The main topic for courts between tourists, tour operators and travel agents in the week from 15 to 19 August was again “covid” and “sanctions” tours and their cancellation, experts from the company “Lawyers for Tourist Business” Bayborodin and Partners told the correspondent of the TURPROM infogroup. According to them, among the tour operators, Anex Tour continues to be the leader in terms of the number of ships, and among the most original claims are “hard-to-close doors in the hotel” as an excuse for non-pecuniary damage for 27 thousand rubles.
Experts also told the details eight most interesting processes. Here they are:
- A tourist from Moscow in 2020 returned from Jordan earlier than expected due to the export program due to the pandemic – only 3 days earlier than the end of the tour. “The first requirement of the tourist is compensation for the early termination of the tour in the amount of 15 thousand rubles, and the second requirement is for poor-quality rest, in the amount of 27 thousand rubles. Plus 20 thousand – non-pecuniary damage,” the lawyers said, adding that a couple of days before the meeting, the tour operator – and this was Anex Tour – returned 20 thousand rubles to the tourist by reducing the cost of the tour. The most interesting were the claims. “The tourist explained about poor-quality rest: he did not like that the doors in the room of the four-star hotel were hard to close and he estimates this oversight of the hotel at 27 thousand rubles. Moreover, the tourist did not make claims about the doors either during the rest or after, deciding to speak out only in court. Anex Tour sent a response to the lawsuit, in which he said about the moratorium and the return. Rospotrebnadzor – its response to the tourist's complaint. The case has been adjourned,” the experts said.
- Canceled tour to Bali in March 2020. “139 thousand must somehow be returned from the tour operator TUI. The travel agent returned 58,950 rubles to the tourist. (refund from the tour operator and agent commission). The package tour included non-refundable Aeroflot tickets, they were canceled with the FPR – 80,050 rubles. The tourist did not agree with the amount and filed a lawsuit. The first court did not impress the tourist, let's see what the appeal will say,” the lawyers said.
- A fresh canceled tour to Turkey due to cancellation of flights due to air sanctions. “The travel agent returned the commission, the tour operator Anex Tour made a refund to the travel agent, and he was already ready to give the money to the tourist, but the tourist filed for chargeback. There is still consideration at the bank and until there is an answer, the agent cannot make a refund. In parallel, the courts have already begun. Let's see how all this confusion ends,” the experts said.
- Tourists from Tolyatti presented original claims for export. They purchased a tour to Bulgaria for the period 25.02-04.03.2022, and the return flight was canceled, since Bulgaria was one of the first to “fit in” with the Air Sanctions. “The tour operator initiated an export flight from Sofia to Moscow, which was reported to tourists on February 28, but they already, frightened, purchased a return ticket through Istanbul. On March 3, the export flight took place, the tourists were on the passenger lists, but they did not use it. We did not understand where the illegal actions of the operator were. Exactly as well as why they presented losses for payment if the departure was their independent decision. The plaintiff did not appear in court, it was postponed,” the experts said.
- “The tour operator ICS does not return money to a confirmed disabled person from childhood on a covid tour, despite the clearly defined return criteria in Government Decree No. 1073, for which he received a claim for 135,817 rubles. The Muscovite was going to Montenegro in 2020, bought a tour by early booking, but it did not take place due to the development of a pandemic in the world, it requires a refund, which has not been available for the third year already. We are waiting for the court's decision,” said Alexander Baiborodin's company.
- Another scandal with a refund due to air sanctions: a tour to Mexico from April 2 to April 13, 2022 did not take place due to sanctions, the tourist paid the travel agent 356 thousand rubles. 712,000 rubles. At the same time, both defendants had already made a refund in the amount of the cost paid for the tour before the court session. The tourist claimed to pay a penalty from the moment of filing an application for the return of funds, in the amount of the cost of the tourist product, compensation for moral damage, for the late return of funds, and a fine of 50% of the amount awarded by the court, ”said the lawyers. According to experts, the court completely refused the plaintiff who wanted to cash in. Moreover, Anex Tour did not participate in the court, did not send any documents or objections to the court. “At the moment, the positive practice of applying the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation on the introduction of a moratorium on the collection of forfeits, penalties and fines by the courts is hidden,” the experts added.
- A situation in which lawyers “faced with forged documents, and with the desire to make good money on a forfeit, moral damage and a fine, and with the final suspension of the activities of Costa Cruises in Russia. “The cassation instance and the victory is ours. We represent the interests of the tour operator, to whom the agent paid 50% of the cost and disappeared (Booking Center “Dan”). It is noteworthy that the tourist requires both money and an equivalent tourist product. The tour operator is not opposed to providing a tour, but asks to pay extra for the trip, based on the fact that the disappeared travel agent paid. The tourist strikes a pose and claims that he paid for everything to the same agent through the sub-agent. Cassation agreed with all previous judicial acts, the victory is ours,” said the lawyers.
- “We are defending a travel agent who was waiting for a tourist’s response to change the tour and received a lawsuit. A tourist from Orekhovo-Zuevo from February 28 to March 8 was supposed to rest in Cuba, at the Memories Varadero Beach Resort. The tour did not take place due to the “closed sky” over Europe, 152 thousand hung at the tour operator Sunmar. The tour operator made a refund to the agent, he sent a request to the tourist about his decision to use the funds, time passed, the travel agent did not receive an answer, but he received a subpoena. There was no malicious intent, the travel agent immediately returned the entire amount for the tour, including the commission. Now there is a struggle for the application of sanctions against the tour operator and travel agent (moral damage, forfeit, fine),” the experts said.
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