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Munich District Court: Agent not responsible for ferry schedule change

A Munich-based Tunisian booked a ferry from Genova to Tunis at his local automobile club outlet. When he arrived in Genova he was told the ship had set sail 8 hours earlier and was offered to wait another day for the next sailing. However, since the man needed to attend a family reunion in Tunisia he chose to return to Munich by car and fly to Tunis. 

He sued the travel agent not only for the ferry ticket but also for the driving expenses (petrol, motorway tolls, etc.) on the count that not only did he book a ferry crossing but also the on-board accommodation along with it – and considered this a packaged product.

Ferry + on-board accommodation is not a packaged tour

Ferry + on-board accommodation is not a packaged tour

 

The Munich District Court ruled that ferry + on-board accommodation + food / entertainment is not a package tour and that a travel agent cannot be held liable. Also the travel agency cannot be held liable for the ferry company deciding to depart early. Travellers are required to check actual sailing times a couple of days prior to departure. Only if the ferry operator had tasked the travel agent to contact the traveller about the change of departure time the agent would have been obliged to do so.