Feel more free to roam

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It’s win-win for Scottish travellers as the European Parliament has voted to scrap roaming charges for mobile phones, and increase protection for package holidaymakers.

The new travel rules will extend existing consumer rights on package holidays to include travellers who buy holidays on the internet which look like packages and are marketed as packages. There will also be a clampdown on loopholes which can leave travellers out of pocket and stranded in far-away destinations if their airline goes bust.

The mobile roaming agreement means that from June 2017, additional charges will no longer apply within the EU for making calls, sending texts and using the internet.

Travellers using their mobile phones on holiday will also benefit in the interim, as prices are further cut from April 30 next year by around 75 per cent.

The new travel rules will make clearer what a ‘package holiday’ is and will include customised combinations of travel arrangements bought on the internet and will provide clearer information to travellers on the sort of product they’re buying and the level of protection they get.

A new concept of ‘linked travel arrangements’ will also be introduced. This will apply to looser combinations of travel services. Holidaymakers who are given the choice to buy accommodation or organise car hire after buying their flights, for example, through low cost airline websites, will now be assured greater protection. Under the current rules, if the airline went bust, and the return flight was cancelled, the traveller would have to organise their own travel arrangements and wouldn’t be entitled to a refund on the original flight. But under the new rules, the tour provider will have to have compensation measures in place as part of their plans for insolvency.

These arrangements will come into force by the end of 2017.