From 1 January 2019, travelers, who purchase a package or linked travel arrangement by using online means (e.g. Internet or telephone) or offline from travel agencies (e.g. consumer's domicile or workplace), will benefit from stronger consumer rights.
Businesses must inform travelers whether they are offered a package or linked travel arrangement, on their key rights through standardized information forms.
Before the purchase, they must provide to Portuguese travelers with a set of information, in Portuguese language, on the main features and characteristics of the package, the total price (including taxes), additional charges or costs, if any, arrangement for payments, among others.
Whenever the travel package or arrangement is purchased by online means, the travel agency must ensure that consumers expressly and intentionally confirm that finalizing the order will imply a payment of the service. If the service provider does not fulfill this obligation, the payment may not be required.
If the telephone is used to enter into a contract, consumers will be bound to contractual terms after signing the offer, or send his/her written approval to the service provider, unless a first approach is made by the consumer.
Businesses usually make available telephone hotlines for customer service purposes, including provision of information. In these cases, consumers may not be charged with additional costs other than basic charges.
This stronger protection is set out by Decree 78/2018, of 15 October 2018, and exclusively applies to travelers, who are consumers. The new rules aim to benefit those travelers, who purchase a package or linked travel arrangement, from an online or offline point of sale, for non-professional purposes only.