19.01.2022 – 20:00
The “Mein Schiff 1” belonging to TUI Cruises (Hamburg) left Bremerhaven on Wednesday evening for the Caribbean, leaving several hundred customers behind. A spokeswoman confirmed to the WESTFALEN-BLATT that some of the passengers had been informed on Monday that they could not travel. “To protect guests and crew, we will reintroduce stricter occupancy limits on longer trips,” says Friederike Grönemeyer from TUI Cruises. “We know this is a huge disappointment for guests who have been looking forward to their time on board.”
The “Mein Schiff 1” had just returned from the Caribbean – a day earlier than planned, with allegedly 121 corona-infected passengers on board. These infections have prompted the company to increase the protective measures on board again. According to TUI information, the ship, which is approved for 2894 passengers, has only been used to about 80 percent because of Corona, so it was decided at short notice that the cabins should only be occupied by about 60 percent. That is why TUI Cruises only embarked 1650 passengers on Wednesday afternoon. How many customers were not allowed to go – the shipping company does not give any information, they speak of a “small part”. According to passengers, there should be about 600. One of those affected told the WESTFALEN-BLATT that he had booked last minute in December – at a bargain price. “I paid 6,800 euros for a double cabin. Normally it would have been over 10,000 euros.” On Monday he received the cancellation. In the letter, TUI explains that the selection of passengers was based on the booking date. “We are sorry and we can only ask for your understanding of this very short-term decision.”
TUI offered to refund the travel price and to give a ten percent discount on the next trip if booked by the end of the year. The ejected passenger: “I received the statement on Tuesday. However, TUI did not refund my 6,800 euros, but deducted 469 euros. That’s how much I paid for the package consisting of travel cancellation and health insurance.” Other affected passengers also had other costs: According to a chat group, some had booked a hotel in Bremerhaven for the night before embarkation, others a train ride to Bremerhaven.
Kathrin Jarosch, spokeswoman for the General Association of the German Insurance Industry in Berlin: “These holidaymakers should not hope for their travel cancellation insurance. It only occurs if the reason for the cancellation or the trip interruption lies with the holidaymaker.”
Lawyer and notary Matthias Schneider from Herford therefore sees the tour operator TUI as being liable for all damage caused to those who stayed at home. “Just think of someone who took five weeks vacation and now has to stay at home.” A reasonable replacement for lost holiday joy is conceivable here. “Paragraph 651n of the German Civil Code denies liability only in the case of unavoidable and unusual circumstances. In my opinion, these are not the case here, because the organizer has known about the pandemic for a long time and was not forced by state regulations to reduce the number of passengers.”
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Original content from: Westfalen-Blatt, transmitted by news aktuell