Travelers can demand money back because of Corona

Fri 13th Jan, 2023

Photo by Erik OdiinThe European Court of Justice (ECJ) strengthens the rights of vacationers in the event of Corona restrictions. Package travelers can demand their money back under certain circumstances if the trip was thwarted by Corona measures. This was decided by the ECJ on Thursday in Luxembourg.

The background is a case from Germany. The plaintiffs booked a two-week trip to the Canary Islands in March 2020. Two days after their arrival there, the beaches were closed and a curfew imposed because of the Corona pandemic. In the hotel, access to pools and sunbeds was prohibited, and the animation program was completely suspended.

The trip ended after seven days - much earlier than planned. The plaintiffs then wanted to pay only 30 percent of the price for the vacation. The tour operator refused to do so because it was not liable for such a "general risk of life".

According to EU laws, vacationers have a right to have the price of the trip reduced if the package tour is not fulfilled in accordance with the contract - unless the tour operator proves that the lack of conformity was the fault of the travelers. The ECJ should now clarify whether the Corona measures in Gran Canaria were in breach of contract.

The judges made a vacationer-friendly decision: Corona measures can constitute such a breach of contract. Tour operators must be liable for this, regardless of whether the problems can be attributed to them. It did not matter that similar Corona restrictions applied at the same time at the home resort. Now the case goes back to the Munich Regional Court, which must take the ECJ case law into account in its decision.

Photo by Erik Odiin


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