German Supreme Court: no refund of the full package price following delayed connection flight

Plaintiff had booked a package tour to Iceland including a flight from Düsseldorf to Reykjavik via Amsterdam. Due to a technical problem the flight from Amsterdam to Reykjavik was delayed. After waiting six hours the plaintiff booked a return flight from Amsterdam to Düsseldorf on his own and returned home the same day. He argued he had legally terminated the contract and sued for repayment of the package price as well as compensation for the costs of his return flight, claiming that under Reg. 261/2004 a delay of more than five hours entitled him to cancellation and a free return flight .The claim was dismissed in all instances. German Supreme Court (BGH) affirmed its view that Reg. 261/2004 is exclusively granting claims against the operating carrier and does not apply to the organizer of a package tour. Given the complex services under a package tour contract, a flight delay of more than five hours would not entitle the consumer to terminate the contract if the dealy had only resulted into missing one or two out of 14 days of the package tour.Source: BGH press release 187/2008; full German text available here>>.

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