A cockroach in the room, rotten food, a dirty pool – by how many percent can the travel price be reduced after returning from the package holiday? The “Frankfurt List” gives clues.

The Germans are known as notorious complainers. Especially when they are on vacation they criticize their accommodation, demand a better room or demand a price reduction. After their return, some people try to take legal action to reclaim part of their travel price if the holiday pleasure has been spoiled by bad food or construction site noise. But a cockroach crawling through the bathroom is not necessarily a travel problem that justifies packing your suitcase early.

Always everything in writing

In principle, the intermediary travel agency or the travel website cannot be held responsible, only the operator. Small things on site should first be settled with the hotel manager by way of goodwill. If the accommodation does not correspond to the description in the travel brochure, for example if there are no advertised sports facilities, a complaint must be made immediately according to travel law.

For a package tour, the local tour guide would be the point of contact. He must first be given the opportunity to remedy the situation. This is the only way for the customer to secure the right to a reduction in the price of the trip, even to termination or compensation.

German jurisprudence even requires that vacationers document their complained about defects with photos and written statements from fellow travelers. Therefore you should have the receipt of the complaint letter confirmed by the tour guide.

Frankfurt table

If his efforts were unsuccessful, the traveler has four weeks after his return to register claims for recourse – by registered mail with acknowledgment of receipt. Since the trip was paid for in advance, the lawyers usually argue about the amount of the repayment.

In legal practice, the “Frankfurt table” has proven itself as a guideline: Missing or dirty swimming pool with acceptance: 10-20 percent; monotonous menu: 5 percent; Noise during the day: 5-25 percent.

Emily Wong

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