ABTA members were told to fight “tooth and nail” for Flight Plus and consider if they are happy with operating with the Package Travel Directive (PTD) in a heated debate at its annual convention today.
While Mark Tanzer, chief executive at ABTA said the association had taken a deregulatory approach to the PTD with the European Commission (EC) in Brussels the industry must now work with the fact a new version will be launched despite the protection Flight Plus now offers.
“Wake up and fight the fight now. If you can’t change it [in Europe] then turn to the UK government and shout loud,” said Steve Endacott, chief executive at On Holiday Group in a session today. He and the rest of the panel, which included Chris Photi from Whitehart Associates; Andy Cooper from Thomas Cook Group and Tanzer, also spoke out about the irregularities in which holidays are covered by PTD and that the industry should work together to work towards another solution.
Draft proposals for the new PTD are to be launched in March and could be passed by the end of 2013 to be introduced in 2016.
“The principals [of what EC is trying to do] are transparency, proportionality and consistency, with the latter the greatest concern,” explained Cooper.
Photi then added: “Scope is major issue for PTD and agents, OTAs and consortia need to speak with one voice. The European Commission is also struggling to find solution to airline click-throughs but fundamental as hold responsibility. Flight Plus is a good system and you should fight tooth and nail for it [to be the protection for holidaymakers].”