Austrian Supreme Court: tour organiser can be liable for hotel accomodation provided by air carrier

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

The return flight of the plaintiff''s holiday package was cancelled and the air carrier rebooked the plaintiff for the following day. Complying with its respective obligation under Reg. (EC) 261/2004, the air carrier provided the plaintiff with hotel accomodation for the additional night. The plaintiff - a person of reduced mobility  - took a walk in the area close to the hotel where she tripped, fell down and was injured. She sued the tour organiser for compensation for pain and suffering.

The first instance court dismissed the claim without taking evidence and held that the hotel accomodation provided by the air carrier could not be attributed to the tour organiser. The appellate court set aside the judgement and referred the case back to the first instance court: under package travel law, the organiser was obliged to provide accomodation if the return flight could not take place as agreed in the package holiday contract. By providing accomodation to the plaintiff, the air carrier therefore had not only fulfilled its own legal obliation but had also acted on behalf of the tour organiser. If the accident had occured on hotel premises and had been caused by non-compliance with local standards, the tour organiser could be held liable. It was therefore up to the first instance court to take evidence to find out whether the accident had occured on hotel premises and what had caused the accident.

The Supreme Court upheld the decision of the appelate court and concurred with the reasoning therein.

Case details: OGH, Aug. 31, 2018, 6 Ob 146/18s