Package tours offer passengers many advantages, but these are not “fully comprehensive insurance” against failure to inform. The district court of Munich decided in the first instance that tour operators are not obliged to inform that the passport must be carried.
While in Austria possession of a passport is the norm and only a few people have an identity card, it is different in Germany. Many residents only have the latter document because they believe they do not need a passport. However, this can mean that you are not allowed to travel to many countries.
This is what happened in November 2022: The now unsuccessful plaintiff wanted to fly to Dubai with an accompanying person and could not produce a valid passport. The long-distance journey thus ended at the airport. He then sued for reimbursement of the travel price and argued that the tour operator had not been informed that this document was required to enter the United Arab Emirates.
Furthermore, it was argued in court that the organizer or the travel agency, which would have acted as a vicarious agent, had not informed about the entry requirements of the UAE. In particular, the need to have a passport and any deadlines for issuing a visa were not discussed. Therefore, a claim for reimbursement of the travel price in the amount of 2.200 euros was filed.
The District Court of Munich ruled in the first instance under reference number 171 C 3319/23 in favor of the tour operator. The judge sees no violation of the obligation to provide information, because tour operators and travel agencies only have to provide information about general passport and visa requirements and state approximate, but not binding, deadlines. As part of the obligation to cooperate, the traveler must find out for himself whether the destination country allows entry with an identity card or not.
The justification for the judgment, which is not yet final, also states that it is a matter of course that one has a valid passport. Neither the tour operator nor the travel agency would have to explicitly point out that you are not allowed to enter the country without this document when traveling long-distance.