Austria: Supreme Court decides on travel package retailer liability

In a recent decsision, the Austrian Civil Supreme Court (OGH) has held that booking a package for a group or family constitutes a contract for the benefit of a third party and thus entitles any member of the group or family to file a claim with regard to his/her own participation in the package. These principles do not only apply with regard to the tour organizer but also with regard to a retailer or agent.Though claims for “loss of holiday enjoyment” can only be filed against the tour organizer, the retailer or agent may still be held liable for frustrated expenditures if part of the package is missed due to misinformation by the retailer/agent.In the particular case, the retailer had advised the plaintiffs that on their trip to Jamaica a connecting time of 65 mins in Düsseldorf would be sufficient despite the fact that the luggage could not be checked to the final destination but had to be collceted and checked again. However, when they arrived at Düsseldorf aiport and collected their luggage, the check in for the connecting flight had already closed and so they missed the flight and had to go one day later.Full text of jugment OGH 8 Ob 101/10a of April 26, 2011 available in German here>>.

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