Collective Commentary about the New Package Travel Directive

Chiara Tincani 1 1. The power to unilaterally modify some aspects of the package travel and the regulations set by art. 11; 2. An example of the implementation of articles 10 and 11 in a Member State: the Italian legislative decree no. 62 of 2018; 3. Further models of transposition of articles 10 and 11 of the Directive. 1. THE POWER TO UNILATERALLY MODIFY SOME ASPECTS OF THE PACKAGE TRAVEL AND THE REGULATIONS SET BY ART. 11 According to art. 11, there are two other instances of unilateral modification power; the former has a consensual matrix and, therefore, a clause must be provided for in the contract. Its exercise, regulated by art. 11, paragraph 1, involves variations on some marginal factors of the contractual plan or, as the text reports, minor modifications. In this case, the tourist cannot react; the corrective action does not affect the original assessment of the opportunity of the trip and does not affect the expectations of the consumer, at least according to the Directive. The organiser’s only obligation is to communicate the changes comprehensibly and on a durable medium, but they are binding 2 . The further available ius variandi is regulated in a complicated way. According to art. 11, paragraph 2, the exercise of the power presupposes certain situations. Firstly, the organiser must be “forced” to modify significantly some characteristics of the services identified in the contract. A serious obstacle preventing the performance of the services allows changes to be made on relevant parts of the package. The distinguishing element between this power and that provided for by art. 11, paragraph 1, is the type of change: marginal in art. 11, paragraph 1, substantial in the other case. It is difficult to define the respective fields of operation of the provisions and the difficulty is to establish when a change is significant. According to the justification of the directive 3 , one can have a substantial (.) change “if the quality or the value of the travel services diminishes. Changes of departure or arrival times indicated in the package travel contract should be considered significant (.) where they would impose on the traveller considerable 1 University of Verona. 2 See art. 11, first paragraph, letter c of the Directive 2015/2302/EU. 3 See Directive 2015/2302/EU, 33rd whereas clause.