Especially at the beginning of the corona pandemic, airlines, hotels, tour operators and many other players took a lot of time to refund customer funds. Some providers have also let it come to court processes. A Carinthian had to fight in court for almost two years with the help of the Chamber of Labour.
The problem arose because the traveler, who was unable to go on vacation because of the pandemic, assumed that he had booked a package tour at the travel agency, where he had been a customer for 20 years, according to his own statements. However, the agency saw things completely differently and took the view that they had only brokered individual building blocks and were not responsible for the refunds.
The consumer booked the next trip to the Azores for 2018 with a travel agency in the summer of 2020, believing it was a package tour. Due to corona measures, the trip could not be started in summer 2020. In order to have the flight costs reimbursed, the Carinthian contacted the travel agency. However, the latter withdrew from the responsibility and pointed out that no package tour had been booked and that they, as an agent, are not responsible for reimbursement of the travel expenses.
For this reason, the person concerned turned to the consumer protection department of the Chamber of Labour. A lawsuit was filed, which was unsuccessful in the first instance. As a result of an appeal, the plaintiff was right due to a lack of information on the part of the travel company. "The travel agency clearly did not provide enough information about the travel conditions," says Herwig Höfferer, AK consumer advocate and recommends: "Whenever you book, make sure that you have precise descriptions and a written summary of your rights. If in doubt, you can always contact the consumer protection department of the Chamber of Labour!"