16 January 2014
Your rights as a traveller depend on whether you are on a package tour or whether you have made your travel arrangements independently, and the mode of travel you choose. The shared stand 6e106 of the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority and the European Consumer Centre at the Nordic Travel Fair provides more information about travellers' rights.
Package tours include traditional package holidays and flight and hotel packages. When you buy a package tour, you can rely on the general package tour terms and conditions agreed upon between the Finnish Consumer Ombudsman and the Association of Finnish Travel Agents. These terms and conditions specify a traveller's rights, for example if there are problems with the tour, if the operator cancels the tour or if the travellers themselves wish to cancel.
A package tour is usually paid for in advance. Before you book a tour, it is thus a good idea to check that the travel agent is in the travel agent register maintained by the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority and that it has lodged a security against advance payments made by the customers.
If possible, you should complain about any defects in a package tour during the trip. The tour operator must correct them immediately at their own cost. A complaint may also be filed after returning home. If the dispute cannot be resolved, you may contact consumer advisory services.
Air passengers' rights keep the European Consumer Centre busy
The rights of independent travellers are specified in EU regulations on travel by air, rail, sea and bus. Of all modes of transport, air travel causes the greatest number of problems for travellers from the perspective of the European Consumer Centre in Finland.
Most frequently, consumers contact the Centre about questions related to flight cancellations and delays. One fifth of all activities of the European Consumer Centres Network are associated with air passengers' rights.
You can find the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority and the European Consumer Centre Finland at stand 6e106 of the Nordic Travel Fair. The Nordic Travel Fair is taking place at Messukeskus in Helsinki on 16 – 19 January 2014.