Collective Commentary about the New Package Travel Directive

796 COLLECTIVE COMMENTARY ABOUT THE NEW PACKAGE TRAVEL DIRECTIVE This particular liability implies that the travel seller is liable to the buyer for the proper performance of the services provided for in the contract, whether he has insured them himself or has entrusted them to service providers (carrier, hotelier, tour operator). The consumer will thus not have to prove the fault of the professional (in practice: the retailer): it will suffice to demonstrate that the services provided do not correspond to the contractual stipulations. Above all, this responsibility can be put into play directly, for the seller’s breaches, or indirectly for those breaches committed by their service providers: it is an indirect strict liability, or “liability for others”. The French judges have long interpreted the liability of the travel operators as an obligation of result, and invoking force majeure is the only way to be released from it, also when 1 linked to actions by a third party or by the client himself. And they generously set up, in principle, the quasi-automatic liability of travel agencies, even when they are objectively unconnected to the damage claimed by the customer. For example, where the buyer’s acceptance of the risk is clearly equivalent to the fact causing the damage, the judge will systematically choose to consider that it was up to the professional to anticipate the customer’s behaviour (skiing, fishing, hiking, etc.). Because you have to designate a person in charge. The retailer remains the privileged interlocutor that the affected customers will question, on the basis of Article L. 211-16. However, there are recursive actions open to him, so that the service provider who is truly liable for the damage guarantees these safeguards and is accountable for its own actions. However, the retailer will have to be able to demonstrate that he has carefully chosen his service provider and that he has checked his services regarding his status (authorisation, insurance, professional liability insurance), under penalty of failing to comply with his obligation to deliver (and of security) in terms of the choice of its service provider. After attempting to make strict liability an asset by persuading consumers that it is in their best interest to contact a professional in order not to be deprived in the event of improper performance or non-performance of the travel contract, the tourism profession – French agencies, tour operators, networks and trade unions – tried until the end of 2017 to convince the French government to abandon the principle of strict responsibility. Indeed, the ideal opportunity 1 There were 3 cases to be released from the liabiliy: force majeure , action by a third party ans action by the client himself