Cancellation fees: Travel insurance only paid after AK intervention

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Planned dream trip for couple after separation fell through. The tour operator charged cancellation fees of 5.800 euros. AK consumer advocates intervened.

“A couple had booked their dream trip months before, and as a result the relationship deteriorated and they separated,” remembers Stefan Pachler, consumer advocate at the Carinthian Chamber of Labor. “The two of them no longer wanted to travel together.” When they canceled the booking, the tour operator insisted on a cancellation fee of 11.000 euros based on the total travel price of 5.800 euros. The Carinthian Chamber of Labor initially intervened with the organizer, who, however, was not accommodating. Pachler then contacted the insurance company where the couple had taken out travel cancellation insurance when booking. After repeated intervention by the AK, the insurance agreed to cover the cancellation costs in full. “The decisive factor for this was the fact that the two of them were already living apart from each other at the time of the cancellation,” explains the AK consumer advocate and explains: “That’s exactly where we started with our legal argument and were right.”

“If you book a trip, you should take out travel cancellation insurance immediately when booking,” advises Pachler. “If you cannot start the trip for valid reasons covered by the contract, the insurance will cover any cancellation fees that may arise.” According to Pachler, the amount depends, among other things, on the time of cancellation and the total price of the trip. 

Logo of the Chamber of Labor (Photo: Jan Gruber).
Logo of the Chamber of Labor (Photo: Jan Gruber).