Travel Trust Association, part of The Travel Network Group, Members Code of Conduct
All members of the Travel Trust Association Limited (The Association) shall comply with this Code of Conduct as a condition of Membership.
To ensure that the public receive the best possible service from Members and maintain high standards. To create and promote an awareness to the public, that Trust accounts are a recognised legal alternative to bonding.
This Code is designed to regulate activities of Members, in all dealings with the Public. This Code recognises and embodies the relevant parts of those Acts of Parliament and Government Regulations which relate to Trade Descriptions, Civil Aviation and Package Holidays and the Codes or Regulations of recognised organisations or associations such as the Advertising Standards Authority, the Code of Advertising Practice Committee, the Independent Broadcasting Authority, the Independent Television Companies Association and the Association of Independent Radio Contractors which regulate standards and practices of Members in relation to advertising. This Code embodies measures for the regulation of the standards and practices of Members in general. This Code recognises the necessity for enforcement of its standards and practices and embodies measures and procedures by which Members can uphold observance of the Code.
1. CONDUCT BETWEEN MEMBERS AND THE PUBLIC
1.1 Standard of Service
- A. Members shall maintain the highest standards in serving the public and shall comply with all statutory requirements.
- B. Members shall make every effort to ensure that members of the public are sold tours, holidays and travel arrangements compatible with their individual requirements.
- C. Members shall make every effort to ensure that accurate and impartial information is provided to enable members of the public to exercise an informed judgement in making their choice of facilities.
- A. Members shall ensure that all advertising, online or printed, and brochures published observe the requirements of the Trade Descriptions Act 1968, the Misrepresentation Act 1967, the Civil Aviation Act 1971, the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977, the Control of Misleading Advertisements Regulations 1988, the Consumer Protection Act 1987, and the Package Travel Regulations 2018, the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulation 1999, Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 or any amendment or re-enactment thereof in accordance with the second principle of this Code.
- B. No advertisement, document, brochure or other publication, whether in writing or otherwise, shall contain anything which is intended to mislead the public.
- C. No Member shall advertise in such a manner as to suggest that other travel agents or tour operators, whether Members or not, may become insolvent.
- D. The TTA members shall display their TTA number in the TTA designated format on all online or printed material and advertisements for business
1.3 Booking Conditions
- A. Members shall draw the attention of members of the public to booking and other published conditions relevant to their arrangements.
- B. Members shall ensure that their conditions of booking are not in conflict with this Code of Practice.
- C. The information included in Schedule 2. shall be included in every contract where relevant to the particular package.
1.4 Information to be provided before contract is concluded
- A. Members shall provide all the following information to each individual member of the public or his representative contemplating travel or in writing or some other appropriate form.
o i. Information about passport visa requirements which apply to British Citizens who purchase the package in question, including information about the length of time likely to be required, to obtain the appropriate passports and visas.
o ii. Information about health formalities required for the journey and the stay.
o iii. Information about the arrangements for security for the money paid over and (where applicable) for the repatriation of the consumer in the event of insolvency.
o iv. The times and places of intermediate stops, transport connections and particulars of the place to be occupied by the traveller (for c. g. cabin or berth on ship, sleeper compartment on train);
o v. The name, address, and telephone number of:
§ a) The representative of the tour operator in the locality where the member of the public is to stay, or if there is no representative,
§ b) An agency in that locality on whose assistance a consumer in difficulty would be able to call.
§ c) If there no such representative or agency, a telephone number or other information which will enable the member of the public to contact the Member during the stay; and
§ vi. In the case of a journey or stay abroad by a child under the age of 16 on the on the day of travel, information enabling direct contact to be made with the child or the person responsible at the place where he is to stay.
§ vii. Except where the consumer is required as a term of the contract to take insurance, information about an insurance policy which the consumer may, if he wishes, take out in order to cover the cost of cancellation by the member of the public or the cost of assistance, including repatriation, in the event of accident or illness.
1.5 Price Revision
- A. Price revisions may not be enforced unless the contract (e.g. brochure, booking conditions) provides for the possibility of upward or downward revision and satisfies the following:
- i. The brochure, and/or booking conditions state precisely how the revised price is to be calculated;
- ii. The contract provides that price revision is to be made solely to allow for variations in:
a). Transportation costs, including cost of fuel
b). Dues, taxes or fees chargeable for services such as landing taxes or embarkation or disembarkation fees at ports and airports, or
c). the Exchange rates applied to the particular package; and
- iii. Notwithstanding any terms of a contract,
a). no price increase may be made in a specified period which may not be less than 30 days before the departure date stipulated, and
b). as against an individual consumer liable under the contract, no price increase may be made in respect of variations which would produce an increase of less than 2 %, or such greater percentage, as the contract may specify, and that the non-eligible variations shall be left out of account in the calculation.
1.6 Material Alterations
- A. Except for reasons of Force Majeure, a Member shall not make a material alteration to a previously confirmed tour, holiday or other travel arrangements unless he does so in time to inform agents and direct clients not less than 14 days (excluding price revision) before the departure date of the tour, holiday or other travel arrangements and by agreement of the Tour Operator/Carrier.
- B. If a Member makes a material alteration to a previously confirmed tour, holiday or other travel arrangements.
o i. for any reasons whatsoever prior to the date on which payment of the balance of the price becomes due or
o ii. for reasons of Force Majeure at any time prior to departure the member shall inform agents and direct clients without delay and shall offer clients the choice of either accepting the alteration or of cancelling the tour, holiday or other travel arrangements and receiving a full refund of all monies paid. Such refund shall be sent to agents within 10 clear days and to direct clients within 14 clear days of receipt of the notification to cancel within the Tour Operators/Carriers Rules.
- C. If a material alteration is made for reasons other than Force Majeure on or after the date on which final payment is due, the Member shall also offer clients reasonable compensation. Such compensation shall be in accordance with a rising scale of payments geared to the length of time prior to departure at which the material alteration is made, i.e. the nearer to departure, the higher the level of compensation considered significant change.
1.7 Cancellation of Tours, Holidays, or Other Travel Arrangements by Clients
- A. Member shall clearly state in his booking conditions, or contracts the amount of, or the basis for calculating, the cancellation fees which the client shall be liable to incur, as well as the terms and conditions under which the client shall be liable to incur such fees.
1.8 Complaints and Correspondence from Clients
In the event of a dispute between a client and a Member all correspondence relating to clients' complaints shall be dealt with by the Member within the following time limits:
- A. Not later than 14 days from receipt for an acknowledgement to be sent and;
- B. Not later than 28 days from receipt for a full reply to be sent or a reply containing a detailed explanation for delay;
- C. The final day for dealing in full with the aforesaid correspondence shall be 56 days.
- D. Failure to comply may result in your membership being suspended and persistent problems will result in your TTA membership being revoked.
1.9 Correspondence from the Association
All correspondence from the Association about complaints and compliance with the Association and this Code shall be dealt with within the same time limits shown in paragraph 1.9 above.
1.11 Conciliation and Arbitration
- A. In the event of a breakdown in communication or a serious disagreement between the Member and the client, the TTA is prepared to intervene to give help and impartial guidance and to refer the matter for arbitration.
- B. A Member shall include as a term of any contract relating to the sale of his inclusive holidays or tours a provision whereby any dispute arising out of, or in connection with, such sale which is not amicably settled, may be referred to arbitration under the Travel Industry Arbitration Service’s special scheme.
It shall also be stated:
o i. The scheme provides for a simple and low-cost method of arbitration on documents alone with restricted liability of client in respect of costs;
o ii. The scheme does not apply to claims for an amount greater than £2,500 per person or £10,000 per booking form or to claims which are solely or mainly in respect of physical injury or illness or the consequences of such injury or illness;
o iii. Details of the scheme will be supplied on request.
- C. Where a client indicates in writing that he wishes to refer an unresolved matter to arbitration, Members shall reply to the Association within 21 days enclosing payment and documents and shall comply with the terms of the Arbitration Scheme refereed to in sub-paragraph B. above and in particular with all the relevant rules and regulations of Chartered Institute of Arbitrators for the time being in force.
- D. The outcome of arbitration is legally binding and where awarded, failure to settle the arbitration awards within the allocated time will result in a fine.
2.0 PAYMENT OF ACCOUNTS
A Member shall settle all accounts and refunds without delay or, if applicable, within the period agreed in writing by the parties concerned.
All Members shall ensure that the public receive service of the highest standard and shall take no action that might adversely affect the reputation, standing and good name of the Travel Trust Association and its Members.
Information to be included (in addition to the price) in brochures where relevant to packages offered;
- 1. The destination and the means, characteristics and categories of transport used.
- 2. The type of accommodation, its location, category or degree of comfort and its main features and, where the accommodation is to be provided in a member State, its approval or tourist classification under the rules of that member State.
- 3. The meals which are included in the package.
- 4. The itinerary.
- 5. General information about passport and visa requirements which apply for British citizens and health formalities required for the journey and the stay.
- 6. Either the monetary amount or the percentage of the price which is to be paid on account and the timetable for payment of the balance.
- 7. Whether a minimum number of persons is required for the package to take place and, if so, the deadline for informing the consumer in the event of cancellation.
- 8. The arrangements (if any) which apply if consumers are delayed at the outward or homeward points of departure.
- 9. The arrangements for security for money paid over and for the repatriation of the consumer in the event of insolvency.
Elements to be included in the contract if relevant to the particular package;
- 1. The travel destination(s) and, where periods of stay are involved, the relevant periods, with dates.
- 2. The means, characteristics and categories of transport to be used and the dates, times and points of departure and return.
- 3. Where the package includes accommodation, its location, its tourist category or degree of comfort, its main features and, where the accommodation is to be provided in a member State, its compliance with the rules of that member State.
- 4. The meals which are included in the package.
- 5. Whether a minimum number of persons is required for the package to take place and, if so, the deadline for informing the consumer in the event of cancellation.
- 6. The itinerary.
Visits, excursions or other services which are included in the total price agreed for the package.
The name and address of the organiser, the retailer and, where appropriate, the insurer.
The price of the package, if the price may be revised in accordance with the term which may be included in the contract under regulation 11, an indication of the possibility of such price revisions, and an indication of any dues, taxes or fees chargeable for certain services (landing, embarkation or disembarkation fees at ports and airports and tourist taxes) where such costs are not included in the package.
The payments schedule and method of payment.
Special requirements which the consumer has communicated to the organiser or retailer when making the booking and which both have accepted.
The periods within which the consumer must make any complaint about the failure to perform or the inadequate performance of the contact.
A member has an undertaking to repay to the customer any monies paid by a customer which because of an act of fraud or dishonesty by an employee of a Member, a Member or a Trustee have been lost or misappropriated.
4.0 GUARANTEE AND THE TRAVEL PROTECTION PLAN
4.1 The aim of the Association and every Member is to provide 100% consumer protection. In keeping with this aim the TTA explains the Trust Account and Guarantee given by the TTA to Members' customers. Every Member must pass on to each passenger leader a TTA Guarantee Certificate detailing all travelling passengers within the booking. The Guarantee must be logged through the TTA Members Webzone at the time of booking. As consideration for the issue of the TTA Guarantee, payment will be made by each TTA Member on a monthly basis through the Monthly Returns procedure.
4.2 The Association and every Member agree that all consumers will be issued with the wording of the Guarantee by provision to the customer of the Stand Alone Safe Seat Plan Guarantee leaflet or detailed within the TTA Approved Travel Insurance policy wording.
4.3 Every Member will provide within 14 days of the end of the preceding calendar month to the Association a return in the prescribed format detailing a statement of total policies issued and allow collection of all outstanding premiums.