Adjustments to the Amendment to Consumer Protection Law BGBI. (=Federal Law Gazette) 247/93 and to the Warranty Claim BGBI 1 48/2001
Jointly discussed in the Consumer Advisory Board of the Federal Ministries of Health, Sport and Consumer Protection in accordance with sec. 73 para. 1 GewO (=Trade, Commerce and Industry Regulation Act) 1994 and sec. 8 of the regulation of the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, as amended in 1994, on regulations for the travel agency business. The entire text canbe obtained at any travel agency or requested by the organizer. The travel agency can act as an agent (broker) and/or as an organizer. The agent assumes the obligation to take care of the provision of other persons’ claims for services. The organizer is the company which offers either several tourist services at an all-inclusive price (package tour/travel organization) or promises to render single tourist services as services on own account and generally provides separate literature, announcements, advertisements, etc. for this purpose. Acompany which acts as a tour operator can also act as an agent if external services are concerned and arranged (e.g. optional excursions on site at the vacation resort), provided that it indicates its function as an agent. The following conditions constitute the wording of a contract, according to which travel agencies acting as an agent or as an organizer usually conclude agreements with their customers/tourists (Note: in terms of the Austrian Consumer Protection Law, KSchG). The special conditions of the brokered tour operators, transport enterprises (e.g. train, ship), as well as of other brokered service providers shall prevail.
A) Travel Agency as an Organizer:
The following terms and conditions constitute the basis of the contract, which the booking party either directly concludes with an organizer or which is concluded via an agent. In case of a direct conclusion the organizer has the corresponding obligations and responsibilities of an agent. The organizer generally accepts these present GENERAL TRAVEL CONDITIONS; divergences/variations are pointed out in the advertising material according to sec. 8 of the following exercise regulations.
1. Booking/Conclusion of the Contract
Reservations must be made in writing or via e-mail and become binding upon delivery of the booking confirmation. A deposit (partial payment) of 10 % of the arrangement price has to be made in connection with the booking. The final payment must be made earliest 20 days before starting the journey against getting the travel documents. Please consider the transferperiod of up to 5 days! Should payment not have been made at the latest 7 days prior to departure, a fee of EUR 5,- will be charged for additional expenditures. Since the traveldocuments are dispatched by post, Donau Touristik GmbH cannot assume any liability in this case that the travel documents reach the customer on time.
A change/substitution of the travel participant is possible if the replacement person fulfils all and any conditions of participation, and if this takes place at the latest 14 days prior to departure. The assignor and the assignee are also jointly and exclusively liable for the incurred additional costs resulting from the substitution. In case of changes concerning the participant, boarding, lodging, transportation, or the itinerary, a rebooking fee of EUR 25,- will be charged. If train tickets have already been delivered, 35 % of the contract value will becharged in case of any changes!
3. Subject Matter of the Contract, Information, and other Incidental Services:
The customer is responsible for his/her compliance with all applicable passport, visa, customs, foreign currency, airport and health regulations and for the completeness of his/her traveldocuments at his/her own risk. Participation in the journey occurs at one’s own risk. Every participant is responsible for observing the road traffic regulations or that he/she can cope with the physical requirements of the journey. The participation of minors is only possible in attendance of a legal guardian/parent. Beyond the information duties of agents, the organizer also has to sufficiently present the services offered by him/her. The service descriptions contained in the catalogue or prospectus, which is applicable at the time of booking as well as the other information contained in it, are a subject of the travel contract, unless otherwise agreed in the course of booking. The stated stage places are the most and primarily visited stage goals or milestones.
4. Travelling with Special Risks:
In cases of journeys with special risks (e.g. expedition/adventure holidays) the organizer is not liable for the consequences which arise in the course of the occurrence of the risks, if those occur beyond his/her sphere of obligations.
5. Legal Basis in Case of Defaults:
In case of non or deficiently rendered/performed services the customer has a warranty claim. The customer agrees with the fact that the organizer will perform services which are proper and free of deficiencies within an appropriate period of time and that he/she will improve any deficient services, instead of granting the customer’s claim to terminate the contract orreduce of price. Remedy can occur in a way that the deficiency is corrected or an equal or higher-valued replacement service, which is also expressly approved by the customer, is rendered.
5.2. Compensation for Damages
If the organizer or his/her assistants intentionally or negligently breach any of the organizer’s obligations under the contractual relationship, the organizer is obliged to indemnify the customer for and against any loss/damages resulting from it. As far as the tour operator is responsible and liable for persons other than his/her employees, he/she is liable - except incases of personal injury - only if he/she does not prove that these persons have neither acted intentionally nor negligently. The organizer is not liable for objects in transported luggage which are usually not transported in luggage. Exception: The customer has PREVIOUSLY informed the organizer in writing. Therefore, objects other than those of everyday use can only and solely be transported upon previous information and then only SEPARATELY. Damages to luggage handles generally can NOT be covered because our employees must touch those respectively.
5.3. Notification of Deficiencies
The customer has to immediately notify the organizer himself/herself or a representative of the organizer of any default in the fulfillment/performance of the contract, which is noticed by the customer during the journey. This implies, however, that he/she has been notified of such a default and that he/she is reachable on the spot (in situ) without any mentionable endeavor. Failure in notification does not affect the warranty claims of the customer described under 5.1. However, it can be imputed as a contributory negligence and may in this respect reduce his/her possible claims for damages. The organizer must have advised the customer, however, in writing either directly or through the agent of this notification obligation. In addition, the customer must have been advised at the same time of the fact that an omission/failure regarding this notification does not affect his warranty claims, however, it can be charged as a contributory negligence. If necessary, it is advisable to inform the organizer directly of any deficiencies in the absence of a local representative and to request remedy (0043 664 326 1577)
5.4. Liability-Specific Special Laws
The organizer is liable for flights/air travel, amongst others, according to the War saw Convention and its supplementary agreement, and for rail and bus travel according to the Federal Railway and Car Liability Law. In case of cruises/ship travel Donau Touristik is liable inaccordance with the Austrian Inland Water Transportation Law.
5.5. Luggage/Luggage Transport
In the course of everyday transport, luggage experiences a normal wear and tear. It is recommended to use very robust luggage pieces. Only 1 luggage piece can be transported per person. For cosmetic damages and damages to the handles or straps which may originate from the usual wear and tear, no liability can be assumed. We are liable for damages or the loss of luggage only up to max. EUR 700,- per person and only when these damages occur during transport by our agents, representatives, or assistants and are immediately brought to the attention of said agents. The transport of customer bicycles is only possible at customer’s own risk, because the available transport trailers have fixed settings for the organizer’s bikes and the fixation of third party bikes is only partially possible. Therefore, we are not liable for damages resulting during bicycle transport, so we offer transport liability insurance for purchase at a cost of EUR 65,- and EUR 85,-. Due to customs provisions, luggagepieces must not be locked at international borders (customs controls) and cash, documents and valuables cannot be held in your luggage but must be kept by the customer personally (also see 5.2.). Taking out a baggage insurance (contract) is definitely recommended.
5.6. Disclaimer of warranty for customer’s own bikes
For customer’s own bikes any liability of Donau Touristik is excluded, because there can’t be guaranteed that the fixing or our transport vehicle fit with your bikes. If Donau Touristik transports customer’s own bikes, any resulting compensation claims due to damage, loss or theft are excluded, unless Donau Touristik acts with intent or gross negligence. An insurance for customer’s own bikes is recommended. Possible costs for the charging of electric bikes are not included and payable locally.
5.7 Disclaimer of warranty for private parking – organizer Donau Touristik
For private parking places, that are operated by Donau Touristik itself (for example Passau), the use is at your own risk. Donau Touristik is not responsible for damages caused by a third party. The road traffic regulations of the specific country are applying! (e.g.: Parking lot in Passau: The road traffic regulations of Germany are applying.)
5.8. Disclaimer of warranty for bike trails
The conditions of the bike trails are always changing. Therefore permanent controls of the bike trails are not possible for the organizer. So the organizer is unable to provide the latest information of the exact condition of the bike trails. Thus the organizer is not liable for incidents that are caused due to defective conditions of the bike trail.
5.9. Special Case of river cruises
On the one hand a river boat is a “holiday hotel”, on the other hand it is an implement as well. It is moved by motor force and has to be operated (also at night) constantly. This condition appears on all cruises along the Danube and cannot be avoided. Please consider that river boats are restricted by their size and are not comparable with sea going vessels. (The cabins are smaller but are comfortable as well.) If freshet or low water appears, the shipping company will reserve the right to take partial sections by bus or to cancel the cruise last-minute. The changes respectively the cancelation of the cruise do not result in legal entitlement for customers (the waterlevel is an act of nature). The same applies to locks and bridges under repair, that is arranged by authority and/respectively was not communicated before hand, as well as engine damage of no fault of one’s own.
6. Assertion of Possible Claims
In order to facilitate the assertion of claims, the customer is recommended to demand a written confirmation of the non-performance or deficient performance of services and/or top reserve supporting documents, evidence and witnesses. Warranty claims can only be asserted within 3 years. Claims for damages become time-barred after 3 years. In the interests of the traveler it is advisable to assert claims immediately upon return of the journey (at the latest 4 weeks after the contractually provided termination) directly against the organizer or the respective (brokering) travel agency.
7.1. Withdrawal from the Contract by the Customer (Contract Cancellation):
If material integral parts of the contract are amended by the organizer, the customer can withdraw from the contract without any costs (free of charge). The organizer is obliged to immediately inform the customer of the contract amendment directly or through the agent, and additionally advise the customer of the existing option to either withdraw from the contract or to accept the amendment. The customer has to exercise his option immediately. In cases of cancellations of booked journeys for other reasons it is advisable to effect this in writing by registered mail. Upon a cancellation the following cancellation fees have to be paid: up to 30 days prior to departure a processing fee of 10 %; between the 29th and 20th day prior to departure 15 %; between the 19th and 10th day prior to departure 20%; between the 9th and 4th day prior to departure 30 %; from the 3rd day before departure or later 45 % of the travel price. “No-show“ means that the customer fails to appear because of his/her lack of travel intention or if he/she misses the departure date by chance. In this case, also 45 % of the cancellation fee must be paid. Services which are not used (e.g. by breaking off ajourney) are not refunded. We have special cancellation rates for all our bike and boat offers: Up to 60 days prior to departure a processing fee of 15 % between the 59th and 30th day prior to departure a processing fee of 50 % between the 29th and 15th day prior to departure a processing fee of 80 % from the 14th day prior to departure a processing fee of 100 % of the travel price.
7.2. Cancellation by the Organizer prior to Departure:
The organizer reserves to right to cancel a journey if the minimum attendance is not met (up to 21 days prior to departure) or due to catastrophic events (strike, war or war like events, epidemics, natural disasters, etc.); that is to say on account of unusual and unpredictable events or catastrophes on which the person has no influence and the consequences of which could not have been prevented or avoided in spite of the exercise of reasonable care. Effected payments are refunded. Further claims do not exist.
7.3. Cancellation by the Organizer after Departure:
The organizer is relieved of the contract fulfillment if, in case of a group tour, the customer disturbs the journey by grossly negligent behavior, regardless of a warning, with lasting effect. In this case the customer, provided that he/she acts intentionally or negligently, is obliged to indemnify the organizer.
8. Amendment of the Contract:
In case of any changes for which the organizer is responsible, the provisions of section 5 shall apply. If it turns out upon departure that a considerable part of the contractually agreed services are not performed or cannot be performed, the organizer has to make appropriate arrangements without additional costs so that the journey can be continued. If such arrangements cannot be made, the organizer is responsible for transporting the customer back to the departure location or to another location agreed upon by the customer without additional costs. Service changes and/or changes to the course of the planned program and replacement services can be rejected by the customer only and solely for major, clearly identifiable reasons. Additionally, the organizer is responsible for helping the customer to the utmost of their abilities in cases of non-performance or deficient performance of services.
9. Organizer/Securing of Customer Monies:
According to the EU Package Tours Directive of June 13, 1990 (90/314/EEC, Article 2 (1)) - inthe Austrian Law according to the Travel Agency Security Regulation (RSV) BGBI (Federal LawGazette) II No. 316/1999, Donau Touristik GmbH, Lederergasse 4-12, A-4010 Linz, Commercial Register at Commercial Court Linz, FN 146860x, DVR: 0876194, is registered in the directory of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs under the registration number 1998/0057. The package tours of Donau Touristik are secured by a bank guarantee at the AllgemeineSparkasse Oberösterreich (Linz) with the No. 8.434.006 for insolvency cases under followingconditions: The deposit occurs less than eleven months before the end of the trip and is 10 %of the travel price. The balance must be paid at least three weeks prior to the tour start –without delay the travel documents will be delivered to the traveler. Any additional or earlypayments or residual payments may not be required and are not hedged. The increased security (§ 4 para. 4 RSV) is warranted by the bank guarantee referred to above. In case of insolvency all claims have to be filed within 8 weeks from the occurrence ofthe insolvency, otherwise they will expire, at the liquidator , European Travel AgencyInsurance Corporation, Kratochwijestraße 4, 1120 Vienna (Telephone 0043 1 319 93 67)
B) Travel Agency as an Agent:
The following conditions are the basis of the contract (business arrangement contract), which customers conclude with the agent.
1. Reservation/conclusion of a contract
The reservation may be in writing or verbally by telephone or verbally in person. Telephonereservations should be confirmed in writing by the travel agency immediately. Travel agencies should use reservation slips which show all important details of the reservation by the customer under reference to the travel offer on which it is based (catalogue, brochure etc.). The agent should make reference to his/her own service and that of the organiser according to § 6 of the Performance Regulations for the Travel Agency Industry in the GENERAL TRAVEL CONDITIONS, and make the customer aware of any deviations from or exceptions to these travel conditions and in such a case to hand them out verifiably prior to concluding the contract.
Where services of foreign companies (service providers, travel organizers) have been arranged, foreign law may also be applicable. Any person making a reservation for themselves or for a third person is considered to be the contracting party and assumes in the absence of any other explanation the duties in the contract in relation to the travel agency (payments, cancellations, withdrawal from contract etc.). The travel agent is entitled at the time of the reservation being made to require an administrative charge and a (minimum) deposit. The balance and reimbursement of cash expenditure (telephone costs, telex costsetc.) are due at the handover of the travel documents (this does not include personaldocuments) of the respective organizer or service provider. Travel companies, who accept reservations are duty bound to provide the traveler with a confirmation of the travel contract (travel confirmation) at the time the contract is made or without delay following conclusionof the contract.
2. Information and other miscellaneous services
2.1 Information concerning passports, visas, foreign exchange, customs and health regulations
It is taken as a known requirement that a valid passport is generally required for journeys abroad. The travel agency is required to inform the customer about other relevant foreign passport, visa and health regulation entry requirements to foreign countries as well as to answer questions concerning foreign exchange and customs regulations, in as far as this information can be found out in Austria. Incidentally the customer is responsible for complying with these regulations. If possible the travel agency will obtain against payment at the most a necessary visa. If requested to do so the travel agency will, as far as possible, give information concerning special regulations for foreigners, stateless persons or persons with dual nationality.
2.2 Information about the tour management
The travel agency is duty bound to describe the service provided by the travel organiser or service provider under consideration of the particularities of each contract arranged and the conditions in each respective country or target location according to their best knowledge and ability.
3. Legal status and liability
The liability of the travel agency covers:
The travel agency is not liable for the performance of the services which her/she has securedor procured. The travel company when confirming the travel to the customer under the company name (product name), show the address of the travel organiser and if necessary of an insurer in as far as this is not to be found in the brochure, catalogue or other detailed advertising material. Should he/she not do this then he/she is liable to the customer as organiser or service provider.
4. Impairments of performance
If the travel agency breaches the duties resulting from the contractual relationship, then he/she is duty bound to compensate the customer for damages incurred, if it is not proved that he/she is guilty of neither intent nor gross negligence. In the case of breaches of contract for reasons of minor breach, the travel agency is duty bound to reimburse the customer with the sum of the damages which have arisen to anamount equivalent to the amount of commission on the procured business. More detailed elaboration can be found in the general travel conditions published by the Austrian Chamber of Commerce. The current version can be found with your booking or on the internet at www.donaureisen.com. All offers and prices are current as of the printing of this catalogue (January 2016). Organizer: Donau Touristik GmbH (Ltd), Lederergasse 4-12, A-4010Linz/Danube. Tel. (00) 43 070-2080 DVR: 0876194. Commercial Court in Linz, CommercialRegister FN 146860x.