Friday, October 30, 2009

International Tourism Law Seminar @ Beja (Portugal)

Next Friday, November 6th, the Polytechnic of Beja, in Portugal, will hold an International Seminar on Tourism Law.

Organized with the support of the University of the Balearic Island, in Spain, the event will be focused on the regulation of hospitality, in Portugal and Spain.

The event counts with presentations by some of the most known lecturers of Portugal and Spain, namely Professors:
José Ángel Torres Lana, María Nélida Tur Faúndez, Antonia Paniza Fullana and María Belén Ferrer Tapia, from the University of the Balearic Islands, Spain;
Verónica San Julián, from the University of Navarre, Spain;
Virgílio Machado, João Almeida Vidal and Afonso Ribeiro Café, from the University of the Algarve, Spain;
Manuel David Masseno, from the Polytechnic of Beja.

SIDETUR - the IberoAmerican Society for Tourism Law is supporting this Seminar.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

USA: Lawsuit against pilots dismissed

Continental Airlines alleged that nine pilots obtained "sham" divorces from their spouses for the purpose of withdrawing pension funds early. However, US District Judge Gray H. Miller held that ERISA, the federal statute governing pensions, does not authorize corporate human resources departments to second-guess the validity of a lawful family court divorce judgments. The pilots have countersued for allegedly illegal invasions of privacy, including humiliating and intrusive questioning about their domestic arrangements, medical conditions, intimate relationships, and financial circumstances.

Source: eTurboNews; find article here>>.

Friday, October 16, 2009

European Union: European Consumer Consultive Group publishes opinion on Commission Proposal for a Directive on Consumer Rights

The European Consumer Consultative Group (ECCG), the Commission's main forum to consult national and European consumer organisations, on Oct. 6 published a prelimniary opinion on the Commission Proposal for a Directive on consumer rights.

Interestingly, ECCG does not believe the minimum harmonisation approach of the current directives has genuinely created barriers to cross-border trade and feels that other reasons such as differences in language, tax regimes, the lack of redress systems are much more relevant in this context.

The ECCG regrets that the proposal:
  • does not provide for a high level of consumer protection, but rather requires Member States to reduce well-established consumer protection levels, including in some cases, to levels below those provided in the current directives. In addition, ECCG is concerned that Member States will be prevented from increasing these levels in future;
  • includes only a few laudable improvements such as a common 14 days cooling-off period and the regime for the passing of risks;
  • fails to introduce the promised clarifications and coherence of the consumer acquis, not least because it is limited to just four directives only;
  • is unclear on a series of key issues such as the relationship with national
  • general contract law and other relevant EU legislation;
  • fails to respond adequately to the challenges of modern markets and new technologies and in fact may prevent national developments to address these concerns – especially those related to digital content.
Full text of ECCG opinion available for download in pdf here>>.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Japan: arline asks passengers to use toilet before boarding

From Oct. 1st All Nippon Airways has started to ask passengers to use the toilet before boarding, to reduce carbon emissions. If only half of the passenger followed the advice, the airline hopes that the weight saved will lead to a five-tonne reduction in carbon emissions over a month.

Source:; find article here>>.

USA: passenger rights group sues Delta for alledged email hacking sued Delta and an FAA contractor on Tuesday, alleging that the companies conspired to derail the group’s efforts to persuade Congress to enact a passenger rights bill that would limit tarmac delays to three hours.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Houston, alleges that Delta and the contractor, Metron Aviation of Dulles, Va., used "hacked" emails in an attempt to discredit the group and to fire a Metron employee who had been passingFAA data on delays to

Source: Travel Weekly; find article here>>.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Austria: misrepresentation by agent attributable to timesharing contractor

Plaintiff had entered into a timesharing contract through an agent whom he (also) had assigned himself. The agent had falsely stated plaintiff's usage rights would be safeguarded by registration in the land register. Trusting the agent, plaintiff didn't read the contract carefully. As there was no registration of his rights he contested the validity of the contract based on deception. Austrian Supreme Court in decision 6 Ob 109/09m of July 2, 2009 confirmed judgements of the lower instances attributing the misrepresentation by the agent to the timeshare contractor.

Supreme Court decision available for download in German here>>.

Monday, October 12, 2009

USA: DOT warns airlines to follow lost luggage-rules

In a newly issued notice, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) reminded airlines that they may not arbitrarily limit compensation for passengers who purchase necessities because their baggage is lost or delayed. A number of carriers have policies stating that they will reimburse passengers only for buying necessities purchased more than 24 hours after arrival and limiting such reimbursements to the outbound legs of trips. This is in violation of DOT regulations which require that airlines cover all expenses caused by lost or delayed baggage up to $3,300 per passenger on domestic flights.

Source: DOT Office of Public affairs; read message here>>; DOT Guidelines on Reimbursement of Passenger Expenses incurred as a result of lost, damaged or delayed baggage available for download in pdf here>>.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Bust airlines

MEPs back compensation for grounded passengers:

If your airline goes bankrupt and leaves you stranded what are your legal rights? Members of the Parliament's Transport Committee want grounded passengers to have access to a special compensation fund. In the last decade almost 100 airlines across the European Union have gone bankrupt - leaving thousands of holiday makers and business flyers out of pocket and stuck at a foreign airport.

Sabena, Sky Europe and Olympic Airlines are just three of the large carriers that have gone bankrupt due to a combination of high fuel costs, competition and new security measures after 9/11.

Transport Chair Brian Simpson speaks of "clear loophole"

On 7 October during the plenary session in Brussels, the Chair of the all-party Transport Committee, Brian Simpson (Labour, North West of England), formally asked the European Commissioner for Transport Antonio Tajani to set up "a reserve compensation fund" and consider updating passengers' rights legislation.

He told fellow MEPs that "here we have a clear loophole and it would be preferable for all if we could work together and fill it in".

He added: "We have also floated the idea of establishing a reserve compensation fund, but this must not be seen as a demand. We merely wish to open up the debate as to what mechanism will help us best solve this problem."

Transport Commissioner Tajani backs compensation

Commissioner Tajani told Members that "passengers should indeed receive compensation. We are working on specific measures to find the best solution. One solution is a compensation fund derived from airlines' contributions. Another would be changes in bankruptcy law in the member states".

There is a consensus across the Parliament's main political groups that the European Union needs to do more to help passengers stranded by bankrupt airlines. A Parliamentary resolution is due to be tabled later in the autumn.

Source: 20091002STO61739