The decision concerns the notion of organizer and its relationship with the retailers.
The Tribunale di Firenze clarified that the organizer is the person who organizes packages and sells or offers them for sale, whether directly or through a travel agent (see the article 2, 2 paragraph of the Directive 90/314/EEC).
Thus, the travel agent is person who sells or offers for sale the package put together by the organizer and the relationship between them is based on the rules of agency (accordingly the article 2, paragraph 3 of the Directive 90/314/EEC).
In consideration of the above, the organizer is liable to the consumer for the proper performance of the obligations arising from the contract sold through the travel agent. All the contractual terms should be set out in writing or such other form as is comprehensible and accessible to the consumer and must be communicated to him before the conclusion of the contract. The consumer should get a copy of these terms.
The Tribunale di Monza interpreted the Legislative Decree 17 March 1995, n. 111 that has implemented in the Italian legal system the Council Directive of 13 June 1990 on package travel, package holidays and package tours. In particular, the article 5(1) of the Directive provides: “Member States shall take the necessary steps to ensure that the organizer and/or retailer party to the contract is liable to the consumer for the proper performance of the obligations arising from the contract, irrespective of whether such obligations are to be performed by that organizer and/or retailer or by other suppliers of services without prejudice to the right of the organizer and/or retailer to pursue those other suppliers of services”.
The judge clarified that the travel agent has a duty to inform the consumers about any variation of the package holidays.
In particularly, Tribunale di Monza stated that the travel agent has an obligation to the consumers about any modification of the flight schedule.