Europe

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Government draft for the implementation of the new EU Package Travel Directive in Austria

On Feb. 28, 2017 the Austrian Federal Ministy of Justice has published its draft for the implementation of the EU Package Travel Directive 2015/2302. Instead of the current provsions related to package travel in the Consumer Protection Act, there will be a separate Package Travel Act (Pauschalreisegesetz - PRG). This seems reasonable as the protection provided by the Directive is not limited to consumers only.

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

Austrian Supreme Court decides on KLM's "Flying Blue" bonus programme term

In a recent decision the Austrian Supreme Court (OGH) upheld a judgement of the appelate court (Oberlandesgericht Wien) regarding a term of KLM's "Flying Blue" bonus programme. According to the decision, a standardized contract term providing that any premium miles shall expire with the lapse of 20 month from their acqusition unless they are extended by 'qualified activities' is unfair - at least if the contract term doesn’t differentiate between premium miles granted for flights and premium miles bought by the passenger in addition.

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CJEU decides on communication of broadcasts by TV sets installed in hotel

Upon request for preliminary ruling lodged by the Commercial Court Vienna, the CJEU held that the communication of television and radio broadcasts by means of TV sets installed in hotel rooms does not constitute a communication made in a place accessible to the public against payment of an entrance fee.

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Germany: tour organiser has to reimburse package price after car accident caused by third party

The plaintiffs had booked a package to Turkey including air transport, hotel accomodation and a bus transfer from the airport to the hotel. During this transfer a ghost driver's car  hit the transfer bus and the passengers were severely injured. Instead of the hotel they were taken to hospital and therefore could not take any advantage of the services included in their package. The German Supreme Court held that the organiser owed a safe transport and the accident therefore constituted a lack of confotmity with the contract.

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CJEU: a flight during which an unscheduled stopover took place cannot be regarded as cancelled

On Oct. 5, 2016 the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) provided another clarification regarding the interpretation of Reg. (EC) No. 261/2004. The case involved an Bulgarian Air Charter flight from Burgas (Bulgaria) to Dresden (Germany). The flight departed as scheduled but made an unscheduled stopover in Prague which caused a delay in arrvial at Dresden of  2 hours and 20 minutes.

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

German Supreme Court: transfer of package booking can be made subject to payment of higher ticket price

According to Article 4 para 3 of the Package Travel Directive 1990/314, a consumer who is prevented from proceeding with the package may transfer his booking to another person who satisfies all the conditions applicable to the package but he remains jointly and severally liable to the organiser for the payment of the due balance and any additional costs arising from the transfer.

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CJEU Advocate General: bird strikes do not constitute 'extraordinary circumstances'

In an opinion delivered on July 28, 2016, CJEU Advocate General Bot has concluded that bird strikes do not fall within the extraordinary circumstances defence currently available to air carriers according to Article 5 para 3 of Reg. (EC) 261/2004. In the Advocate General's opinion, such incidents are inherent in the normal exercise of the activity of an air carrier and therefore not 'extraordinary'. Although an opinion of an Advocate Genrral is not binding to the Court but only advisory in nature, the judges in most cases follow the recommedations expressed therein.

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CJEU clarifies remdies for downgrading in air travel

In a recently published judgement, the European Court of Justice has clarfied the rules applying to downgrading of air passagners according to Reg. (EC) No 261/2004.

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EU Commission adopts proposals to simplify and improve passenger ship safety rules

The European Commission has adopted a number of legislative proposals to simplify and improve the common rules on safety of ships carrying passengers in EU waters. The update is a response to lessons learnt, including from accidents, and technological developments. It will, among others, allow immediate access of competent authorities to relevant data in case of emergency ensuring that search and rescue operations can be dealt with more effectively.

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EU: Commission refers Germany to Court over VAT rules for travel agents

The European Commission has decided to refer Germany to the Court of Justice of the European Union for its failure to properly apply the special value added tax (VAT) scheme for travel agents, as provided for in the VAT Directive (Council Directive 2006/112/EC). The scheme aims to simplify and amend the VAT rules applicable to travel agencies selling travel packages within the EU. It is obligatory for all travel agents to apply the scheme, provided the conditions required in the Directive are met.

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