Tag Archives: travel law

Open Consultation on Regulatory and Administrative Framework on Tourism Businesses, Public Administrations, and other Tourism Stakeholders in the EU (European Commission)

The European Commission would like to examine roots of regulatory and administrative burden on tourism businesses, which may impede their capacity of growth and their competitiveness, as well as burden hindering the effectiveness of tourism policies at national, regional or local level.

The objective of this public consultation is to identify all the EU, national, regional and local policy initiatives (legislative or not) and administrative practices, where there may still be scope for further reducing the burden for SMEs, and in particular for micro businesses, as well as for EU tourism destinations, public administrations and tourists visiting EU Member States from within or outside Europe.

The Commission would also like to obtain the views of a wide circle of public and private stakeholders and individuals on possible good practices and initiatives that may be taken as an example of bringing positive impact on those affected by them.

Deadline: 15/03/2014

The questionnaire.

ECJ to hear cases challenging its „Sturgeon” judgement (IFTTA)

The Court of the European Union has scheduled a hearing for March 20, 2012 at 09:30 in the joined cases Nelson v. Deutsche Lufthansa (C-581/10; referring court: Amtsgericht Köln, Germany) and TUI et al v. CAA (C-629/10; referring court: High Court of Justice / England & Wales, Queen’s Bench Division / Administrative Court).

Both references seek a revision of the „Sturgeon” judgement (judgment of Nov. 19, 2009 in joined cases C-402/07 and C-432/07) by questioning the vailidity of Articles 5-7 Reg. 261/2004 as interpreted there with regard to

  • the principle of equal treatment
  • the principle of proportionality
  • the principle of legal certainty and
  • the Montreal Convention

While some more references concerning Reg. 261/2004 as interpreted in the Sturgeon judgement are still pending, it will be exciting to see how the court will solve the controversy which arose from „Sturgeon” and which in some member states led to a stay of cases seeking compensation for delay pursuant to Articles 5-7 Reg. 261/2004.)

Source: IFTTA (by: Michael Wukoschitz)

Colombia – Travel Warning U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

February 21, 2012

The Department of State reminds U.S. citizens of the dangers of travel to Colombia. Security in Colombia has improved significantly in recent years, including in tourist and business travel destinations such as Cartagena and Bogota, but violence by narco-terrorist groups continues to affect some rural areas and large cities. This replaces the Travel Warning for Colombia issued July 22, 2011, to update information on recent security incidents and terrorist activity

Terrorist activity remains a threat throughout the country. On June 16, 2011, a satchel bomb exploded at a local monument in uptown Bogota, resulting in some damage to adjoining buildings, but no fatalities or injuries. On October 5, 2011, a grenade was thrown at a cafe in the Chico neighborhood of Bogota, injuring four bystanders. Three members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia’s (FARC) Jorge Briceño Suarez Bloc were later arrested for the incident. Small towns and rural areas of Colombia can still be extremely dangerous due to the presence of narco-terrorists. While the Embassy possesses no information concerning specific and credible threats against U.S. citizens in Colombia, we strongly encourage you to exercise caution and remain vigilant.

The incidence of kidnapping in Colombia has diminished significantly from its peak in 2000, and has remained relatively consistent for the past two years. Nevertheless, terrorist groups such as FARC, the National Liberation Army (ELN), and other criminal organizations continue to kidnap and hold civilians for ransom or as political bargaining chips. No one is immune from kidnapping on the basis of occupation, nationality, or other factors. Kidnapping in rural areas is of particular concern.

In 2011, one U.S. citizen was kidnapped in a rural part of the country and held for ransom before being rescued, and another was abducted from in front of a hotel in Medellin and later found murdered. Although the U.S. government places the highest priority on the safe recovery of kidnapped U.S. citizens, it is U.S. policy not to make concessions to or strike deals with kidnappers. Consequently, the U.S. government’s ability to assist kidnapping victims is limited.

U.S. government officials and their families in Colombia are permitted to travel to major cities in the country, but normally only by air. They may not use inter- or intra-city bus transportation, or travel by road outside urban areas at night. U.S. government officials and their families in Colombia must file a request to travel to any area in Colombia that is outside of two general vicinities. The first vicinity is outlined by the cities of Bogota, Anolaima, Cogua, and Sesquile. The second vicinity is on the Highway 90 corridor that connects Cartagena, Barranquilla, and Santa Marta. All U.S. citizens in Colombia are urged to follow these precautions and exercise extra caution outside of the aforementioned areas.

For more detailed information on staying safe in Colombia, please see the State Department’s Country Specific Information for Colombia. For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ internet web site, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts can be found. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well. 

Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 001-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). U.S. citizens living or traveling in Colombia are encouraged to enroll with the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to obtain updated information on travel and security within Colombia. For any emergencies involving U.S. citizens in Colombia, please contact the U.S. Embassy or the closest U.S. Consulate as listed below. 

The U.S. Embassy is located at Calle 24 Bis No. 48-50 Bogota, D.C., Colombia. Mailing address: Carrera 45 No. 24B-27 Bogota, D.C., Colombia. In case of a serious emergency that jeopardizes the health or safety of a U.S. citizen in Colombia, please call the Embassy at (571) 275-2000; Embassy fax: (571) 275-4501; Consular Section phone: (571) 275-4900. The Embassy’s American Citizens Services office provides routine information at http://bogota.usembassy.gov. For questions not answered there, inquiries may be sent by email to ACSBogota@state.gov

The U.S. Consular Agency in Barranquilla, which accepts passport applications and performs notarial services, is located at Calle 77B, No. 57-141, Piso 5, Centro Empresarial Las Américas, Barranquilla, Atlántico, Colombia; telephone (575) 369-0419; fax (57-5) 353-5216. In case of an emergency in the Barranquilla/north coast area, please contact the Embassy in Bogota at (571) 275-2000 which will forward the call to our Consular Agent. 


„Reviews you can trust” – UK Advertising Standards Authority finds TripAdvisor ads misleading (IFTTA)

Claims on tripadvisor.co.uk, a website providing holiday and travel consumer reviews, stated „… read reviews from real travellers … TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel site, enabling travellers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travellers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features … TripAdvisor.com features: More than 50 million honest travel reviews and opinions from real travellers around the world”. Review pages on the website featured the TripAdvisor logo next to the claim „Reviews you can trust” above a chart that gave details of the rating summary and percentage recommendation of the relevant location – see more: „Reviews you can trust” – UK Advertising Standards Authority finds TripAdvisor ads misleading.

IFTTA: new reference for ECJ preliminary ruling regarding Reg. 261/2004 (Germany)

On Nov. 25, 2011, the German Amtsgericht Düsseldorf has filed a motion for preliminary ruling to the ECJ regarding the follwoing issue:

  • Is a passenger entitled to compensation under Article 7 of Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 if the departure time of a flight has been delayed for a period of time falling within the limits defined in Article 6(1) of the regulation, but the flight arrives at the final destination at least three hours after the scheduled time of arrival?

Case C-594/11, Becker v. Air France

A similar reference had been filde by the German Supreme Court (BGH) on Dec. 9, 2010.)

Source: IFTTA (by: Michael Wukoschitz).

US issues warning on travel to Mexico

Violence linked to drug cartels and organized crime prompted the U.S. State Department to issue a new travel warning for U.S. citizens in Mexico. The number of U.S. citizens reported murdered in Mexico rose from 35 in 2007 to 120 in 2011, officials said – see more: US issues warning on travel to Mexico and Travel Warning U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE Bureau of Consular Affairs.

‚Fat tax’ on obese airline passengers could follow court victory for travel giants, claims leading barrister

A ‚fat tax’ on obese airline passengers could be a step closer after a Court of Appeal ruling that fliers cannot sue for embarrassment caused when on board a plane. Read more: dailymail.


European Economic and Social Committee publishes opinion on the ‘functioning and application of air passenger rights’ (IFTTA)

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) considers that there is a need to undertake a legislative reform of Regulation No 261/2004 in order to consolidate all air passenger rights into a single text. This reform should firstly, incorporate the body of case-law laid down by the Court of Justice of the European Union and secondly, attempt to define and identify the practical scope of what is understood by the term ‘extraordinary circumstance’, determine the precise extent of the right to assistance, and address all other others aspects mentioned in the present opinion in order to guarantee a high level of protection for passengers.

Read full text of opinion here>>.

Source: IFTTA, by: Michael Wukoschitz

Costa’s ’30 per cent off’ compo offer leaves survivors stunned („SMH”)

The owners of the Costa Concordia have come under fire for offering survivors of the disaster a 30 per cent discount off future cruises as they battle to stave off law suits expected to cost hundreds of millions of pounds. One British survivor of the disaster, which claimed 12 lives with 20 people still missing, branded the offer as „insulting” yesterday – see more Costa’s ’30 per cent off’ compo offer leaves survivors stunned.

IFTTA: tour organiser not liable for costs of extended stay caused by flight cancellation due to the ash cloud crisis (Austria)

The plaintiff had booked a holiday package and spent her vacations in Gran Canaria in April 2010. Her return flight scheduled for April 17, 2010 had been cancelled because of the air space closures caused by the ‚ash cloud’. Thus she had to stay in Gran Canaria until April 23, 2010 and bear the extra costs of this extend stay (mainly: hotel and telephone costs). Back home she sued the tour organiser for compensation. The appelate court (LG Innsbruck), however, dismissed the claim against the tour organiser. Other than the first instance court, the appelate court followed the arguments of the tour organizer and held that pursuant to Reg. 261/2004/EC it had been the operating carrier’s responsibility to provide free hotel accomodation and telephone calls. Any action for compensation with regard to a failure to comply with these obligations could therefore only be brought against the operating carrier while the tour organiser had had no obligation to provide these services and had not been at fault with regard to the cancellation.

Case: LG Innsbruck 6.12.2011, 1 R 158/11h

Source: IFTTA, by Michael Wukoschitz