Package holidays: Optimum consumer protection

Package holidays are the most popular way of travelling for German holidaymakers, who book around 30 million package holidays every year. One reason why package holidays are so popular is that the tour operators ensure that the holiday goes smoothly and handle any problems guests may have at the destinations. Package holiday customers are satisfied customers, so there’s no need for a package holiday redress body.

Absolutely reliable service

A holiday is the highlight of everyone’s year. The TUI Group ensures that its guests are happy by providing comprehensive support throughout the entire process, from the day they book to the day they return home:

  • Pre-booking advice. TUI Germany operates some 500 own travel agencies providing personalised advice to guests in line with their holiday preferences. There are also around 600 travel agents at four German TUI Service Centres providing a telephone, e-mail and online advisory service.  
  • Arrivals and departures. TUI organises flights, cruises and local transfers, and it quickly arranges alternative transportation in the event of unforeseeable changes to the travel itinerary. 
  • Incoming agencies. TUI has 9,000 employees at incoming agencies in 49 countries and at 180 destinations worldwide, providing personal assistance to guests with complaints, questions and requests. The “My TUI” app also provides seamless digital support to travellers and a personal 24-hour service.

TUI package holiday guests benefit from a prompt and comprehensive service. Guest complaints are dealt with immediately by the agents and partners at the destinations whenever possible. In exceptional cases, if the guest is still not happy with the solution, he can travel home within 24 hours and get the entire cost of the holiday reimbursed. Very few other industries offer this kind of reimbursement scheme. The excellent customer reviews that TUI receives are testament to the company’s commitment to looking after its guests. In a guest satisfaction survey conducted by TÜV Saarland TUI’s guests rated it as “very good”. The TUI guest complaints rate is also very low at just two percent. And in 99 percent of cases TUI resolves any issues directly with the guest. The same applies to the other tour operators. According to the German Travel Association, only one in ten thousand package holiday complaints ends up in court.

Redress body: the costs outweigh the benefits

Based on these figures, the redress body proposed by Gerd Billen, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, is not helpful in the case of package holidays. It doesn’t add any value. In fact, such a redress body would increase the administrative and cost burden in an industry where tour operators and consumers generally reach amicable settlements.

Consumer satisfaction in the EU

The EU Consumer Markets Scoreboard regularly surveys consumer satisfaction in 25 sectors. Holiday products are associated with a high level of satisfaction. Consumers ranked holiday accommodation, package holidays and air travel in second, third and fourth place overall.