Travel companies should take time to look at their and their suppliers’ terms and conditions in readiness for travel restarting, according to a leading law firm.
Speaking on a Travel Weekly webinar giving free legal advice to the industry, Travlaw senior partner Matt Gatenby said: “As we try to get back to something approaching where we were, we are getting a lot of questions about ‘do we need to do things like changing our terms and conditions’? And ‘do we need to look at our supplier conditions?’
“The answer to both of those things is ‘yes’. Although if you had a good set of documentation in the first place, if you had all those ducks in a row, then you should be pretty much good to go. But it’s certainly worth having a look, especially if you’ve got the time to do it,” he advised.
Gatenby also urged the trade to keep an eye on the CMA probe into the handling of cancellations and refunds in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, which initially focused on holiday accommodation, weddings and events and nurseries, but was updated in May to include holidays.
He said the ongoing investigation was “focusing particularly on the accommodation sector as opposed to package travel”, but that it was “something we think might start to become more of an issue going forward”.
“We certainly think that it’s something that people need to keep their eyes on.”
Gatenby said Travlaw was also seeing “a lot of questions” about “the kind of guidance agents and operators should be giving to customers”.
“We know the travel industry will be able to give that kind of information in a sensible and professional way because it’s what they’re good at,” he said. “But it’s important to know what the wording should be, so you’re going above and beyond what you should be saying in terms of advising customers to do is crucial.”
Gatenby added that it was important to know the official information sources to point customers to.
Senior counsel Stephen Mason added: “For those who are members of Abta, the association is developing a country reopening guide on their website. That’s a resource that can give you a lot of information. For those who are not Abta members, then the Reopen EU also has a lot of useful information.”
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