Michael Wukoschitz's blog

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Ontario: claim against Mexican hotel stayed for lack of jurisdiction

In the spring of 2006, the plaintiff, Angela Haufler, was injured while on vacation in Mexico with her mother, a friend, and the friend's mother. The injury occurred while she was participating in an all-terrain vehicle (“ATV”) excursion.

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Austrian Supreme Court: tour operator liable for floatplane boarding accident

The plaintiff had booked a package to the Maldives with the defendant. The package included a transfer by floatplane from Malé to the island where the hotel was situated. Accorsing to the Operating Manual of the carrier, it is necessary to moor the floatplane with three ropes. The crew is required to stand at each side of the entrance in order to assist the passengers boarding the aircraft. When the plaintiff was about to board, despite some waves the floatplane was only moored with two ropes and only one member of the crew was standing next to the entrance.

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EU Commission revises guidelines on state aid to airports and airlines

On February 20, 2014, the European Commission released new Guidelines for the assessment of State aid to airports and airlines. The revised Guidelines which follow from a public consultation in 2011 with the purpose to reassess the Commission's former 2005 Guidelines introduce substantial changes:

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Swiss Federal Court: tour organizer not liable for paraglider accident

The plaintiff who had had successfully completed his paragliding education in 2001,  in 2002 booked a paragliding package to Italy with defendant. After some flights with a paraglider classified as being of "good-natured" flight characteristics, he changed to a more demanding paraglider classified for experienced pilots. At the second attempt with this other paraglider, it collapsed at one side which led into a crash in which the plaintiff was severely injured.

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European Parliament publishes report on air passenger rights revision

On Jan. 22, 2014, the Committee on Transport and Tourism of the European Parliament published a report on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 261/2004.

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CJEU Advocate General: EU law allows air carriers pricing freedom - including services such as checking in baggage

In August 2010, the air carrier Vueling added a surcharge of €40 to the base price of airline tickets (€241.48) purchased by Ms Arias Villegas when she checked in two pieces of baggage online. Ms Villegas therefore lodged a complaint against Vueling, claiming that the contract of carriage by air concluded with that undertaking contained an unfair term.

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USA: DOT fines Qantas for not informing passengers of opportunity to leave delayed aircraft

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced that Qantas Airways violated federal rules last March by not informing passengers on a delayed aircraft at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport that they had the opportunity to leave the plane as it sat at the gate for an extended period of time with the door open.  DOT fined Qantas USD 90,000 and ordered the airline to cease and desist from further violations.

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UK: Office of Fair Trading consults on amendments to proposed hotel online booking commitments

On Dec. 20, 2013, the UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT) opened a consultation on revised commitments proposed by Booking.com B.V. (Booking.com), Expedia Inc (Expedia) and InterContinental Hotels Group plc (IHG) designed to address competition concerns in relation to the online offering of room-only hotel accommodation bookings by online travel agents (OTAs).

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German Supreme Court: tour organizer must not reserve alterations of the flying times

Upon law suit filed by a federal consumer association, the German Supreme Court has regarded contractual provisions unfair and illegal which allowed the tour organizer to alter the flying times. The "General Conditions of Contract" of the defendant had contained the following provision:

"Final flying times will be communicated by the organzier in the travel vouchers. Any information on flying times provided by a travel agent is not binding."

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