Corona goodwill by tour operators involves risks
Tour operators currently lure holidaymakers with particularly accommodating cancellation and rebooking conditions. During the booking process, however, customers should check carefully to what extent the offer applies to their trip. One risk remains.
Status: 07:27 a.m. | Reading time: 2 minutes
VMany tour operators are currently advertising with particularly accommodating cancellation and rebooking conditions. Holidaymakers can sometimes cancel booked package tours free of charge up to two weeks before departure or postpone the trip.
In view of the imponderables caused by the corona pandemic, the accommodating regulations are intended to offer consumers more security and flexibility – and to bring urgently needed bookings to providers. That would kill two birds with one stone. The hope of economic recovery among the organizers and a carefree break from everyday corona for their customers would come together.
Travelers should still take a close look at the sometimes tempting offers. The Brandenburg consumer center names the two most important aspects that should be taken into account.
Offers for package tours with flights, not for cruises
Offers are often limited to classic package tours. The accommodating rebooking and cancellation conditions therefore often do not apply to the entire offer of an organizer, but only to flat-rate flights. For example, cruises as one of the most popular forms of travel do not usually apply, explains Robert Bartel, lawyer at the consumer association.
During the booking process, vacationers should therefore check carefully whether the regulations also apply to their trip. If you find corresponding conditions during the booking process on your home computer or smartphone, it is advisable to take a screenshot of these rules. So you have a receipt to hand later in the event of a dispute.
Tour operators often wait with repayment
The second aspect that consumers should keep in mind is repayment. If you book, you usually have to pay a deposit; the full travel price must then be transferred, for example, no later than four weeks before departure.
But even if there is a free cancellation option, it could take a while to get your money back, says Bartel. “Despite the promises and supposed guarantees, you have no guarantee that the organizer will pay you back your money quickly.”
The consumer association reminds you: Thousands of travelers had this right in the past year after the organizers had to cancel trips. Some people are still waiting for their money or have had to sue for it first.