No free loungers, but money back: Court strengthens holidaymakers’ rights

Published On: 15.January.2024Categories: Legal2 min read
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Nora Wölflick writes about interesting, topical issues for the Love & Law Blog at Recht 24/7.

In a remarkable ruling by the district court of Hanover (judgment of 20.12.2023, ref.: 553 C 5141/23), a holidaymaker from Saxony was awarded a partial refund of his travel price. The reason: sun loungers at the pool of his hotel in Greece were constantly reserved with towels. This case could send out a signal for similar complaints in the future and shows how seriously courts take the right to relaxation.

The expensive dispute over pool loungers

The father of the family who had booked the trip to Rhodes felt that his vacation experience had been compromised. The package holiday cost 5,260 euros, but he and his family were barely able to use the pool area due to the constant reservation of sun loungers with towels. After repeatedly intervening with the hotel management without anything changing, he felt compelled to take legal action.

Court: Tour operators must ensure fair use of sun loungers

The Hanover District Court ruled that a package holiday can be defective if the tour operator does not ensure an appropriate ratio of sunbeds to guests or does not take action against constant reservations. The judges recognized that the holidaymaker was entitled to use the pool loungers and awarded him a reduction in the price of the vacation.

What does the ruling mean for holidaymakers?

This ruling could have far-reaching consequences for the travel industry. It strengthens the position of holidaymakers who feel that their recreational value has been impaired by the behavior of other guests. It also shows that courts are prepared to intervene in such cases and protect the rights of travelers. Tour operators and hoteliers may now be forced to enforce their house rules more strictly in order to avoid similar lawsuits.

Conclusion: A victory for fair vacation enjoyment

The family from Bischofswerda in Saxony was awarded a refund of 322.77 euros by the court, as a spokesperson for the court announced on Thursday. They had paid a total of 5,260 euros for their package holiday to Rhodes.

The ruling of the Hanover District Court sends a clear message: the recreational value of a trip must not be diminished by negligent handling of hotel rules. This case shows that holidaymakers are not helpless if their justified expectations of a package holiday are not met. It is an important step towards more fairness and justice on vacation.

Do you have legal questions about package holidays and possible refund claims based on similar experiences?

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