Case law

  • Case Details
    • National ID: 356/2003
    • Member State: Spain
    • Common Name:José Pedro and Celestina v “Halcón Viajes S. A.”
    • Decision type: Other
    • Decision date: 09/09/2003
    • Court: Audiencia Provincial (Appellate court, Murcia)
    • Subject:
    • Plaintiff:
    • Defendant:
    • Keywords:
  • Directive Articles
    Package Travel Directive, Article 1 Package Travel Directive, Article 2, 1. Package Travel Directive, Article 5, 1. Package Travel Directive, Article 5, 2.
  • Headnote
    1. Concept of package travel: the issue of a flight ticket by a travel agency is an isolated service that cannot be considered as a package travel and, therefore is not subjected to the special law that regulates this type of travels.
    2. The travel agency is directly liable and not a simple mediator in connection to the consumer. The organizer as well as the retailer have joint and several liability towards the consumer on the results of the service provided through a third party, since they benefit from the amount paid, without prejudice of the actions of reimbursement between the ones liable.
  • Facts
    A travel agency issued two flight tickets to Havanna (Cuba). The departure date was closed and fixed in the tickets, whereas the return one was open and was closed by the appellants in the premises of a wholesaler in Madrid airport. The booking proved to be inefficient and the consumers claim the compensation from the travel agency.
  • Legal issue
    According to court, it is not possible to apply the 1995 Law on package travels to the issue of two plane tickets, which has to be considered as an isolated service since it does not have the characteristics of a package travel, which according to the Law and the Directive should integrate several elements. The issue of the plane ticket is not linked to booking accommodation or to any additional tourist service not accessory to the transport. It is not possible to include airport taxes and the visa to entry the country as an independent tourist service, since these activities are on the one hand accessories to the transport, and on the other they do not qualify as tourist service since they are simple taxes and international administrative requirements.

    The travel agency as well as the trip organizer are responsible towards the consumer, by virtue of the general rules of contractual liability of the civil code (art. 1101 and forward) and f the General Law for the Protection of Consumers and Users of 19th July 1984 (arts. 25 y 27), as it is established in the judgment of the Supreme Court of 23rd July 2001 . The travel agency is directly liable –as a service or product provider, and not a simple mediator- towards the consumer that the results of the agreement corresponds to the terms of the offer. Whoever draws a contract with an agency, either for transport only or for accommodation or a combination of both, has a right to expect liability from all those who benefited from the price paid, in case the agreed service falls through on grounds which cannot be attributable to it. The retailer that is commissioned as well as the wholesaler who offers the service are both liable in this case. The client and the consumer of the product, who becomes affected by the agreed service, can claim against any of them without prejudice of the actions that the liable parties had among themselves.
  • Decision

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