If the text is contradictory to the Finnish text, the latter will be followed.
These terms and conditions have been agreed between the Association of Finnish Travel Agents and the Finnish Consumer Ombudsman. These terms and conditions apply to contracts concluded on or after 1 July 2018. These terms and conditions are based on the mandatory provisions of Directive (EU) 2015/2302 of the European Parliament and of the Council on package travel and linked travel arrangements and the Finnish Act on Travel Service Combinations (901/2017/www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/alkup/2017/20170901).
1.1. General terms and conditions for package travel
These terms and conditions apply to packages that cover a period of at least 24 hours or include overnight accommodation and are purchased primarily for private purposes, combining at least two of the following types of travel services: 1) carriage of passengers, 2) accommodation, 3) rental of cars or other motor vehicles within the meaning of Section 2(3) of the Act on Travel Service Combinations, such as motorcycles requiring a Category A driving licence or self-propelled vehicles with at least four wheels and a design speed of more than 25 km/h, or one of the above in combination with 4) any other essential tourist service, provided that the package is sold or marketed in Finland. Accommodation also includes a few weeks’ stay with a host family in connection with a language course, for example, although not in connection with a long-term exchange programme.
1.2. Additional terms and conditions
The organiser has the right to supplement and add more details to the general terms and conditions of package travel, provided that the additional terms and conditions are not to the detriment of the traveller or in conflict with these general terms and conditions.
1.3. Special terms and conditions
The organiser has the right to introduce special terms and conditions that deviate from these terms and conditions if the introduction of special terms and conditions can be justified due to the special nature of the trip, special regulations concerning the form of transport (such as the terms and conditions applicable to booking and paying for scheduled flights), special terms and conditions applicable to accommodation resulting from the special nature of the trip or special conditions at the destination. Any such special terms and conditions must not be in conflict with the provisions of the Act on Travel Service Combinations to the detriment of the traveller.
The organiser who applies special terms and conditions in the event of cancellations and charges the traveller for the actual costs of cancellations on that basis must, if requested by the traveller, provide an account of how the costs are split between the various components of the trip.
2.1. Responsibility for delivering on contracts
The organiser is responsible for ensuring that the travel package delivers what has been agreed with the traveller. The organiser is also responsible for any services they procure from service providers in order to deliver on the contract (such as transport operators and hotels).
The retailer is responsible for the information they provide to the traveller and for delivering on the contract in the same way as organisers, if the organiser is based outside the European Economic Area and the retailer cannot provide evidence of the organiser delivering on these responsibilities.
Prior to concluding the contract, the traveller must be given information on whether the organiser or the retailer has provided a security as referred to in the Finnish Act on Providers of Travel Service Combinations (921/2017) and whether the security covers the trip in question.
The traveller can report breaches of contract pursuant to these terms and conditions by contacting either the organiser or the retailer.
The complaints procedure is laid down in Section 12.4.
2.2. Content of contracts
Each trip must include the services and arrangements that have been agreed between the traveller and the organiser. The contract must cover all the terms and conditions supplied in writing or electronically before the conclusion of the contract, the standard information form and other information concerning the trip required under the Act on Travel Service Combinations (www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/alkup/2017/20170901) and the Decree on Information to Be Provided to Travellers on Travel Service Combinations (www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/alkup/2018/20180181).
2.3. Travel documents and travel insurance
The organiser must provide the traveller with general information about the passport and visa requirements of the destination country prior to concluding the contract, including the average processing time for visa applications.
The traveller is responsible for observing the organiser’s instructions and ensuring that they have the necessary documents for their trip (e.g. passport, visa, vaccination certificates) and that these documents and tickets are correct and match each other. The traveller is also responsible for checking transport timetables. As long as the organiser has provided all the necessary information, they cannot be held liable for any loss incurred by the traveller if the traveller is unable to participate in all or part of the trip due to inadequate travel documents (e.g. a damaged passport) or not having or being denied a visa.
The organiser cannot be held liable for any voluntary insurance that the traveller may need for the trip. Instead, the traveller is responsible for obtaining insurance themself and for ensuring that it covers what is needed in the event of cancellations, for example. To this end, the organiser shall instruct the traveller to obtain sufficient insurance to cover accidents and property damage as well as cancellations.
2.4. Potential safety risks at the destination
The organiser must inform the traveller of any special risks relating to the trip and the general health regulations in force in the destination country prior to the trip. The traveller is responsible for obtaining any advice specific to their personal health concerns themself. The traveller must be provided with instructions in the event of an illness, an accident or another similar event.
The safety of the traveller while abroad is primarily the responsibility of the traveller themself and the authorities of the country in question. The traveller must take local conditions into consideration in their actions.
Key information about the safety and other characteristics of specific travel destinations is available on the websites of the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the National Institute for Health and Welfare at www.um.fi and www.thl.fi. The traveller must read the information in order to familiarise themself with local conditions at the destination.
2.5. The organiser’s obligation to provide assistance
If the traveller falls ill, has an accident, becomes a victim of a crime or suffers other losses during the trip, the organiser must provide the traveller with information on health services, local authorities and consular assistance as well as access to a means of distance communication and help the traveller to make alternative travel arrangements and provide other necessary assistance without undue delay. The traveller will bear the costs of these and any other special arrangements required by the circumstances (such as new transport, additional nights in a hotel and any additional costs incurred by the organiser) that the organiser makes to accommodate the traveller’s situation. If a situation such as that referred to in Section 10.1.b) arises during a trip, the organiser must provide the traveller with appropriate assistance and take any reasonable steps to limit the traveller’s losses and inconvenience.
The organiser has the right to charge a reasonable fee for any such assistance provided, if the traveller has caused the situation intentionally or through negligence. However, the fee must not exceed the actual costs incurred by the organiser from providing the assistance.
An organiser who does not have local staff available to assist travellers at the destination must provide the traveller, prior to the trip, with the name and contact details of the local representative of the organiser or retailer, or similar information about local points of contact that the traveller can turn to for assistance. In the absence of such representative or point of contact, the traveller must be given information on how they can contact the organiser or retailer if necessary.
2.6. The traveller’s responsibilities
2.6.1. The traveller must observe any instructions and orders regarding the execution of the trip, given by the authorities, the organiser or the organiser’s representatives, as well as any applicable hotel and transportation rules.
2.6.2. The traveller must not disturb other travellers by their conduct. A traveller who fails to observe these responsibilities risk losing their place on the trip or being repatriated prematurely. Such travellers will not be entitled to a refund and they will bear all the costs of their return journey.
2.6.3. The traveller is liable for any damage they cause intentionally or through negligence to the organiser or third parties, for example, by violating the provisions of Sections 2.6.1. and 2.6.2.
2.6.4. The traveller must provide the organiser with contact details where they may be contacted before and during the trip.
2.6.5. A representative of a traveller group must provide their group with all the information and documents required for the trip and the organiser with all necessary information and documents concerning the travellers. The organiser is deemed to have satisfied their duty to provide information by making the information concerning the trip available to the group’s representative and do not need to provide the information to each individual traveller separately.
A representative of a traveller group can make changes to the group’s bookings alone or together with the individual traveller requesting the changes.
2.6.6. The traveller or the representative of a traveller group is responsible for the accuracy of the information they provide to the organiser, such as the timing of the trip, the name/s, date/s of birth and other personal details of the traveller/s or any special requirements, and for providing the information on time. The organiser cannot be held liable for any losses resulting from inaccurate or incomplete information having been provided by the traveller or the representative of a traveller group.
2.6.7. The traveller may be held liable for any consequences and/or costs incurred from their use of the services or components included in the package in a manner that violates the package travel contract. For example, failure to use all or part of any transport services included in the package may cause the traveller to lose their right to some or all remaining services.
3.1. The contract becomes binding once the initial payment is made to the organiser by the given due date.
3.2. The total price of the package must be paid by the due date given by the organiser or by another agreed due date. Provided that they pay for the package, the traveller is entitled to receive their tickets and other documents relating to their trip well in advance of the trip.
The traveller has the right to cancel their booking at any time before the start of the trip. In such circumstances, the organiser has the right to charge a cancellation fee as follows:
4.1.a) Administrative costs as agreed, if a booking is cancelled at least 45 days before the start of the trip
4.2. If the price of a package is based on two or more travellers sharing a room or an apartment and one of the travellers cancels their booking, the organiser has the right to charge for the cancellation as per Section 4.1 as well as for any costs incurred from the accommodation not being used in full. Liability for the aforementioned costs will be shared between the traveller who cancels their booking and the other travellers in the group. The organiser and the travelling entourage can agree to deviate from the above by finding accommodation that is more suitable for the remaining travellers, in which case the travellers attending the trip will bear any additional costs incurred.
4.3. Travellers who fail to show up for their trip at the appointed time without cancelling their booking or who are unable to attend the trip due to missing documents for which the traveller is responsible, such as their passport, visa, proof of identity or vaccination certificate, will not be entitled to a refund.
4.4. Cancellation costs may differ from those listed in Section 4.1., in the case of a trip subject to special terms and conditions (Section 1.3.). In such circumstances, the special terms and conditions must specify the cancellation costs or how such cancellation costs will be calculated.
5.1. The traveller has the right to cancel their booking if
The traveller’s right to cancel the booking depends on the official view of Finnish authorities on the situation or official reporting by a Finnish mission, for example; or
– by more than 24 hours in the case of trips lasting at least seven days
– by more than 12 hours in the case of trips lasting between two and six days
– the traveller’s right to cancel trips lasting less than two days is assessed case by case; or
5.2. The organiser must inform the traveller of any changes by means of a durable medium, and the notice must explain what changes the organiser intends to make, whether the changes will affect the standard of the package or lower its value, the amount of any discount given to the traveller due to the changes and whether the changes entitle the traveller to cancel their booking.
5.3. A traveller who wishes to cancel their booking must communicate their wish to the organiser without undue delay. A traveller who does not inform the organiser of their wish to cancel their booking by a reasonable deadline, given in the notice of changes, is deemed to have accepted the proposed changes.
5.4. The traveller’s right to cancel their booking due to price increases is established in Section 8.3.
5.5. A traveller who cancels their booking in the aforementioned circumstances is entitled to a refund of the price of the package without undue delay and in any case within 14 days of the cancellation. However, a cancellation fee will be charged if the traveller was aware of the circumstances referred to in Section 5.1.b) when the contract was concluded.
Travellers who cancel their booking due to the reasons listed in Sections 5.1.a), 5.1.c) or 5.1.d) are also entitled to compensation for any amounts they have spent on their trip that have become worthless due to the cancellation unless the changes are due to circumstances that are beyond the organiser’s or their subcontractors’ control.
6.1. The traveller has the right to interrupt the trip if
6.2. A traveller who interrupts their trip or terminates the contract is entitled to a refund of the price of the package and any other payments made to the organiser. Any services provided by the organiser that have benefited the traveller (e.g. any portions of a trip consisting of several parts, any meals served during the trip or tickets used by the traveller) will be taken into account when calculating the refund.
6.3. If necessary, the organiser must arrange and pay for the return journey of any traveller who wishes to terminate the contract on the grounds of Section 6.1.a). In such circumstances, the traveller must be able to return home using the same form of transport as originally agreed and to the same location from which they departed or another location as agreed.
6.4. A traveller who wishes to interrupt their trip due to the circumstances referred to in Section 6.1.b) and whom the organiser fails to assist in arranging their return journey pursuant to Section 2.5 have the right to make their own arrangements. However, in such circumstances, the traveller must strive to limit the costs and other losses to be borne by the organiser.
6.5. The traveller’s right to compensation is discussed in Section 16.
7.1. Travellers have the right to change the departure date, destination or hotel up to 45 days before the start of the trip by paying any difference between the original package and the new package as well as administrative expenses. The organiser has the right to treat any changes made closer to the start of a traveller’s trip as a cancellation and a new booking.
7.2. The traveller has the right to make changes to passenger details on their booking or transfer the package to another person as long as the other person satisfies the terms and conditions of the package.
The organiser must be notified of any such changes in passenger details at least seven days before the start of the trip. Changes may also be made closer to the start of the trip if this does not cause unreasonable inconvenience to the organiser.
The organiser has the right to reasonable compensation for any actions they must take due to the changes. Unless otherwise stated in the organiser’s additional terms and conditions, the amount of compensation will be based on the administrative costs incurred. Alternatively, Section 4.2. may be applied. Liability for the costs of the package and for the compensation payment to the organiser will be shared between the original traveller and the person travelling instead.
8.1. The organiser has the right to increase the price of the package and a duty to lower the price after the conclusion of the contract on the following grounds:
8.2. Price increases must not exceed the increase in costs.
The organiser must inform the traveller of the new price as soon as possible and provide an explanation for why the price has changed and identify the components of the package affected by the change.
The traveller must be informed of the price increase by means of a durable medium at least 20 days before the start of their trip.
8.3. If the price of a traveller’s package is increased by more than 8% calculated as referred to in Section 8.2. after the conclusion of the contract, the traveller has the right to terminate the contract. The traveller must notify the organiser of their wish to terminate the contract by a reasonable deadline given by the organiser or, if no deadline has been set, within seven days of the traveller receiving notice of the price increase. Notices sent electronically are deemed to have been received on the day they were sent. If no other evidence can be presented of the date on which a communication was received, notices sent by post are deemed to have been received on the seventh day after they were sent.
A traveller who cancels their contract is entitled to be refunded any amounts they have paid without undue delay and in any case within 14 days of the cancellation. The traveller’s right to compensation is laid down in Section 16.
8.4. The organiser must reimburse the traveller for any decrease in the cost of the package due to the circumstances referred to in Sections 8.1.a)–8.1.c) before the start of the trip. The organiser has the right to deduct any administrative costs incurred from the refund.
9.1. The traveller is not entitled to cancel their contract or to receive a price reduction or compensation in the event that the organiser introduces minor changes to the package travel contract before the start of the trip. Minor changes include changes that the traveller can reasonably be expected to have foreseen due to the nature of the destination or the trip, such as the cancellation of one excursion, if the package includes several excursions.
9.2. Changes introduced by the organiser that entitle the traveller to cancel their trip are listed in Section 5.1.
9.3. The traveller has a duty to pay the price of the package and any other agreed charges if the changes introduced by the organiser are not minor pursuant to Section 9.1. or such that entitle the traveller to cancel the trip pursuant to Section 9.2. However, the provisions laid down in Sections 15 and 16 on the traveller’s right to a price reduction and compensation apply.
9.4. The organiser must inform the traveller of any changes by means of a durable medium in a clear, comprehensible and prominent manner.
9.5. Instead of cancelling a trip or a series of trips due to low demand, the organiser has the right to run the trip by changing the form of transport, route and/or timetable as long as these changes do not significantly affect the nature of the trip. The traveller must be informed of such changes
1) at least 20 days before the start of the trip in the case of trips lasting more than six days;
2) at least seven days before the start of the trip in the case of trips lasting between two and six days;
3) at least 48 hours before the start of the trip in the case of trips lasting less than two days.
The aforementioned changes may entitle the traveller to a price reduction and/or compensation pursuant to Sections 15 and 16.
10.1. The organiser has the right to cancel a trip if
1) at least 20 days before the start of the trip in the case of trips lasting more than six days;
2) at least seven days before the start of the trip in the case of trips lasting between two and six days;
3) at least 48 hours before the start of the trip in the case of trips lasting less than two days.
The traveller must be informed of such cancellations as soon as possible.
10.2. If circumstances such as referred to in Section 10.1.b) arise during a trip, the organiser has the right to interrupt the trip and make any other necessary changes to the programme. In such circumstances, the organiser must after their return home reimburse the traveller without delay for the price paid for any components of their package that were not delivered.
10.3. An organiser who cancels a trip must refund the traveller within 14 days of the cancellation.
The organiser has the right to terminate a traveller’s contract if the traveller fails to pay for all or part of their package by the agreed due date. The due date must be reasonable. The document in which the due date is specified must explain the organiser’s right to terminate the contract on the grounds of non-payment.
12.2. The traveller must be prepared for reasonable changes to transport timetables. Changes to transport timetables that do not result in a traveller’s stay at the destination being shortened or lengthened by more than four hours in the case of trips lasting between two and five days, by more than five hours in the case of trips lasting between five and eight days or by more than eight hours in the case of trips lasting more than eight days do not constitute a breach of contract. In the case of trips lasting less than two days, what constitutes a breach of contract is assessed case by case.
12.3. A traveller failing to take advantage of some or all of the transport or other services included in the package does not constitute a breach of contract on the part of the organiser.
A traveller wishing to complain about a breach of contract by the organiser after the trip must notify the organiser or the retailer of their complaint within a reasonable period of time from when they notice or should have noticed the breach. A traveller who notices a breach of contract that can be remedied during the trip must alert the organiser or retailer as soon as possible.
Unless the breach of contract requires immediate remedial action, the traveller must allow a reasonable period of time for the breach to be rectified. What constitutes a reasonable period of time depends on the duration of the trip, the destination and other factors relating to the nature of the trip.
However, the above does not prevent the traveller from filing a complaint if the organiser or a trader used by the organiser for assistance in delivering on the contract has acted with gross negligence or in bad faith.
13.1. Organisers must rectify any breaches of contract immediately or, if immediate remedial action is not necessary, by a reasonable deadline set by the traveller and in a manner, that does not result in the traveller incurring any costs or major inconvenience. What constitutes a reasonable deadline for rectifying breaches of contract depends on the nature of the breach and its effect on the traveller as well as the organiser’s possibilities of rectifying the breach.
The traveller may be entitled to a price reduction covering the duration of the breach pursuant to Section 15 and to compensation pursuant to Section 16 despite the organiser’s remedial action.
13.2. The organiser cannot be expected to rectify a breach of contract if remedial action is impossible or would result in the organiser incurring unreasonable costs. What constitutes unreasonable costs depends on the scale of the breach and the value of the affected travel services.
If an organiser decides not to rectify a breach of contract or fails to take immediate remedial action if immediate remedial action is required or fails to rectify the breach by the deadline set by the traveller, the traveller has the right to take action themselves. In such circumstances, the traveller is entitled to be reimbursed for any costs incurred from the remedial action taken.
The organiser is not required to reimburse the traveller for costs incurred by them from rectifying a breach of contract by the organiser if the costs are unreasonable. An organiser who refuses to rectify a breach of contract pursuant to this section has a duty to provide the affected traveller with a price reduction and compensation pursuant to Sections 15 and 16.
If a significant portion of travel services included in a traveller’s package cannot be provided as agreed during a trip, the organiser must make alternative arrangements to complement the package without the traveller incurring any additional costs. Such alternative services must, where possible, be of at least the same standard as the agreed travel services. Organisers’ duty to make alternative arrangements also applies in cases where a traveller cannot be returned to their original departure location as agreed.
If the alternative arrangements lower the value of the package compared to what was agreed in the package travel contract, the organiser must give the traveller an appropriate price reduction.
The traveller has the right to turn down any alternative arrangements offered if they differ considerably from what was agreed in the package travel contract or if the price reduction offered by the organiser is not proportionate to the impact of the change. A traveller who exercises their right to turn down alternative arrangements or to whom no alternative arrangements can be offered has the right to an appropriate price reduction and compensation even if they do not terminate the contract. If the traveller’s package includes a return journey home, the organiser must arrange for the traveller to be repatriated in the manner agreed in the contract without undue delay and without the traveller incurring any additional costs.
A traveller who turns down alternative arrangements offered by the organiser without a justifiable reason as referred to above will not be entitled to compensation or a price reduction.
If an organiser fails to rectify a breach of contract without delay or if the breach cannot be remedied, the traveller is entitled to a price reduction proportionate to the impact of the breach unless the organiser can prove that the breach was caused by the traveller.
No price reduction is necessary if the breach only has a minor impact considering the entire package. The price reduction depends on the total price of the package rather than the price of the individual service affected by the breach. The traveller’s personal needs and any special wishes expressed in connection with concluding the contract can also be taken into account when assessing the impact of the breach.
16.1. The traveller is entitled to compensation for any losses incurred by them because of a breach of contract by the organiser. The organiser must pay the compensation without undue delay.
However, the right to compensation is lost if the organiser can demonstrate that
1) the breach of contract was due to the traveller;
2) the breach was due to third parties who are unrelated to the provision of travel services and it could not reasonably have been foreseen or prevented;
3) the breach was due to the kinds of unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances referred to in Section 16.9.
16.2. The traveller can be compensated, for example, for any additional costs incurred by them due to a breach of contract and for any amounts they have spent on their trip that have become worthless as well as any loss of income due to a delayed return home, additional costs incurred from having to arrange additional overnight accommodation as well as any loss of enjoyment from the holiday or trip. Compensation for the loss of enjoyment will only be paid in the case of a serious breach of contract by the organiser.
16.3. The traveller is entitled to compensation for the loss of their luggage, if the traveller not having access to their luggage must be deemed to have inconvenienced them, considering the length of the delay and other circumstances.
16.4. The traveller must take any reasonable steps to mitigate their losses. The organiser cannot be held liable for losses resulting from the traveller’s own actions.
16.5. Compensation in the event of losses incurred during transport by air, sea or rail will be calculated based on the rules or contracts applied by the transport operator to their services. The organiser’s liability for damages in the context of transport is gov erned by the applicable provisions of the Finnish Maritime Act (674/1994) or Regulation (EC) No 392/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the liability of carriers of passengers by sea in the event of accidents, the Finnish Act on Transport by Air (289/1937), the Finnish Act on Air Transport Contracts (45/1977), the Finnish Air Transport Act (387/1986), the Finnish Rail Transport Act (1119/2000), Council Regulation (EC) No 2027/97 on air carrier liability in the event of accidents or the Convention concerning International Carriage by Rail (COTIF; TrS 5/1985), the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air (TrS 76/2004) or the 2002 Protocol to the 1974 Athens Convention relating to the carriage of passengers and their luggage by sea (TrS 70/2017).
16.6. The amount of compensation payable to the traveller depends on the amount of losses incurred by them and is in all cases limited to three times the price of their package. However, this limitation of liability does not apply in the event of personal injury or other losses caused intentionally or through negligence.
16.7. To be eligible for compensation, the traveller must demonstrate that the organiser has committed a breach of contract and that the losses are directly attributable to the breach. The burden of proof regarding the amount of losses also rests with the traveller.
16.8. The traveller’s liability for damages payable to the organiser is laid down in Section 2.6.3.
16.9. Unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances
The organiser cannot be held liable for any losses resulting from unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances that are beyond the organiser’s control and the consequences of which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable steps had been taken. Such unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances include, for example, orders by the authorities, airspace restrictions, war, other serious security issues, such as terrorism, serious unrest, significant risks to human health, such as the outbreak of a serious disease at the destination, or natural disasters such as flooding, earthquakes or weather conditions that make travelling to the destination in a safe manner as specified in the package travel contract impossible or that otherwise significantly impede running the trip as agreed. Such circumstances also include interruptions in the supply of essential services, such as electricity or water, due to a natural disaster or workers’ strikes, for example.
Effective reservation made latest 28th of November 2018:
16.10. If the traveller’s return trip cannot be completed as agreed due to unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances, the organiser shall see that, the necessary costs for accommodation correspond to the package travel contract for a maximum of three (3) nights, in case the transport company does not take care of the arrangements.
The limitation of the above-mentioned cost liability does not apply to a disabled traveller or his assistant, pregnant women, minors who travel unaccompanied or people requiring special medical attention if the organiser at least 48 hours before departure has been informed of the person’s special care needs.
16.11. The organiser cannot plead unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances to limit its liability when the return transport is delayed if the provider of the applicable transport services cannot invoke such conditions under the applicable EU legislation.
Effective reservation made from 29th of November 2018:
16.10. If a traveller’s return home cannot be arranged as planned due to unavoidable and extraordinary circum-stances, the organiser has a duty to cover any costs of up to three nights’ stay in alternative accommodation, where possible, of the standard specified in the package travel contract if the transport operator does not pro-vide accommodation. Where longer periods are provided for in Union passenger rights legislation applicable to the relevant means of transport for the traveller’s return, those periods shall apply.
The organiser cannot limit their liability for a traveller’s delayed return home on the grounds of unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances, if the transport service provider in question is prevented by applicable European Union laws from denying liability in such circumstances.
The aforementioned limitation of liability does not apply in the case of disabled passengers and their caregivers, pregnant women, unaccompanied minors or individuals who require specialist medical care, provided that the organiser was informed about the traveller’s need for special assistance at least 48 hours before the start of the trip.
The organiser must without undue delay reimburse the traveller for any losses incurred because of a technical fault in the organiser’s booking system or an error made during the booking process.
However, the traveller is not entitled to compensation if the booking error is due to the traveller or the kinds of unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances referred to in Section 16.9.
Booking errors may be attributable to the traveller, for example, if they provide the organiser with incorrect or incomplete information concerning themself or the trip. The traveller also has a general duty of care to check all provided documents, such as the booking confirmation letter, and to notify the organiser or retailer of any missing information or mistakes as soon as possible. Any failure by a traveller to check the documents may be considered when calculating the amount of compensation payable to the traveller for any losses incurred.
Any price reduction given or compensation paid to a traveller pursuant to European Union laws governing the rights of travellers or international conventions will be deducted from any compensation payable pursuant to these terms and conditions.
The traveller has a duty to declare any compensation they have received because of breaches of the package travel contract from other parties to the organiser or retailer.
19.1. The procedure for filing complaints concerning breaches of contract by the organiser is laid down in Section 12.
19.2. Claims for damages must be made in writing and within a reasonable period of time.
If a dispute concerning a package travel contract cannot be settled between the parties, a consumer has the right to refer the case to the Consumer Disputes Board (www.kuluttajariita.fi/en) for resolution. A consumer wishing to refer a case to the Consumer Disputes Board must first contact the Consumer Advisory Services (www.kkv.fi/en/consumer-advice/). A traveller can also file a civil suit in their local District Court.
General terms for package tours – until 30 June 2018
These general terms approved on 30 June 2009 have been negotiated between The Association of Finnish Travel Agents and the consumer ombudsman.
1.1. General terms for package tours
These terms are applied to package tours of a duration of more than 2 days, that are mainly acquired for private purposes and include, at the least, transportation and accommodation and that are sold or offered for sale in Finland and whose organizer (tour operator) has been established in Finland. Being housed with a family is also considered accommodation.
1.2. Additional terms
The tour operator has the right to complement and specify the general terms for package tours with additional terms that must not be to the disadvantage of the passenger and contradictory to these general terms.
1.3. Special conditions
The tour operator has the right to apply special conditions that differ from these general terms if the use of special conditions is justified due to the exceptional nature of the tour, unusual regulations concerning the manner of transportation (such as booking or sales terms of regular flights), exceptional terms of accommodation due to the special nature of the tour or exceptional conditions at the tour destination. The special conditions must not be to the disadvantage of the passenger and in violation of the Act on Package Tours.
A tour operator who applies special conditions in a case of cancellation and charges the passenger for actual cancellation charges accordingly, must, if necessary, produce documents on how they correspond to the different parts of the tour.
2.1. The tour operator is responsible to the passenger for the package tour complying with the contract. The responsibility also concerns the performance of enterprisers (such as carrier companies and hotels) employed by the tour operator in order to fulfill the contract.
2.2. Travel agents (intermediaries) like tour operators are responsible for the information they provide the passenger with as well as for fulfilling the contract. Such responsibility, however, does not arise if upon making a reservation the passenger is aware of who the tour operator is and of the fact that the tour operator alone is responsible for fulfilling the obligations indicated in the contract.
2.3. Before concluding the contract, the passenger must be informed of whether the tour operator or the travel agent has set a guarantee as defined in the Act on Package Tour Operators and whether the guarantee covers the tour offered.
2.4. The passenger may fill his obligation to inform as defined in these general terms by contacting either the tour operator or the travel agent.
Communicating a fault in the package tour must be carried out as instructed in clause 13.4.
2.5. Content of the contract
The tour includes all the services and arrangements that have been agreed upon between the passenger and the tour operator. Upon evaluating the contents of the contract, all contract terms provided in advance either in writing or electronically as well as the information given in the tour operator’s brochures and other marketing and travel documents must be considered.
2.6. Travel documents and travel insurance
Before concluding the contract, the tour operator must provide the passenger with the general information about the travel documents required as well as about the time generally required for acquiring them.
Following the instructions provided by the tour operator, the passenger must personally acquire the documents required for the travel (passport, visa, vaccination certificates) and check their and the flight ticket’s correctness and correspondence. The passenger must also check the departure times of transportation. If the tour operator has fulfilled their duty to inform, it is not liable to the passenger for the damage caused if the travel is prevented or interrupted due to insufficient or incorrect travel documents (such as a damaged passport) or due to having been denied a visa or not having acquired one.
The tour operator is not liable for any voluntary insurance the passenger may require during the tour. The passenger is personally responsible for his insurance cover and its coverage for cases such as cancellation of the tour.
2.7. Possible safety risks at the tour destination
Before the journey, the tour operator must inform the passenger about possible special risks related to the tour as well as about the health regulations concerning the travel and the stay at the destination. The passenger must also be provided with additional instructions concerning possible illnesses, accidents or like events that may occur during the tour.
In addition to the passenger himself, local authorities at the destination are mainly responsible for the passenger’s safety. The passenger must behave with consideration for the local circumstances at the destination.
Essential information regarding safety at the destination as well as other essential information about the destination is available at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the National Institute for Health and Welfare; from for example the respective websites www.formin.fi and www.thl.fi. The passenger should acquaint himself with the conditions at his destination using sources such as the abovementioned.
2.8. Obligation to assist
Should the passenger fall ill, have an accident or become the victim of a crime or face any other similar misfortune during the tour, the tour operator must assist him with securing medical services or arranging premature return travel, and, in cases of crime or accidents, assist with the necessary procedures. The passenger is responsible for the cost of these or any other necessary special arrangements (such as new transportation, extra hotel nights or possible extra costs inflicted on the tour operator) that the tour operator has made due to the passenger’s predicament. Should a situation indicated in clause 11.1.b arise, the tour operator must, in the same manner as described above, assist the passenger and, as much as possible, aim to limit the damages and inconveniences befalling the passenger.
If the tour operator has no staff at the destination to assist the passenger, the tour operator must inform prior to the tour the passenger of where and how to locate and contact a local representative (name, contact details etc.) of the tour operator or travel agent if necessary or provide the same information about contactable local offices. If there are no such representatives or offices, the passenger must be informed about how to reach the tour operator or the travel agent if necessary.
2.9. Passenger’s obligations and responsibility
2.9.1. During the tour, the passenger must obey the instructions and regulations given by the authorities, tour operator or his representative that are related to the realisation of the tour, as well as obey the regulations of the hotels and carriers.
2.9.2. The passenger must not disturb other passenger with his behaviour. If the passenger significantly disregards his obligation, he may be denied departure or he may be removed from the tour. In this case the passenger is not entitled to a refund and he is solely responsible for the costs of his repatriation.
2.9.3. The passenger is responsible for damages that he willfully or through careless behaviour causes the tour operator or a third party through, for example, violation of the abovementioned regulations.
2.9.4. The passenger must provide the tour operator with contact details through which he is contactable both prior to the tour as well as during it.
3.1. The contract is binding for the passenger when the reservation fee defined by the tour operator is paid within the period defined by the tour operator.
3.2. The total payment of the price shall be made within the time given by the tour operator or otherwise agreed upon. After paying the price of the tour, the passenger has the right to receive the relevant travel documents in good time prior to the departure.
The passenger may cancel the tour without special reason as follows:
4.1.a) No later than 28 days prior to departure by paying the tour operator the service fee defined beforehand.
4.2. If the tour is priced based on a party of two or more passengers being accommodated in the same room or apartment and one of the party cancels his tour, the tour operator has the right to charge a reasonable additional fee due to the cancellation. The person cancelling and the rest of the party are together responsible for paying the additional fee for the tour operator.
4.3. If the tour is not cancelled and the passenger does not arrive at the agreed point of departure at the agreed time or if he can not take part in the tour due to not having the necessary travel documents (such as a valid passport, visa, personal identification papers or a vaccination certificate) due to reasons that he is responsible for, he is not entitled to a refund.
4.4. Cancellations costs may differ from the ones described in sections 4.1. and 5.1. if the tour is of the nature that requires the application of special conditions (section 1.3.). The amount or basis of cancellation costs must be indicated in the special conditions.
5.1. The passenger has the right to cancel the tour and get the tour price refunded with the service fee subtracted, if it would be unreasonable to demand that he participates in the tour due to the fact that
5.2. The passenger must inform the tour operator about the cancellation instantly.
The reason for the cancellation must be verified with a reliable account, for example, a doctor’s certificate, a protocol from a police investigation or a certificate provided by an insurance company. The verification must be delivered to the tour operator as soon as possible and no later than two weeks after the reason for the cancellation of the tour occurred, provided it is not unreasonably difficult for the passenger to comply with the set time period.
5.3. If the price of the tour is based on a party of two or more persons being accommodated in the same room or apartment and one of the group members cancels his tour because of a major obstacle indicated in section 5.1., the tour operator does not have the right to charge the additional fee mentioned in section 4.2. The tour operator does, however, have the right to carry out reasonable changes to the accommodation of the rest of the group due to the cancellation, provided that the quality of the tour does not suffer.
5.4. When it comes to cancellation costs, section 4.4. is also applied.
6.1. The passenger may cancel the tour if
6.2. The passenger must inform the tour operator about the cancellation of the tour without delay.
6.3. Section 9.4. states the right to cancel the tour due to upward price revision.
6.4. When the passenger cancels the tour in cases described above, he has the right to have the tour price refunded. If the cancellation is caused by reasons other than as described in clause 6.1.c. the passenger is also entitled to compensation for such expenses that have been caused by the tour but become needless due to the cancellation.
In cases described in clauses 6.1.a., 6.1.b. and 6.1.d., the passenger has the right to alternatively demand that the tour operator arranges a new, equivalent tour for the same price as already paid for the original tour. In addition, section 11.3. is applied to the substitute tour.
7.1. The passenger has the right to interrupt the tour if
7.2. If the passenger interrupts the tour or rescinds the contract, he has the right to have the tour price and other payments made to the tour operator refunded. If the tour operator’s performance has benefitted the passenger, the passenger must pay a compensation to the tour operator, the amount of which corresponds to the value of the performance for the passenger.
7.3. If the passenger interrupts the tour on grounds described in clause 7.1.a., the tour operator must at his own expense arrange the passenger’s return transport, if necessary. The transportation must take him to the starting point of the tour or to some other agreed destination on a carrier similar to the originally agreed one.
7.4. If the passenger has the right to rescind the contract based on clause 7.1.a., he can alternatively demand that the tour operator provides a new, equivalent tour for the price he has paid for the original tour. In addition, section 11.3. is applied to the replacement tour.
7.5. If the passenger interrupts the tour on grounds described in clause 7.1.b. and the tour operator does not in accordance with section 2.8. assist him with arranging repatriation, the passenger may himself take the necessary actions. However, the passenger must try to minimise the costs and other damage that may possibly befall the tour operator.
8.1. No later than 28 days prior to the departure, the passenger has the right to change the date of departure, the destination or the hotel by paying the service fee as well as the price of the new tour. The tour operator has the right to interpret later changes as a cancellation of the tour and booking of a new one.
8.2. The passenger has the right to change the passenger information or transfer his rights according to the contract to a third person fulfilling the conditions that possibly have been set for participation in the tour. The tour operator must be informed about the transfer of the contract or the change of the passenger information no later than 48 hours prior to departure.
The tour operator has the right to charge a reasonable fee for the necessary actions caused by the transfer or the information alteration. Unless the tour operator has stated otherwise in his additional terms, the fee is the amount of a standard service fee. The transferor and transferee are jointly responsible for paying the fee and the tour price to the tour operator.
9.1. After the conclusion of the contract the tour operator has the right to increase as well as the obligation to reduce the agreed price of the tour based on the following:
According to the instructions, the amount of the change in exchange rates is defined according to the exchange rate of six weeks prior to departure. The comparison rate is the exchange rate of the day the tour operator has, in his brochure, indicated to be used as the basis of pricing. If the tour has not been marketed in a brochure, the exchange rate is the one communicated to the passenger no later than upon concluding the contract.
9.2. A price revision upwards must not exceed the rise in the costs. The price must be reduced at least as much as the costs have decreased. However, the price change must be at least 2 % of the price based on the cheapest alternative for accommodation on the same tour and day of departure.
The tour operator must inform the passenger about the new price without delay and also indicate the basis for the price change and which parts of the package the change concerns.
9.3. The tour price must not be revised upwards within the 21 days preceding the date on which the tour starts. Correspondingly, the tour operator has no obligation to reduce the price during that period.
9.4. If, after the conclusion of the contract, the tour price is increased by more than 10 % (calculated according to section 9.2.), the passenger has the right to rescind the contract. The passenger must inform the tour operator about rescinding the contract within one week after having been informed about the price increase.
10.1. If the tour operator in consequence of circumstances independent of him cannot follow the agreed travel schedule, he has the right to change the hotel, place of accommodation, carrier and the time schedule or make other changes to the tour program that do not significantly change the nature of the tour. The passenger must be informed about the changes as soon as possible.
10.2. In cases of low enrolment, the tour operator has the right to change the carrier, route and timetable, provided that the changes do not significantly change the nature of the tour. The passenger must be informed about the changes no later than 14 days prior to the departure.
10.3. Regardless the changes mentioned above, the passenger is obliged to pay the tour price as well as any other agreed fees. However, section 14.2. concerning the passenger’s right to a price reduction must be taken into account.
11.1. The tour operator has the right to cancel the tour because
11.2. If a situation such as described in clause 11.1.b. arises during the tour, the tour operator has the right to interrupt the tour and make other necessary changes to the travel program. After the tour, the tour operator must promptly refund the passenger with the part of the tour price that corresponds to the service he did not receive.
11.3. If the tour operator in consequence of reasons described in section 11.1. cancels the tour, the passenger may claim a new substitute package at the price he paid for the original one unless organizing the substitute tour causes the tour operator unreasonable costs or unreasonable inconvenience.
If the tour operator and the passenger agree upon a substitute the price of which is cheaper that initially agreed upon or which lacks any services originally agreed upon, the passenger must be refunded the balance between the two prices or the price element covering the services lacking.
11.4. After the cancellation of the tour, the tour operator must promptly refund the passenger’s payments, provided the passenger does not get a substitute tour as described in section 11.3. If the tour is cancelled in consequence of reasons indicated in clause 11.1.a., the tour operator must also compensate the passenger for expenses that are directly related to the tour and have become needless due to the cancellation of the tour.
The tour operator has the right to rescind the contract if the passenger has not paid the price of the tour by the agreed due date of payment. A prerequisite for the tour operator to have the right to cancel the contract is that the passenger has been given sufficient payment time. The document stating the payment time must state that the tour operator has the right to cancel the contract due to payment neglect.
13.1. The tour operator’s performance has a fault if
13.2. Faulty performance does not, however, include any minor changes or flaws in the arrangements that the passenger has, based on the destination or nature of the tour, reasonably been able to foresee.
13.3. Neither is a late arrival to the destination or a premature return journey considered a fault, if the change is due to reasons that are independent of the tour operator, and provided the stay at the destination is shortened by no more than 6 hours during tours of 3 to 5 days, or less than 8 hours during tours of 5 to 8 days and no more than 12 hours during tours lasting longer than 8 days. If the duration of the tour is less than 3 days, evaluating the fault must be carried out based on the individual case.
If the reason of the change is due to congestion in air traffic, or actions taken by air-traffic control or the authorities, exceptional weather, an exceptional reason independent of the carrier company (such as a safety risk, unforeseen defect affecting flight safety or a strike affecting the performance of the air carrier) or other similar reasons, the times stated above are doubled.
The passenger loses his right to refer to a fault if he fails to notify the tour operator within a reasonable time after he discovered or should have discovered the fault. Faults that can be corrected at the destination must be communicated to the tour guide or a local representative of the tour operator as soon as possible.
If the tour operator has no guides or other representatives at the destination, the passenger has the right to also communicate the fault to the enterpriser that the tour operator has used (in other words a sub-contractor such as the hotel) and whose performance is the one displaying the fault.
However, the above does not prohibit the passenger from referring to a fault, if the tour operator or some other enterpriser assisting him is guilty of gross negligence or conduct which is incompatible with the demands of honour and good faith.
14.1. Fault remedy
The tour operator must promptly remedy the fault at his own expense. However, the tour operator has the right to refuse to remedy the fault, if the compensation would cause excessive costs or inconvenience. The passenger has the right to refuse the fault remedy if it would cause him major inconvenience.
14.2. Price reduction
If the fault is not compensated for promptly at the tour operator’s expense or if the fault cannot be compensated for, the passenger is entitled to a price reduction corresponding with the significance of the fault.
If the passenger does not the use transportation or other services included in the tour or uses them only partly, he has no right to a price reduction on this basis.
15.1. The passenger is entitled to compensation for any personal injury, damage to property or financial loss that he has sustained on account of a fault involved in the tour operator’s performance, if the fault, injury or damage was due to negligence on the part of the tour operator himself or an enterpriser (such as carrier company or hotel) used by him for the fulfillment of the contract. To be relieved from such liability, the tour operator must prove that no negligence took place on his part.
15.2. Damages that must be compensated for are, for example, extra costs caused to the passenger because of the fault, expenses that have become needless and loss of income in consequence of a late return home as well as extra costs inflicted by arranging overnight stays.
15.3. The passenger must, in compliance with the criteria stated in section 15.1., also have a right to receive compensation for the loss of his luggage or being prevented from using his luggage due to it being lost. The passenger is entitled to compensation for the limited use of his luggage due to a delayed transport if it must, considering the duration of the delay and any other relative circumstances, be deemed to have inconvenienced the passenger.
15.4. The passenger must aim to limit the extent of the damage to the best of his ability. The tour operator is not responsible for damage caused by the passenger’s own actions.
Indemnity may be negotiated if, considering the passenger’s possible own actions and the tour operator’s possibilities to foresee and prohibit the damages as well as other circumstances, it can be assumed that the indemnity is excessive.
15.5. Concerning damages occurring during air-, seaborne- or railway transportation, the compensation for damage shall be determined according to the regulations or contracts which the transport company acting as a subcontractor applies in his own business actions.
When defining the tour operator’s liability for compensation concerning seaborne transportation, the Finnish Maritime Act (674/1994) is taken into account and concerning railway transportation, the provisions of the Railway Transport Act (1119/2000) or the terms of the Convention concerning International Carriage by Rail (COTIF, Finnish Treaty Series 5/1985) are taken into account. The compensations for damage during air transportation are generally determined according to the Montreal Convention (Finnish Treaty Series 78/2004) and the Council Regulation (EC) No 2027/97 (on Air Carrier Liability in the Event of Accidents). In case the provisions of the Montreal Convention and of the Council Regulation (EC) No 2027/97 are not applicable to the transportation, the compensations are determined by the Warsaw Convention, which is implemented in Finland by the Conveyance by Aeroplane Act (289/1937), the Air Transport Agreement Act (45/1977) or the Air Transport Act (387/1986).
15.6. Force majeure
The tour operator is not responsible for damage caused by a force majeure or other unforeseen events that the tour operator or an enterpriser assisting the tour operator could not have prevented even through utmost care. Such events are, for example, an action of war, natural disaster, contagious disease, strike or other like events.
The tour operator must promptly inform the passenger of such force majeure events and, as much as possible, aim to limit the damage befalling passenger.
16.1. Section 13.4. contains regulations concerning complaints to the tour operator.
16.2. Indemnity claims shall be delivered in writing to the tour operator no later than two months after the end of the tour, provided there are no special reasons to extend the time for complaints.
17.1. If the tour operator and the passenger cannot reach unanimity, for example concerning the interpretation of the contract or over the amount of compensation, the passenger can bring the matter to the consumer complaint board.
17.2. The passenger can also bring the matter of disagreement to the district court of his domicile.