The German Federal Court of Justice has decided that package travelers who book during the booking period despite a travel warning and pay the industry-standard deposit are not entitled to a refund if they cancel later. The prerequisite is that it is foreseeable that the travel warning will not be lifted.
It is noteworthy that the case under consideration, which is under the business number A couple from North Rhine-Westphalia had booked a package trip to the Dominican Republic for March 2021 in September 2020. At this point, Germany had pretty much covered the entire world with travel warnings of the highest level.
This had still not been lifted a week before the start of the trip. With reference to the travel warning, the holidaymaker wanted to withdraw from the contract free of charge. This was not only refused by the organizer, but the deposit of 1,540 euros was also kept. The lower courts decided in favor of the tour operator and the Federal Court of Justice also confirmed the judgment.
The BGH stated, among other things, that the “risk situation” was known at the time of booking and that this had not changed until the start of the trip. Therefore, starting the vacation trip to the Dominican Republic would have been reasonable. The BGH also indirectly implies that the travel warnings issued at the time were extremely inflationary.
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