Tour Operators

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

Austria: tour operator not allowed to use consumers' pictures for travel brochures

The plaintiffs, a married couple, took part in a package trip to Scotland organised by the defendant. At the occasion of a visit to the old blacksmith's shop at Gretna Green, a pretended wedding cermony was enacted in which the plaintiffs played the bride and the groom. The bus driver took pictures of this 'ceremony'.

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Germany: Supreme Court decides on international jurisdiction with regard to letting of holiday homes

The plaintiffs, domiciled in Germany, had rented a holiday home in Belgium from a Danish tour operator (the defendant). They had several complaints about the condition of the home and claimed for a price reduction. Based on the consumer forum pursuant to Articles 15 and 16 of the Brussels I-Regulation they filed their claim before their local court. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss the claim on the ground of lacking international jurisdiction of German courts.

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UK: Birmingham County Court decides in broken glass door case

The Russell family booked a holiday package to Spain. At the time of booking they made clear that they were not seasoned travellers and specifically requested accommodation which was suitable for young children because they took along their 4 year old daughter. They were duly reassured. At the hotel they were allocated to a room with a glass balcony door. Shortly after arrival, while the parents were unpacking, the girl ran towards the door. She failed to realise that it was still shut and collided with it.

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Austria: reference for ECJ preliminary ruling on Brussels I-Regulation

The plaintiffs, both Austrian residents domiciled in Bludesch (Austrian Province of Vorarlberg), had booked a holiday package to Egypt organized by an Austrian tour operator located in Vienna. The booking was made online through the website of a German travel agency. By mistake of either the tour operator or the travel agency, they were booked to a different (but similary named) hotel than they had actually chosen. They filed a law suit against both, the travel agency and the tour operator, before their local court in Vorarlberg.

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Bulgaria: new tourism legislation in parliament

The Bulgarian Parliament is about to enact a new tourism law and has adopted a draft at first reading. The purposes of the draft law are:

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German Supreme Court decides on organizer's liability for changing the departure of the return flight to an earlier time

The plaintiff's spouse had booked a one week package holiday to Turkey at EUR 369 per person for the plaintiff and himself. The return flight was scheduled to depart on June 1, 2009, 16:40 hrs. One day before, the organizer changed the departure time to 05:15 hrs and thus the plaintiff and her spouse were to be picked up at the hotel as early as 01:25 hrs. They therefore looked for an alternative return flight which they booked on their own and which departed at 14 hrs.

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Austria: tour organiser not liable for costs of extended stay caused by flight cancellation due to the ash cloud crisis

The plaintiff had booked a holiday package and spent her vacations in Gran Canaria in April 2010. Her return flight scheduled for April 17, 2010 had been cancelled because of the air space closures caused by the 'ash cloud'. Thus she had to stay in Gran Canaria until April 23, 2010 and bear the extra costs of this extend stay (mainly: hotel and telephone costs). Back home she sued the tour organiser for compensation. The appelate court (LG Innsbruck), however, dismissed the claim against the tour organiser.

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Austrian Supreme Court: no liability of the tour operator for rare injury caused by narrow seating in a coach

The plaintiff who had booked a coach tour package with the defendant tour operator sued for EUR 8.000 compensation for pain and suffering. He claimed that because of the narrow seating in the coach used by the defendant, as of the fourth day of the trip he had suffered pain from a lesion of the nerves in his left leg.

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German Supreme Court clarifies scope of PTD insolvency protection

In judgement of Nov. 2, 2011 the German Supreme Court (BGH) held that insolvency protection pursuant to Art. 7 PTD also covers the repayment of the travel price if the organiser had cancelled the package trip before going bust. Neither Art. 7 PTD nor German law would require a causal connection between the insolvency of the organiser and the cancellation of the trip. Due to clear wording of Art. 7 PTD in this regard, the BGH saw no reason to file a reference for preliminary ruling to the ECJ.

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USA: proposed bill to require travel websites to list health risks of travel destinations

A proposed Senate bill would require online travel-service providers to provide detailed information about the health and safety services provided at each advertised destination. The bill would also require website operators to display pertinent Department of State travel warnings on each destination.

The bill would require website operators to request that on-site information if it is not readily available, and if no information is provided, they would have to say specifically.

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