More and more people book their holidays online. These pages contain information about what to look out for when making bookings on travel agencies’ or transport operators’ websites.
Bookings are binding subject to certain conditions
Contrary to online bookings in general, the statutory right to cancel does not apply to
• car hire
It is especially important to remember that the right to cancel or change a booking only applies if the terms and conditions specifically state this. Read through the terms and conditions carefully and keep in mind that making changes to a booking usually carries an extra charge.
Find out about the background and trustworthiness of the company
Can you find the name, address, registered office, telephone number and email address of the company? Never make a booking with a company that only discloses its email address or a PO box. Look up reviews and previous customers’ experiences on chat forums or Google, for example.
Even companies that have a website in Finnish can be based abroad and may not provide customer service in Finnish in the event of any problems.
Pay attention to details – type your name correctly and check the price
It is especially important to make sure that the information entered into booking forms is correct when booking holidays online. Correcting a misspelled name on an airline ticket, for example, can prove costly, as making any changes to a booking usually carries an extra charge. Sometimes making changes is not possible at all.
Also pay attention to the price. Is the price inclusive of tax and service charges? Some airlines charge extra for luggage.
Transferability of travel packages
Only travel packages that are governed by the EU Directive on package travel and linked travel arrangements can be transferred to another person.
The terms and conditions of tour operators nevertheless vary, so read through them carefully. If you cannot find anything about cancellations, payment terms and changes on the company’s website or if the company’s terms and conditions seem particularly restrictive, consider a different service provider.
Travel agencies based outside the EU may not offer the same level of consumer protection as European companies.
Pay by credit card
When you buy an airline ticket or a travel service from a foreign company, it can be difficult to foresee whether the company will still be financially stable by the time you come to take your trip. In these situations, the best way to safeguard your money is to pay by credit card. If the trip does not go ahead due to the company going out of business, for example, you can ask your credit card company for a refund. Paying by credit card also protects you in situations where a company dishonestly sells flights or travel services that do not even exist.
Is the destination safe?
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs publishes information about safety in travel destinations around the world.