Austria

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Austria: regulation on proper rail passenger behaviour

A new regulation by the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology provides detailed rules on the behaviour of railway passengers and other users of railway premises. It inter alia interdicts to carry along dangerous animals or items (like weapons), to throw things from the train and to enter restricted areas.

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Austria: Appelate court decides on "fly all or pay up" clauses

In their General Conditions of Carriage, Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines had incorporated clauses which provided that a passenger who doesn't use all the flight coupons of his ticket or doesn't use them in the original order can be required to pay up to the tariff applicable at the time of booking for the actual routing otherwise the airline would be entitled to deny boarding. Thus, a passenger who had purchased a low fare return ticket and then only used the outward flight could be required to pay up to the more expensive one way fare.

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ECJ Advocate General delivers opinion on rail passenger rights

In his opinion delivered on June 7, 2012, ECJ Advocate General Jääskinen came to the conclusion that

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Austria: Appelate court reverses judgement in missed connecting flight case

In the case which I had referred to in Rostock as "Frozen Antarctica Dreams" and which regarded a couple who had missed their Antarctica cruise following of a delayed departure of their feeder flight to Frankfurt caused by snow covered runways at the Vienna airport had sued the carrier and the airport for damages but their claim was dismissed by the court of first instance, the appelate court (OLG Wien) has now reversed the judgment and held both, Lufthansa and the Vienna airport liable for the damages.

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ECJ Advocate General: distance contract not preconditional for consumer forum

With regard to a reference for preliminary ruling filed by the Austrian Civil Supreme Court, ECJ Advocate General Cruz Villalón in his opinion delivered on May 24, 2012 suggested that Article 15 of the Brussels I Regulation should not be interpreted as requiring a distance contract between the consumer and the entrepreneur.

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Austria: new legislation related to travel and tourism

The Austrian legislator has recently passed the follwoing acts related to travel and tourism:

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Austria: tricky copyright traps in hotel advertising

The plaintiff, a painter, had made a sales exhibition of her paintings in the premises of the defendant hotel company. After the exhibition, the paintings (none of which had been sold) remained in the hotel for some time for a monthly fee to be paid by the defendant. During the exhibition, pictures of the hotel were taken which the defendant then used on its website. On one of these pictures, the plaintiff's painting "Mozart Symponie No 41" could be seen hanging on a wall in the background.

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Austria: tour organiser not liable for costs of extended stay caused by flight cancellation due to the ash cloud crisis

The plaintiff had booked a holiday package and spent her vacations in Gran Canaria in April 2010. Her return flight scheduled for April 17, 2010 had been cancelled because of the air space closures caused by the 'ash cloud'. Thus she had to stay in Gran Canaria until April 23, 2010 and bear the extra costs of this extend stay (mainly: hotel and telephone costs). Back home she sued the tour organiser for compensation. The appelate court (LG Innsbruck), however, dismissed the claim against the tour organiser.

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Austrian Supreme Court: no liability of the tour operator for rare injury caused by narrow seating in a coach

The plaintiff who had booked a coach tour package with the defendant tour operator sued for EUR 8.000 compensation for pain and suffering. He claimed that because of the narrow seating in the coach used by the defendant, as of the fourth day of the trip he had suffered pain from a lesion of the nerves in his left leg.

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Austria: Supreme Court decides on innkeeper's liability with regard to theft from hotel garage

As a hotel guest, the plaintiff - a professional photographer - had parked his car in the hotel garage. Several signs in the garage were saying

"The hotel does not accept any liablity with regard to cars parked here nor with regard to their content. Please deposit your valuables at the hotel reception".

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