General Terms and Conditions of Sale and Use of the Website www.raileurope.com
The company RAIL EUROPE offers Rail Products on the website www.raileurope.com in the name of and on behalf of its Partners, the rail carriers, in particular the following:
- train tickets,
- rail passes,
hereinafter the "Rail Products".
RAIL EUROPE also offers services related to the Rail Products:
- Rail Protection Product,
- Tourism services,
- Travel packages,
RAIL EUROPE SAS is a French company with capital of 71 179 655 euros, with registered office located at:
2 place de la Défense
92053 Paris La Défense Cedex
Registered in the Nanterre Register Trade and Companies under number 401 714 993.
Registered in the French Register of Travel Agents and Tour Operators ("Registre des opérateurs de voyages et de séjours") under number IM075160030.
Financial guarantee company: Atradius Credit Insurance NV, 44 avenue Georges Pompidou, 92300 Levallois-Perret, France.
Companies Register: AXA Corporate Solutions Assurance, 4 rue Jules Lefebvre, 75009 Paris, France.
CHAPTER I. OVERVIEW
Article 1. DEFINITIONS AND FIELD OF APPLICATION
"Order" designates any booking made on the Website and approved by the User.
"Specific Conditions" designates the contractual terms and conditions specific to each service (regardless of their name: "conditions and restrictions", etc.) accessible on the Website prior to approval of any Order.
"Partner" designates any service provider providing Services. The term "Partner" includes rail carrier, such as the SNCF, a provider of Rail Products and providers of Tourism Services.
"Rail Products" designates rail transportation tickets, such as train tickets or rail passes.
"Service(s)" designates a service for provision of transportation or providing tourism products.
"Tourism products" designates a service for provision of tourism services, such as any transportation tickets by land or by sea or entrance tickets for attractions, museums, expositions, etc.
"Website" designates the Internet website presented in the introduction to these general terms and conditions of sale and use, published by the company RAIL EUROPE.
"You" or the "User" designates any person using the Website, in particular to reserve, order and/or purchase any Service offered by RAIL EUROPE in the name of its Partners.
1.2 FIELD OF APPLICATION
These general terms and conditions of sale and use (hereinafter the "General Terms and Conditions"), as well as the Specific Terms and Conditions applicable to each service, apply to any and all uses of the Website, in particular for the sales of all of the Products offered on the Website, in the name of the partners of RAIL EUROPE.
They are valid starting from 01 October 2020. This version cancels and replaces all prior versions.
Users are invited to carefully read these General Terms and Conditions that are referenced by hyperlink on each page of the Website. Users are advised to download them and/or print them and keep a copy. Users are also advised to read these General Terms and Conditions each time they visit the Website, as they may be amended. Any such amendments shall not be applicable to previously made bookings confirmed by RAIL EUROPE.
These General Terms and Conditions may be translated. Translated versions are only indicative, only the English version is valid.
Article 2. USE OF THE WEBSITE
Ordering a Service is reserved for Users who have reviewed and accepted either by clicking or, as applicable, by telephone, these General Terms and Conditions in their entirety, as well as the Specific Terms and Conditions for each Service, prior to each Order.
2.1 USING THE WEBSITE
Conditions of use of the Website
To use the Website, You must be at least 18 years old or a legal adult in your country of origin, be able to legally contract and use this Website in compliance with these General Terms and Conditions.
You are financially responsible for the use of the Website and/or any purchase made on this Website, both in your own name and on behalf of any third parties, including minors, except when a use is demonstrated to be a fraudulent, and not resulting from your fault or negligence.
You guarantee the truth and the accuracy of the information You provide or that is provided by any third party using your information on this Website.
Any use of the booking service of this Website that is fraudulent or that violates these General Terms and Conditions could lead RAIL EUROPE, at any time, to block Your access to the Services offered on the said Website.
Placing Orders on the Website
You are allowed to order the Services available on the Website after having approved these General Terms and Conditions as well as the Specific Terms and Conditions.
The process for booking any Products includes at least the following steps:
1. You make a search.
2. Following your search request, the Website displays one or more Service offerings.
3. For some services, in particular Travel Packages and Group Services, You will request an estimate so that RAIL EUROPE will re-contact you; the sale will be made by telephone or email. For the other Services, You click on the Service or Services of your choice.
4. A summary showing all of your choices and the total price of the service or services will allow You to verify the details of your Order.
5. You must make sure that all of the information displayed is correct (date, time of day, origin and destination of your travel, name, mode and address of delivery, price, identity, age of travellers, etc.) ; they cannot be modified once your Order is approved.
6. You must then, provided you have first accepted these General Terms and Conditions and the Specific Terms and Conditions applicable to it, review and approve your Order.
7. The contract is then valid and binding.
8. If necessary, You will pay for your Order online in secure mode under the conditions defined in Article 7.
9. RAIL EUROPE, in the name of its Partners, will provide You, as quickly as possible and in any event within five days following your Order, by email, with a receipt confirming your Order, showing the essential elements such as the identification of the Service ordered, the price, the quantity, the Specific Terms and Conditions and the General Terms and Conditions.
All words contained in this Order confirmation email shall be considered to constitute the agreement between You and RAIL EUROPE unless you contest them by email within eight days. They can only be contested in so far as they are different from the Order that You have made.
10. In the event that You do not receive confirmation of the Order, it is Your responsibility to contact RAIL EUROPE in the conditions defined in Article 9.
It is your responsibility to make sure that the information (full name, email address, postal address, etc.) that You provide in your Order is correct, and immediately inform RAIL EUROPE using the electronic form available by clicking here, of any change that could affect it, in order to allow it to ensure that You will receive the Services that You have ordered. Please note that a name change is not possible once provided.
In any event, the booking fee as well as the Rail Protection Plan cannot be reimbursed in the case of cancellation.
Except as otherwise provided in the Specific Terms and Conditions and subject to the stipulations mentioned in Article 3.1.1, the tickets and/or travel documents issued for a Rail Product on the Website, are either to be retrieved or delivered, according to the type of product purchased and/or your date of departure and your place of residence, by postal mail to the address provided at the time of your Order, or printed according to the provisions specified for each type of service in the Specific Terms and Conditions.
It is expressly agreed that, except in the case of an obvious error on the part of RAIL EUROPE, the data stored in the information system of RAIL EUROPE and/or of its partners, in particular in the electronic messaging tools used by RAIL EUROPE, or in the Printed Ticket control systems, are considered as legal evidence with respect to Orders made and the parties' execution of obligations. The data on computerised or electronic media stored by RAIL EUROPE constitute evidence and, when produced as forms of evidence by RAIL EUROPE in any legal dispute or other, shall be admissible, valid and applicable between the parties in the same manner, in the same conditions and with the same evidentiary force as any document that would be established, received or stored in writing.
2.4 RIGHT OF WITHDRAWAL
You are duly informed that, in application of Articles L. 121-16-1 and L. 121-21-8 of the French Consumer Code, none of the Services offered on the Website by RAIL EUROPE in the name of its Partners are subject to the application of the right of withdrawal specified in Articles L. 121-20-12 et seq. of the French Consumer Code for distance sales.
Consequently, the Services ordered on the Website are exclusively subject to the conditions of cancellation and amendment specified in these General Terms and Conditions and/or in any applicable Specific Terms and Conditions.
CHAPTER II. GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLICABLE TO THE SERVICES OFFERED BY RAIL EUROPE
Article 3. RAIL PRODUCTS
Rail Products are offered by RAIL EUROPE in the name of its partners.
All of the Specific Terms and Conditions relating to the provision of the Rail Products may be viewed when you make your Order. These Specific Terms and Conditions are an integral part of these General Terms and Conditions and must be carefully and fully read and accepted before any Order.
3.1 Train tickets
Several types of Rail Products are offered on the Website for travel in Europe.
RAIL EUROPE is not liable for lost, stolen, mutilated or destroyed passes, train tickets or coupons. Reimbursements are not authorised in such cases. To protect You against such losses, RAIL EUROPE offers You the Rail Protection Plan whose conditions and restrictions are outlined in Article 5 hereinafter of these General Terms and Conditions.
For these types of tickets, a paper ticket or pass is issued on special ticket stock and delivery is one of the options offered as the mode of retrieval. RAIL EUROPE can print paper tickets and mail them to You, provided that you pay the related delivery fees. Please note that this mode of delivery is only possible when allowed by your date of departure and address of delivery.
All Paper products are sent via a traceable method. Moreover, You must make sure that someone is present to receive them. RAIL EUROPE is not liable if You are unable take receipt of the delivery.
Certain tickets are name specific and cannot be modified after purchase. In this case, tickets cannot be transferred and at the time of ticket inspections, the traveller for whom the ticket was issued must present a current valid photo identification: either an identification card or a passport.
In some countries, the ticket must be punched prior to boarding the train.
"Print at Home" Tickets
Some train tickets offered on the Website are eligible for Print at Home.
The Printed Ticket is a ticket that RAIL EUROPE sends to You by email and that You print yourself to present during inspections on trains.
This is a non-transferable ticket. When tickets are inspected on trains, the traveller for whom the ticket was issued must present a current valid photo identification: either an identification card or a passport.
It does not have to be punched and must be kept for the duration of the train journey.
This ticket is valid only for the designated train, name, date, time, class and route.
In the case of failure to adhere to any one of the rules specified in this article, this document shall be considered invalid.
RAIL EUROPE draws your attention to the fact that SNCF rail tickets eligible for the "Printed Ticket" service are subject to the following conditions:
1. During the booking process, You will be asked to enter the passengers details (last name, first name, and date of birth of each traveler). An email address is also needed. Please note that for the same trip, only one Print at Home ticket bearing the same last name and first name may be issued.
2. After the Order has been confirmed, RAIL EUROPE will provide you with a link to the image of the ticket created, in the form of a PDF file.
3. Even if the ticket has not yet been printed, it may not be exchanged or reimbursed. Please note that certain rates are neither exchangeable nor reimbursable once an Order has been placed.
4. The "Print at Home Ticket" can be printed at any time before the travel, - either immediately after it is created, when the Order has been confirmed, - or later by printing the Ticket attached in the Order confirmation email, or through your account in the “Log in” section by choosing Print my ticket under the options of your ticket.
5. The "Print at Home Ticket" must be printed in accordance with the Specific Terms and Conditions accepted in advance on every Order. RAIL EUROPE cannot be held liable in the case of failure to adhere to the Specific Terms and Conditions.
6. The "Print at Home Ticket" is only valid when it is printed on white A4 paper, with blank front and back, without modification of the size of printing, in portrait format (vertical) with a laser or inkjet printer with a minimum resolution of 300 dpi. In no case may it be presented in another medium (electronic, screen, etc.).
Good quality printing is necessary. Tickets that are partially printed, soiled, damaged or illegible are not valid. In the case of poor quality printing, the User must print the PDF file again. Consequently, prior to any "Print at Home Ticket" Order, You must make sure that You have the software and hardware system required to print your ticket: a computer connected to the Internet and equipped with Adobe Acrobat Reader software and a printer. Before making the Order, you must test the printer used to make sure it can correctly print the ticket. RAIL EUROPE accepts no liability in the case of inability to print your tickets due to the failure to adhere to the software and hardware system requirement specified above.
"Collect at the station" Tickets
Some tickets may be retrieved from Self Service Terminals in European train stations. This mode of retrieval is only offered to You if your itinerary allows such a retrieval.
The reference information of your ticket will be sent to You by email. RAIL EUROPE draws your attention to the fact that, to retrieve your ticket, You will be asked to present this reference as well as a debit/credit card.
3.2 RAIL PASSES
Rail passes allow travel on the national rail networks in one or more countries in
Europe, or even in all European countries (Eurail Global Pass) depending on the
This is a non-transferable ticket. When tickets are inspected on trains, the traveller for whom the ticket was issued must present a current valid photo identification: either an identification card or a passport.
Some rail passes can only be sold to certain residents.
Some trains may pass through a country that is not covered by a rail pass. In this case, an additional train ticket must be purchased. You are thus strongly advised to check Your itinerary.
Activation and use of your rail pass:
Rail passes must be activated within the time frame indicated at the moment of purchase. To be activated, your rail pass must be presented, at the same time as your passport, to the agents of the rail company in the train station of your departure, so that its number can be registered. Only such agents are authorised to activate passes. At that time, the first day and last day of validity of your pass will be fixed. The pass holder must sign the pass. Concerning flexi passes, the pass holder must write the date of travel before entering the first train that he or she will take that day. Travellers who fail to do this will be subject to a fine and payment of the full price ticket for that train.
Moreover, if there is reason to believe that a pass has been modified, falsified or used by a person other than its rightful holder, or used beyond its period of validity, rail company conductors are authorised to confiscate the pass and require payment of a full price ticket as well as the payment of a fine for the journey in progress. A passport must be shown to rail company agents when they are requested.
In most cases, a pass is valid from midnight to midnight for the period indicated on the pass. The pass cannot be used on hotel trains, private trains or special trains unless otherwise indicated.
Holding a pass does not guarantee a place with a seat. Seat reservations are optional on certain trains and required on high speed trains (TGV, Thalys, AVE, Eurostar and Le Frecce), international trains (Lyria), night trains (Thello, City Night Line) and scenic trains (Glacier Express, GoldenPass, Bernina Express, Wilhelm Tell Express and Chocolate Train etc.). The ICE (Intercity Express) requires a reservation on all Sprinter trains. Additional reservations are necessary on SJ High Speed trains in Scandinavia and on most trains in Spain (Renfe). Some trains require payment of a surcharge that includes a mandatory seat reservation. On some trains, the number of seats available to pass holders may be limited. You are thus strongly advised to make reservations in advance. If all reservations allocated to pass holders are already booked on the train that you wish to take, you must either choose another train that still has seat reservations available, or buy the most advantageously-priced ticket. The cost of seat reservations vary depending on the type of train and the country.
All types of transportation covered by a pass whose use is planned in several countries are subject to the Uniform Rules concerning the Contract for International Carriage of Passengers and Luggage by Rail (CIV). National passes or passes usable in a single country are subject to the rules and regulations of their specific country.
Article 4. TOURISM SERVICES
In the name of and on behalf of its partners, RAIL EUROPE offers the following Tourism Services:
- City passes,
- Urban transport tickets,
- Water transport tickets such as ferries,
- Tickets for visits and excursions.
Conditions and restrictions applicable to these services are provided to You when you make your order and prior to any final approval. It is your responsibility to learn about them.
Article 5. THE RAIL PROTECTION PLAN
A Rail Protection Product is proposed by RAIL EUROPE.
It is described in specific pages in the Website. Specific terms and conditions that shall apply for the Rail Protection Product are available on on the Website at the moment of the booking. Rail Europe advises You to print them if You choose to add the Rail Protection Product to your Order.
Article 6. SERVICES OFFERED BY RAIL EUROPE PARTNERS
Some Services are offered in the name and on behalf of the RAIL EUROPE partners. They are governed by the RAIL EUROPE Terms and Conditions of Use and by the Terms and Conditions of Sale of the concerned Partners, which are provided to You at the time of the Order.
CHAPTER III. FINANCIAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Article 7. FINANCIAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLICABLE TO THE SERVICES
7.1 PRICES AND TAXES
The descriptions of the Services presented on the Website specify, for each Service, the elements included in the price.
The prices are indicated in the currencies indicated on the Website.
The prices for Services are generally understood as including all taxes and fees, except handling fees and shipping fees that depend on the type of tickets and shipping You choose.
Banking fees due to foreign transaction may apply.
We draw your attention to the fact that payment of some taxes or additional fees (tourist tax, accommodation tax, visa fee and/or tourist card, etc.) may be required by some governments. They are not included in the price of the Services. Any such additional taxes are your own responsibility.
In addition, generally speaking, and unless otherwise stipulated, all personal or additional expenses related to the service, such as insurance, and more generally any service not expressly included in the booking confirmation shall not be taken into account in the prices.
RAIL EUROPE is not responsible for any fees or expenses applied by your banking institution or your credit card or debit card issuer, such as fees related to international transactions or conversion fees.
You may be liable for certain fees. Baggage registration, handling fees, meals and refreshments as well as reservations for seats, sleeping car compartments, and "couchettes" made locally must be paid abroad in the local currency.
7.2 PAYMENT OF THE PRICE
Payment of the price for the Services that You purchase from the Partners is made from the day an Order is made.
The total amount for the Service (delivery fees and booking fees included) is generally debited at the time of Your Order or when your travel documents are made available or when they are mailed.
The payment is made directly to RAIL EUROPE, by providing your bank card number using a secure payment system.
Unless governed by contrary provisions in the Specific Terms and Conditions, payments are made on the Website using a bank card or by an alternative secure payment method (PayPal).
In case a payment is discovered to be irregular, incomplete or non-existent, for a reason attributed to You, the sale of these Services will be cancelled and the expenses will be charged to you, and civil or criminal action may be pursued against You.
In order to ensure the security of transactions and consumers, RAIL EUROPE reserves the right to block any order that appears fraudulent or does not present all of the guarantees necessary for online payment security. In this case, You should contact Customer Service by visiting the Contact page.
Moreover, in case of an irregularity related to the payment of an order on the Website, RAIL EUROPE reserves the right to record the contact information provided during the purchase in a list of payment incidents. In such a case, the User will not be able to use this contact information to make orders on the Website. An email message will be sent to the email address registered at the time of the order to inform the User and invite him/her to correct the situation with Customer Service.
7.3 EXCHANGE RATE
RAIL EUROPE provides no guarantee concerning the exchange rate used at the time of the Order and cannot be responsible for updating it in real time.
CHAPTER IV. MISCELLANEOUS
Article 8. PROCEDURES
It is Your responsibility to be informed of the administrative and/or health procedures necessary for your travel, in particular before making your Order, by contacting the relevant authorities in your country of origin as well as those of the countries of destination and/or transit.
You are responsible for carrying out and paying for the procedures required by the police, customs and health authorities required for your travel, such as your passport, national identity card, residency card, parental authorization, visa, medical certificate, vaccination certificate, etc.
In addition, it should be noted that regulations in certain countries require that your passport be valid for more than six months following your return date.
Minors must be in possession of identity papers in their name.
If You are unable to depart on the date indicated due to failure to adhere to these administrative and health procedures, the price paid will not be reimbursed.
Article 9. INFORMATION AND CLAIMS
Any request for information and details of orders must be sent to Customer Service of RAIL EUROPE by visiting the Contact page.
9.2 EXCHANGE AND REIMBURSEMENT
For all Services, all terms and conditions of exchange and reimbursement are detailed in the Specific Terms and Conditions provided to You at the time of the Order.
These latter are also provided to You in the order confirmation email that is sent to you following your booking. They are also provided on the back side of paper tickets.
For tickets or passes whose conditions allow exchange or reimbursement, no exchanges or reimbursements may be made in case of theft, loss or deterioration.
No exchange or reimbursement will be made for tickets or passes issued in Europe.
To review the procedures governing the exchange and reimbursement of products as allowed by the Specific Terms and Conditions, please check our Refund Policies .
Article 10. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
RAIL EUROPE or the companies of their group or their Partners are holders of all the intellectual property rights relating to the Website or on which they hold related usage rights.
Access to the Website does not grant You any right to the intellectual property rights of the Website, which remains the exclusive property of RAIL EUROPE or the companies of their groups or their Partners.
The elements accessible on the Website, in particular the texts, photographs, images, icons, maps, sounds, videos, software, data base and data are also protected by intellectual and industrial property rights and other exclusive rights held by RAIL EUROPE or the companies of their groups or their Partners.
Unless governed by other provisions in these General Terms and Conditions, You may not copy, represent, modify, transmit, publish, adapt, on any medium or by any means whatsoever, or use in any manner whatsoever, all or part of the Website without the prior written authorisation of RAIL EUROPE. You are hereby informed that this prohibition targets in particular, but not exclusively, such practices as scraping or the use of robots for extraction, or the reproduction of any part of the Website, including offers for Services presented therein, in particular for commercial purposes.
Any use without prior authorisation by RAIL EUROPE, for any purpose whatsoever, of all or part of the Website, will be subject to any appropriate action, in particular, for infringement.
Only the use of a non-substantial portion of the Website is allowed solely for strictly private, non-commercial purposes.
The insertion of hyperlinks to any part of the Website is prohibited without the prior written authorisation of RAIL EUROPE.
The use of any software downloaded from the Website allowing to access certain services is governed by the terms of the accompanying license. You agree to refrain from installing, copying or using this software before first agreeing to the terms of the said license.
Concerning any software not accompanied by a license, you are granted a temporary, private, personal, non-transferable and non-exclusive right to use the software in order to access, exclusively, the services that require the use of the software. By installing or using the software, you agree to adhere to this condition.
Article 11. LIABILITY AND GUARANTEES
11.1 CONCERNING THE USE OF THE WEBSITE
RAIL EUROPE offers no guarantee that the Website will be free from irregularities, errors or bugs, nor that these can be corrected, nor that the Website will function without interruption or breakdowns, nor that it is compatible with a special hardware or software configuration other than those expressly mentioned by RAIL EUROPE.
RAIL EUROPE has no liability for dysfunction attributable to third party software.
RAIL EUROPE has no liability whatsoever for any foreseeable or unforeseeable, material or immaterial damage (including the loss of profit or opportunity) deriving from the use or total or partial inability to use the Website. Finally, given that RAIL EUROPE is unable to control all the websites to which it provides hyperlinks, which are only provided to facilitate the User's searches, RAIL EUROPE has no liability whatsoever for their content.
You declare that you are familiar with the characteristics and limits of the Internet, in particular its technical performance, the response times for consulting, querying or transferring data and the risks linked to security of communications.
You acknowledge that you have verified that the computer system that You use does not contain any virus and that it is in perfect functional condition.
11.2 CONCERNING THE SERVICES
RAIL EUROPE has been assured by its Partners of the proper operation of its Services specified in the contract that it has entered into with You. However, it cannot be held liable for any failure to execute or poor execution of all or part of the Services specified in the contract, which would be attributable either to your action, to the unforeseeable and insurmountable action of a third-party foreign to the service or to a case of force majeure.
11.3 CONCERNING THE PROVISION OF THE PRINTED TICKET
Except for a dysfunction of the Website that would be attributable to it, RAIL EUROPE cannot be held liable for irregularities that may occur when an Order is made, or in the processing or printing of a Print at home Ticket, attributable either to your action, to an unforeseeable or insurmountable action of a third-party foreign to the service or to a case of force majeure (for example, irregularities caused by any hardware, software or means of connection used by a third-party service provider).
Article 12. PRIVACY PROTECTION
The information that You provide on the Website will allow RAIL EUROPE and its Partners:
- to process and execute the Orders made on the Website,
- to manage, as necessary, your customer account,
- to fight against fraud.
It is also used by RAIL EUROPE to manage your subscription to its newsletters.
In accordance with Article 12 of the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2016/679 of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on free movement of such data, RAIL EUROPE informs you on the use made of your private information collected as part of your Orders.
Article 13. APPLICABLE LAW AND JURISDICTION
These General Terms and Conditions, and more generally the agreement that you have entered into with RAIL EUROPE, are subject to French laws.
All disputes relating to their interpretation and/or execution are under the jurisdiction of French courts. However, in accordance with Consumer Protection Law, you are entitled to bring an action before a court given your place of residence.
Article 14. FINAL PROVISIONS
Should RAIL EUROPE not assert, at any given time, any one of the provisions in these General Terms and Conditions this cannot be interpreted as a waiver of its right to assert the provision at a later time.
Should any one of the provisions of these General Terms and Conditions be declared null and void, it will be considered as invalid, and this will not affect the validity of the other provisions, unless the provision that is declared null and void is essential and determining.
In case of force majeure preventing the execution of a service, including an interruption of the means of telecommunication or a transporters' strike, the obligations of RAIL EUROPE affected by the said case of force majeure will extinguish. Any services that are not executed due to a case of force majeure shall be reimbursed. This non-execution however cannot lead to compensation of damages and interests.
Article 15. PROVISIONS FROM THE FRENCH CODE OF TOURISM
Articles R. 211-3 A to R. 211-11 of the French Tourism Code
Article R. 211-3
With the exception of the exclusions provided for in paragraphs three and four of Article L. 211-7, all offers and all sales of travel or accommodation services lead to the delivering of appropriate documents that comply with the rules defined by this section.
In the event of sales of airline tickets or tickets on regularly scheduled services that are not accompanied by package-type services linked to this transportation, the seller issues the buyer one or several passenger tickets for the entirety of the travel, issued by the carrier or under its responsibility. In case of transport upon request, the name and address of the carrier on whose behalf the tickets are issued must be mentioned.
The separate invoicing of the various elements of a given tourism package does not absolve the seller of its obligations under the regulatory provisions of this section.
Article R. 211-3-1
Exchanges of pre-contractual information and the providing of contractual terms are carried-out in writing. These can be done electronically in the conditions of validity and exercising provided for in Articles 1369-1 to 1369-11 of the French Civil Code. They must mention the name or company name and address of the seller and its listing in the registry provided for in Article L. 141-3, or, if applicable, the name, address and registration number in the federation or the union mentioned in the second paragraph of Article R. 211-2.
Article R. 211-4
Prior to the signing of the contract, the seller must provide the consumer with information on the prices, dates and other elements that constitute the services provided for the travel or accommodation such as:
1. The destination, means, characteristics and categories of transport used;
2. The type of accommodations, their location, level of comfort and main characteristics, authorisation and tourism rating according to the regulations or customs of the host country;
3. The meal services offered;
4. A description of the itinerary for tours;
5. The administrative and health formalities to be carried out by French citizens or citizens of another member state of the European Union or of the European Economic Area, particularly in cases involving the crossing of borders, and the deadlines for carrying these out;
6. The visits, excursions and other services included in the package or possibly available at an additional cost;
7. The minimum or maximum size of the group making it possible to carry out the travel or accommodation and, if the carrying out of the travel or accommodation depends on a minimum number of participants, the deadline for informing the consumer in the event of cancellation of the travel or accommodation; this date cannot be set to fewer than twenty-one days prior to departure;
8. The amount or the percentage of the price to be paid as a deposit upon signing the contract and the schedule for the payment of the balance due;
9. The conditions for revision of the prices as provided for by the contract in application of Article R. 211-8;
10. The conditions of cancellation of a contractual nature;
11. The cancellation terms defined in Articles R. 211-9, R. 211-10 and R. 211-11;
12. The information concerning the optional subscription of an insurance contract covering the consequences of certain cases of cancellation or of an assistance contract covering particular risks, such as expenses for repatriation in the event of accident or illness;
13. When the contract includes air transport services, the information, for each section of the flight, provided for in Articles R. 211-15 to R. 211-18.
Article R. 211-5
The prior information given to the consumer binds the seller, unless, in this information, the seller expressly reserves the right to modify certain parts of it. The seller must, in this case, clearly indicate to what extent this modification can take effect and on what elements.
In any event, the modifications made to the prior information must be provided to the consumer before the contract is signed.
Article R. 211-6
The contract signed between the seller and the buyer must be drawn up in duplicate with one original given to the buyer and signed by both parties. When the contract is signed electronically, Articles 1369-1 to 1369-11 of the French Civil Code apply. The contract must include the following clauses:
1. The name and address of the seller, its guarantor and its insurer and the name
and address of the organiser;
2. The destination or destinations of the travel and, in the case of accommodations in stages, the various periods and their dates;
3. The means, characteristics and categories of transport used, the starting and return dates and places;
4. The type of accommodations, their location, level of comfort and main characteristics and the tourism rating by virtue of the regulations or customs of the host country;
5. The meal services offered;
6. A description of the itinerary for tours;
7. The visits, excursions or other services included in the total price of the travel or accommodation;
8. The total price of the services invoiced and the indication of any possible revisions of this invoicing by virtue of the provisions of Article R. 211-8;
9. The indication, if applicable, of the fees or taxes for certain services such as landing, disembarking or embarking fees at ports and airports, visitor’s taxes when they are not included in the prices of the services provided;
10. The schedule and method for payment of the price; the last payment made by the buyer cannot be less than 30% of the price of the travel or accommodation and must be made at the time of submission of the documents allowing the buyer to carry out the travel or accommodation;
11. The particular terms requested by the buyer and accepted by the seller;
12. The manner in which the buyer can submit to the seller a complaint for non-fulfilment or poor fulfilment of the contract. This complaint must be sent to the seller as soon as possible, by any means providing a confirmation of receipt, and, if necessary, indicated in writing, to the organiser of the travel and to the provider of the services involved;
13. The deadline for informing the buyer in the event of a cancellation of the travel or accommodation by the seller if the carrying out of the travel or accommodation is linked to a minimum number of participants, in accordance with the provisions of item no. 7. of Article R. 211-4;
14. The conditions for cancellation of a contractual nature;
15. The cancellation terms specified in Articles R. 211-9, R. 211-10 and R. 211-11;
16. The specifications concerning the risks covered and the amount of the guarantees under the insurance contract covering the consequences of the seller’s professional legal liability;
17. Indications concerning the insurance contract covering the consequences of certain cases of cancellation subscribed by the buyer (policy number and name of insurer) and those of the assistance contract covering certain particular risks, particularly the costs of repatriation in the event of accident or illness; in this case, the seller must provide the buyer with a document specifying at least the risks covered and the risks excluded;
18. The deadline for informing the seller in the event of a transfer of the contract by the buyer;
19. The commitment to provide the buyer, at least ten days prior to the planned departure date, with the following information:
- The name, address and telephone number of the local representative of the seller or, failing that, the names, addresses and telephone numbers of the local organisations that could help the consumer in the event of difficulties or, failing that, the telephone number to contact the seller in the event of an emergency;
- For travel or accommodation of minors abroad, a telephone number and address enabling direct contact to be established with the child or with the on-site manager for the accommodation;
20. The clause for termination and reimbursement without penalties of the
sums paid by the buyer in the event of non-observance of the information
obligation provided for in item no. 13 of Article R. 211-4;
21. The commitment to provide the buyer, in a timely manner before the beginning of the travel or accommodation, with the departure and arrival times.
Article R. 211-7
The buyer may transfer the contract to a transferee who fulfills the same conditions as the buyer to carry out the travel or accommodation, as long as this contract has not had any effect.
Unless there is a stipulation that is more favourable to the transferor, the latter must inform the seller of his or her decision by any means allowing obtain a receipt of confirmation seven days before the beginning of the travel at the latest. When it is a cruise, this period is extended to fifteen days. In no event is this transfer subject to seller's prior authorisation.
Article R. 211-8
When the contract includes the express possibility of a price revision, within the limits provided for in Article L. 211-12, it must mention the precise method used for the calculation of the price variations, both upward and downward, and in particular the amount of the transportation costs and related taxes, the currency or currencies that could have an impact on the price of the travel or accommodation, the share of the price to which this variation can apply, and the rates of the currency or currencies used as references for the establishment of the prices appearing in the contract.
Article R. 211-9
When, before the buyer's departure, the seller is forced to modify one of the essential elements of the contract, such as a significant price increase and when said seller ignores the information obligation mentioned in item no. 13 of Article R. 211-4, the buyer may, without prejudice to recourse for reparation of any damages suffered, and after having been informed by the seller by any means allowing him to obtain a confirmation of reception:
- either terminate the contract and obtain the immediate reimbursement of the sums paid without penalties;
- or accept the modification or substitution travel proposed by the seller; a rider to the contract specifying the modifications made is then signed by the parties; any decrease in prices is deducted from sums that may remain due from the buyer and, if the payment already made by the buyer exceeds the price of the modified package, the surplus must be refunded to the buyer before the date of departure.
Article R. 211-10
In the case provided for in Article L. 211-14 when, before the buyer's departure, the seller cancels the travel or the accommodation, said seller must inform the buyer by any means allowing the buyer to obtain a confirmation of reception; the buyer, without prejudice to recourse for reparation of any damages suffered, obtains from the seller the immediate reimbursement of the sums paid without penalty; in this case, the buyer receives compensation at least equal to the penalty that said buyer would have had to pay if the cancellation had occurred due to buyer's action on that date.
The provisions of this article do not prevent the conclusion of an amicable agreement whose purpose is the buyer's acceptance of substitute travel or accommodation offered by the seller.
Article R. 211-11
When, after the buyer's departure, the seller is unable to provide a preponderant share of the services foreseen in the contract representing a significant percentage of the price honoured by the buyer, the seller must immediately take the following measures without prejudice to recourse for reparation of any damages suffered:
- either offer services to replace the planned services, bearing any additional cost and, if the services accepted by the buyer are of a lower quality, the seller must reimburse said buyer for the price difference upon the buyer's return;
- or, if the seller cannot offer any replacement service or if these are refused by the buyer for valid reasons, provide to the buyer, at no additional cost, passenger tickets to guarantee the buyer's return under conditions that can be judged equivalent to the place of departure or to another place accepted by both parties.
The provisions of this article are applicable in the event of non-observance of the obligation provided for in item 13 of Article R. 211-4.