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Key information on consumer rights in the event of cancellation of travels.

2020-03-24

Given the difficult situation due to the coronavirus threat and the current flight bans, the State Consumer Rights Protection Authority provides key information on consumer rights in the event of cancellation of travels.

The situation worldwide is unprecedented both for consumers and services providers. First of all, consumers are advised to contact their tour operator or travel agent to look for options to postpone a package tour, change their itinerary or accept other offers of compensation; this is to seek a mutually satisfactory solution.

If no other alternative can be found with the tour operator or travel agent, consumers shall have the right to apply in writing to the service provider for cancellation of the package travel contract and the refund of costs, without any cancellation fee. It should be noted that this recommendation is only valid for travels cancelled due to an emergency and for which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has advised against traveling to foreign countries. We note that, in this situation of force majeure, it is not the fault of tour operators and it is important to maintain a reasonable balance between consumer rights and business obligations. We urge consumers to seek a peaceful agreement between the parties and to consider options for contract amendment and to use termination only as a last resort, when other commonly accepted solutions are not available.

It should be noted that tour operators may, on grounds of force majeure, delay the performance of their obligations; this is to delay refund until the circumstances of force majeure cease. Being aware of the risks to the tourism market, we are asking consumers for understanding if the response or reimbursement take longer than usually.  If the consumer and the service provider fail to resolve the issue in good faith, the consumer has the right to apply to the State Consumer Rights Protection Authority for alternative (non-judicial) dispute resolution by e-mail to tarnyba@vvtat.lt or in writing to State Consumer Rights Protection Authority, Vilniaus str. 25, Vilnius. An application form is available on the website of the State Consumer Rights Protection Authority: http://vvtat.lt/users/how-to-submit-prasyma/431

Due to justified reasons during this time consumers are kindly asked to be patient if the response to their request is delayed.

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