To prevent pressure selling new rules were introduced in 2011, which mean timeshare salespeople can no longer take deposits from unsuspecting holidaymakers.
There is also a 14-day cooling off period for all timeshare sales in EU countries.
The rules apply to all forms of holiday accommodation, including boats and other moveable property such as cruise ships, canal boats and caravans.
Under the Directive, prospective purchasers must be given accurate and sufficient information about what they're buying in good time before they are bound by any contract.