Blogs

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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.

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IFTTA Law Review 2-2016 available online

The IFTTA Law Review 2-2016 is now available online within the members area. It includes a report on the IFTTA North America Conference 2016 by Doug Crozier and an article on the Chinese influence on Tourism in Cuba by John H. Thomas. Enjoy reading!

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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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U.S.A.: DOT fines airlines for not adequately responding to complaints of disabled passengers

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today fined Air France, Lufthansa, and British Airways for not adequately responding to complaints filed by passengers with disabilities.  Air France and Lufthansa were each fined USD 200,000 and British Airways was fined USD 150,000.  The airlines were also ordered to cease and desist from future similar violations.

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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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IFTTA Law Review 1-2016 online

The latest edition of the IFTTA Law review is now available online in the members area. It contains an editorial on the new European Package Travel Direcdtive, an article  by Rebekah Tanti-Dougall on disruptive air passengers and an article by Uta Stenzel on the German model of consumer conciliation in public transport. Enjoy reading.

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