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Austria: new reference for ECJ preliminary ruling regarding rail passenger rights

On Sep. 8, 2011 the Austrian Adminstrative Court (VwGH) has filed a reference for preliminary ruling of the Court of the European Union with regard to Reg. (EC) 1371/2007 on Rail Passengers' Rights and Obligations. The referring court wants to know whether

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Austrian Supreme Court: hotel liable for theft from safe in hotel room

The plaintiffs (a German couple) sued a Vienna 4 star hotel company for compensation of more than EUR 160.000 of valuables stolen from the safe in their hotel room. When they had asked at the reception where to keep their valuables, the receptionist had told them to use the safe in their room. This safe had to be locked and unlocked by a code of four numbers chosen by the plaintiffs. However, the safe could also be opened by using a 'mastercode'.

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Austria: first reference for ECJ preliminary ruling regarding rail passenger rights

The Austrian "Schienen-Control Kommission Wien" has filed a reference for preliminary ruling of the ECJ with regard to the following questions:

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Austrian Constitutional Court: no state liability for alledgedly false application of the Package Travel Directive

The plaintiff (a lawyer) initially had sued a tour operator for mal-performance of a package travel contract. The claim had been dismissed by all instances as courts had held that the plaintiff had booked accomodation in a Dubai city hotel with half board and a shuttle service to the beach - and had exactly got what he had booked. It had to be regarded obvious that a city hotel could not offer the same amenities with regard to duration and flexibility of staying at the beach like a hotel directly situated there.

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Austria: hotel operator not liable for injury of a guest who tried to repair a jamming glass door

The plaintiff who was a former share holder of a hotel company (the defendant) and also the former companion of the defendant's director stayed in the defendant's hotel as a guest, when the director asked him to do her the favour to look for a jamming glass door in the indoor pool area because she couldn't reach any craftsman. When he tried to remove the defective glass door, he got severely injured on his right hand. He sued the hotel company for compensation for pain and suffering. The court of first instance granted the claim.

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Austria: Supreme Court decides on fatal scuba diving trip with tiger sharks

Upon request of two consumers, the Defendant (an Austrian travel agent) offered them a package consisting of a tiger shark scuba diving trip to the Bahamas organized by a Florida based scuba diving company and the flights from/to Austria. The concept of the diving trip was based on watching tiger sharks while diving without a protecting cage.

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European Air Passenger Departure taxes detrimental to Kenya tourism?

Kenya wants the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) to intervene and help end travel conditions by western states that act as barriers to growth of the tourism industry in developing countries. Kenya's Tourism Minister said the Air Passenger Departure tax introduced by European countries such as the UK, Austria and Germany discouraged tourists from coming to Kenya and other East African countries.He said his government is committed to encourage tourists into the country and reducing visa tax by 50 per cent from 50 USD to 25 USD.

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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.

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Austria: court denies compensation for missed connecting flight

The plaintiffs had booked a flight from Linz to Perth via Frankfurt and Hongkong with the defendant. The flight from Linz to Frankfurt, however, was to be operated not by the defendant but by another airline. The flight from Linz to Frankfurt was cancelled and the operating carrier offered plaintiffs an alternative flight. This (substitute) feeder was delayed and the plaintiffs thus missed their connecting flight to Hongkong.