The court ruled that according to article 4, 7. Directive 90/314 (implemented in Belgian law through article 15 of the Act of 16 February 1994) the plaintiff was indeed obliged to provide suitable alternatives or to compensate the consumer (where such alternatives are impossible or not acceptable to the consumer for good reasons).
The fact that the plaintiff did not have a representative in Iceland was discarded as an invalid reason.
Also, the fact that the problems occurred during the travel back to the country of departure, and not at the destination of the journey (i.e. India), is not deemed relevant. A flight back to the country of departure is considered part of the travel.
The court further ruled that the force majeure event, caused by the volcano eruption, does not relieve the plaintiff from the aforementioned obligation. This is nowhere provided in the relevant legal provision, as a result of which the travel organizer's obligations continue to apply without limitation in case of such an event.
Integrale tekst: Integrale tekst