The general travel conditions of the travel disputes committee
Article 1 Scope
These general terms and conditions apply to the contracts for travel organization and travel mediation as defined in the Belgian law of 16 February 1994 regulating the contract for travel organization and travel mediation.
Article 2 Promotion
- The information in the travel brochure is binding on the tour operator or travel agent who has issued the brochure, unless:
a) changes in this data have been brought to the attention of the traveler clearly, in writing and before the conclusion of the contract; the brochure must state this explicitly;
b) changes occur afterwards as a result of a written agreement between the parties to the contract.
- The travel organizer and / or travel broker can cancel all or part of his travel promotion for a fixed or indefinite period.
Article 3 Information from the travel organizer and / or travel agent
The tour operator and / or travel agent are required:
- to notify travelers in writing before concluding the contract for travel organization or travel mediation:
a) the general information concerning passports and visas and the health care formalities required for the journey and stay so that travelers can arrange the necessary documents. Travelers of non-Belgian nationality must inquire at the embassy (s) or consulate (s) concerned which administrative formalities they must complete;
b) information about entering into and the content of a cancellation and / or assistance insurance policy;
c) the general and special conditions applicable to the contracts.
- provide the travelers with the following information in writing at the latest 7 calendar days before the departure date:
a) timetables and stops and connections and, if possible, the place to be occupied by the traveler;
b) name, address, telephone, fax number and / or e-mail address of either the local representative of the travel organizer and / or travel agent, or the local authorities who can assist the traveler in the event of difficulties, or directly the travel agent or travel organizer .
c) For journeys and stays of minors abroad, the information enabling direct contact with the child or with the person responsible on the spot for his / her stay.
The aforementioned period of 7 calendar days does not apply in the event of a late contract.
Article 4 Information from the traveler
The traveler must provide the travel organizer and / or travel broker with all useful information that is explicitly requested or that could reasonably have an influence on the smooth running of the trip. If the traveler provides incorrect information and this leads to additional costs for the tour operator and / or travel agent, those costs may be charged.
Article 5 Formation of the contract
- When booking the trip, the travel broker or organizer is obliged to hand over an order form to the traveler in accordance with the law.
- The contract for travel organization is created at the moment that the traveler, whether or not through the travel agent acting on behalf of the travel organizer, receives written confirmation of the booked trip from the travel organizer. If the content of the order form differs from that of the travel confirmation or the confirmation does not occur within 21 days after the signing of the order form, the traveler may assume that the trip was not booked and the traveler is entitled to the immediate reimbursement of all amounts already paid.
Article 6 The Prize
- The price agreed in the contract cannot be revised unless this is explicitly provided for in the contract together with its precise method of calculation, and to the extent that the revision is the result of a change in:
a) the exchange rates applied to the journey and / or
b) the transport costs, including fuel costs and / or
c) the charges and taxes due for certain services.
The condition must then be met that the aforementioned changes will also lead to a reduction in the price.
- The price specified in the contract may under no circumstances be increased within the 20 calendar days preceding the day of departure.
- If the increase exceeds 10% of the total price, the traveler can cancel the contract without compensation. In this case, the traveler is entitled to an immediate refund of all the amounts he has paid to the travel organizer.
Article 7 Payment of the travel sum
- Unless explicitly agreed otherwise, the traveler pays, when signing the order form, as an advance, a part of the global or total travel as determined in the special travel conditions.
- If the traveler, after having been given notice of default in advance, fails to pay the advance or the travel sum that is required of him, the tour operator and / or travel agent will be entitled to terminate the contract with the traveler by operation of law, with the costs from the traveler.
- Unless otherwise agreed on the order form, the traveler pays the balance of the price no later than 1 month before the departure date, and provided that he receives the written travel confirmation and / or travel documents in advance or at the same time.
Article 8 Transferability of the booking
- Before the start of the trip, the traveler can transfer his trip to a third party, who must meet all the conditions of the travel organization contract. The transferor must inform the travel organizer and, where appropriate, the travel agent, of this transfer in good time before departure.
- The transferring traveler and the transferee are jointly and severally liable for payment of the total price of the trip and the costs of the transfer.
Article 9 Other changes by the traveler
If the traveler requests a different change, the travel organizer and / or the travel agent may charge all costs that are caused thereby.
Article 10 Change by the travel organizer before departure
- If, before the start of the trip, one of the essential points of the contract cannot be performed, the travel organizer must inform the traveler as soon as possible, and in any case before the departure, and inform him. about the possibility of breaking the contract without costs, unless he accepts the change proposed by the travel organizer.
- The traveler must inform the travel agent or organizer of his decision as soon as possible, and in any case before departure.
- If the traveler accepts the change, a new contract or an attachment to the contract must be drawn up in which the changes made and their influence on the price are communicated.
- If the traveler does not accept the change, he may request the application of Article 11.
Article 11 Cancellation by the travel organizer before departure
- If, prior to the start of the trip, the travel organizer breaks the contract due to a circumstance that cannot be attributed to the traveler, the traveler has the choice between:
1) or the acceptance of a new offer of a trip of equal or better quality, without having to pay a supplement: if the trip offered for replacement is of lesser quality, the tour operator must make the difference in price as soon as possible repay.
2) or the repayment, as soon as possible, of all amounts paid by him under the contract.
- The traveler may also, where appropriate, claim compensation for non-performance of the contract, unless:
a) the travel organizer cancels the trip because the minimum number of travelers provided for in the contract and necessary for the execution of the trip has not been reached and the traveler, in writing within the term provided for in the contract and at least 15 calendar days before the departure date thereof, in writing was informed;
b) the cancellation is the result of force majeure, which does not include overbooking. Force majeure is understood to mean abnormal and unforeseeable circumstances that are independent of the will of the person who invokes it and the consequences of which could not be predicted despite all precautions.
Article 12 Total or partial non-execution of the trip
- If during the journey it appears that a significant part of the services covered by the contract cannot be performed, the travel organizer will take all necessary measures to offer the traveler suitable and free alternatives for the continuation of the journey.
- If there is a difference between the intended and actually provided services, he will compensate the traveler for this difference.
- If such an arrangement proves impossible or if the traveler does not accept these alternatives for sound reasons, the travel organizer must provide him with an equivalent means of transport that will take him back to the place of departure and, where appropriate, compensate the traveler.
Article 13 Cancellation by the traveler
The traveler can cancel the contract in whole or in part at any time. If the traveler cancels the contract due to a circumstance attributable to him, he will compensate the damage suffered by the travel organizer and / or mediator as a result of the cancellation. The compensation may be fixed in the special conditions or in the travel program, but may not exceed the price of the journey once.
Article 14 Liability of the travel organizer
- The tour operator is liable for the proper performance of the contract, in accordance with the expectations that the traveler may reasonably have under the terms of the travel organization contract, and for the obligations arising from the contract, whether or not these obligations can be performed by him / herself or by other providers of services and this without prejudice to the right of the travel organizer to address these other providers of services.
- The tour operator is just as liable for the acts of negligence of his employees and representatives acting in the performance of their duties as for his own acts and negligence.
- If an international treaty applies to a service included in the travel organization contract, the liability of the travel organizer in accordance with that treaty is excluded or limited.
- Insofar as the travel organizer itself does not provide the services provided for in the travel contract, its liability for material damage and the compensation for loss of travel enjoyment together are limited to twice the travel sum.
- Otherwise, Articles 18 and 19 of the Law of 16 February 1994 apply.
Article 15 Liability of the traveler
The traveler is liable for damage suffered by the travel organizer and / or mediator, their employees and / or their representatives as a result of his mistake, or when he has not fulfilled his contractual obligations. The error is assessed according to the normal behavior of a traveler.
Article 16 complaints procedure
Before the trip:
If the traveler has a complaint about the departure, he must write this as soon as possible by registered letter or submit a receipt to the travel agent and / or tour operator.
During the trip:
The traveler must report complaints during the performance of the contract as soon as possible on site, in an appropriate and evidential manner, so that a solution can be found. For this he must - in this order - turn to a representative of the travel agent, or a representative of the travel agent or directly to the travel agent, or finally directly to the travel agent.
After the trip:
If a complaint was not satisfactorily resolved on the spot or it was impossible for the traveler to formulate a complaint on the spot, he must submit a complaint to the travel agent or otherwise to the travel organizer by registered letter or acknowledgment of receipt no later than one month after the end of the travel agreement.
Article 17 Reconciliation procedure
- In the event of a dispute, the parties must first pursue an amicable settlement between themselves.
- If this attempt to reach an amicable settlement fails within a period of 1 to 3 months, then each of the parties involved can request the secretariat of the Reconciliation Unit of the vzw Travel Disputes Committee to start a conciliation procedure. All parties must agree.
- To this end, the secretariat will provide the parties with a conciliation regulation and an "agreement for reconciliation".
- In accordance with the simple procedure described in the rules, an impartial conciliator will then contact the parties to pursue a fair reconciliation between the parties.
- Any agreement reached will be laid down in a binding written agreement. Secretariat of the "Reconciliation Cell": telephone: 0032 02 277 61 80
fax: 0032 02 277 91 00
Article 18 Arbitration or Court
- If no conciliation procedure is instituted or if it fails, the claimant may, if desired, initiate arbitration proceedings for the Travel Disputes Committee or bring proceedings before the ordinary court.
- The traveler can never be obliged to accept the competence of the Travel Disputes Committee, either as a claimant or as a defendant.
- The tour operator or travel agent who is the defendant can only refuse the arbitration if the amount demanded by the claimant amounts to 1250 euros or more. He has a period of 10 calendar days for this upon receipt of the registered letter indicating that a file with a claim
from 1250 EUR was opened with the Travel Disputes Committee
- This arbitration procedure is governed by a dispute settlement procedure, and can only be started after submitting a complaint to the company itself and as soon as it is established that the dispute could not be settled amicably or as soon as 4 months have passed after the (anticipated) end of the trip (or possibly from the performance that gave rise to the dispute). Disputes concerning physical injuries can only be settled by the courts.
- The jointly appointed arbitral tribunal, in accordance with the dispute regulations, makes a binding and definitive decision on the travel dispute. No appeal is possible against this.
Arbitration Board Secretariat, and General Secretariat of the Dispute
phone 02 277 62 15 (9u tot 12 u)
fax: 02 277 91 00
City Atrium, Vooruitgangstraat 50, 1210 Brussel