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Beim Urlaub auf Nummer sicher gehen, Bild: DisobeyArt / shutterstock

Dream vacation instead of nightmare: Vacationers’ rights

Thanks to low-cost airlines, travel deals and last-minute bargains, tourism is booming like rarely before and travel (especially at low prices) is absolutely in vogue. With one click to holiday happiness – on numerous travel portals on the Internet, the next dream holiday is within reach. However, with the many offers and providers, holidaymakers are increasingly confronted with dubious tour operators or considerable travel defects. To ensure that the dream holiday does not turn into a nightmare in the end and does not lead to a legal dispute, holidaymakers should know and use their rights.

Keep your eyes open when buying a trip: seriousness and price check of the provider

Booking a vacation has never been so easy: In the fast-paced age of the Internet, we can book our next trip from the comfort of our couch in sweatpants – no matter what day of the week, no matter what time of day. In addition to the major tour operators, there are also many unknown holiday portals that entice you with daily bargains. So why pay more elsewhere when you can get the same trip at a much lower price? Because: Thanks to meaningful offer descriptions and hotel pictures, nothing can go wrong? Oh yes, a lot!

The boom of online holiday portals is repeatedly exploited by black sheep, of which there are enough on the Internet. Travel prices that are too high, overbooked flights or travel defects in the hotel are not uncommon. In the worst case, the trip is paid for and the provider and the money are long gone, before the holiday has begun. Therefore, if you book a trip online, you should not only be dazzled by cheap offers and beautiful hotel pictures. A look at the tour operator and customer reviews is helpful so that the next beach holiday does not fall through.

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Bankruptcies, bad luck and breakdowns: Money back in the event of insolvency of the tour operator

The vacation is booked, the anticipation is great and suddenly the tour operator is bankrupt! The good news in advance: When booking a package tour , the organiser is obliged and pays for the compensation. However, the recent case of the travel giant Thomas Cook shows that the sum insured is not necessarily sufficient and holidaymakers only receive part or no refund. However, this case is rather rare, so package tours are generally well insured – as long as the insurance certificate was handed over when booking the trip.

If the airline files for bankruptcy, the tour operator usually has to rebook its customers on another airline, without charging additional costs. The insurance certificate of the package tour is not only valid for the accommodation, but also for the flight. In the event of the airline’s insolvency, however, the travel contract can also be terminated – but in this case, the payment made will be refunded. If the flight was booked directly through the airline, compensation is more difficult and it is important to know your passenger rights.

Complaining about travel defects: Compensation for inadequate performance

A hotel in a beach location or a room with a sea view is what many holidaymakers want. But be careful: The description in travel offers leaves a lot of room for interpretation – often more than holidaymakers would like. The room with sea view does not mean an unobstructed view of the wide sea, just as a beach location is not an accommodation directly on the sea. However, there is no talk of travel defects here. And what about noise pollution from cars on the street in front of the hotel? This also usually falls under “reasonable inconvenience”.

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The situation is different, for example, with cockroaches in the hotel room: For defects that negatively affect the price-performance ratio, travel price reductions or contract terminations by the traveler are possible. If you want to claim your rights on holiday, you should first contact the tour operator. A detailed list and photos of the defects are helpful. As a rule, reputable travel providers try to satisfy their customers with compensation or rebookings. A dispute in court is rarely worthwhile and is usually a disappointment for the holidaymaker.

Conclusion: Stress-free travel thanks to holidaymakers’ rights

Sometimes less means significantly more stress: If you book your trip with unknown or dubious operators, you shouldn’t be surprised if your beach holiday falls through. Travel deficiencies and a lack of services quickly turn the supposed dream vacation into a nightmare. And: The higher the travel price, the lower the tolerance limit, of course. Therefore, holidaymakers should know and claim their rights as a customer – regardless of whether it is a travel bargain or a luxury holiday.