Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Holiday firms ‘trying to bamboozle customers with long T&Cs’ including Jet2’s…

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Harassed holidaymakers are being left totally confused by travel firms’ rambling terms and conditions. With eye-watering wordy legal blurbs, they are almost impossible to navigate – and take hours to decipher.

A Jet2 customer would need three hours and 22 minutes to pore over the 24,243 words in its lengthy terms and essential booking guide. That is equivalent to the time it takes to fly from London to Athens.

Online travel agent OnTheBeach’s booking terms contain 13,467 words. Based on a reading speed of 160 words a minute it would take an hour and 24 minutes to trawl through – the flight time to Bordeaux.

The complex text features perplexing passages such as: “Where you have booked a Multi-Contract Package, we still act as an agent (whether it be as your agent or as the Supplier/Principal’s agent or sub-agent) in relation to each of your chosen Travel Arrangements but we will comply with our legal obligations under the PTRs as your Package Organiser and these are outlined in Section B of these Booking Conditions. 

This does not prejudice or otherwise affect our agency status with you or the Supplier/Principals.” Other offenders with long-winded T&C’s include EasyJet Holidays. Customers need an hour and 40 minutes to comprehend the 12,028 words in its terms.

Consumer champion Martyn James said: “These documents are notoriously complex, hard to understand and they are way too long. Most of us are ordinary people and they’re often not in a language we can comprehend.

“People need to know the key facts – what happens if we get mugged, or if our luggage gets lost, or if we end up in hospital. “You need to be Sherlock Holmes to make sense of many of these.”

But Jet2holidays said: “We take pride in delivering industry-leading customer service, and how we communicate with our customers is a critical part of that.

“The word count referred to in the research does not just include our booking T&Cs, but it also our Essential Holidays Information.”

EasyJet holidays said it has “created dedicated content, web pages and emails that share everything our customers need to know in a digestible, engaging way”.

And an OnTheBeach spokesperson said: “There’s no denying it, holiday company T&Cs are a mess: too long, ridiculously complicated and, well, pretty dull. We’ve undertaken a massive piece of work to put this right, getting ours from a crazy 13,467 words to 2,626.

“They’re straight to the point, super digestible and much easier for our customers to follow. “They’re going through a last check with our customers, then we’ll be putting them live in the next month. We’re confident ours are the shortest, most straight-talking T&Csin travel.”

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