The Court of Appeal reduced the amount to be paid to 50,000 HUF.
In giving reasons for its verdict, the court stated that § 7 para 2 of Government Decree 214/1996 (XII. 23) explicitly obliges tour operators to provide a courier who speaks the local language to help the tourists who are part of a package tour. By failing to do so, the defendant had infringed the regulations governing package travel contracts. Consequently, the plaintiff had to organise the trip himself from the airport without being able to speak the local language. Even if the plaintiffs were put on stand-by due to an error made by the airline, the provisions in the aforementioned Government Decree state that the tour operator is equally liable for the actions of assistants/agents working on his behalf as he is for his own. Moreover, the court explained that compensation for non-material damages could only be granted where personal rights had been infringed. However, it was conceivable that certain actions may lead not only to breach of contract, but also to an infringement of personal rights.
The court held that the events at the airport did indeed lead to a deterioration in the plaintiff’s health (he is diabetic). While the plaintiff could not prove that he was going to suffer long-term damage to his health resulting from events at the airport, a compensation claim for non-material damages does not require evidence of long-lasting adverse effects on the claimant’s quality of life. Consequently, the impact on the plaintiff’s heath both during and after the flight did constitute grounds for making a claim for non-material damages.
However, the court reduced the amount of compensation to be paid (in so doing, it also took into account the fact that claims for non-material damages can only be made on an individual basis).