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Please read the following General Terms and Conditions of Travel of Severin Touristik GmbH carefully. These supplement the statutory provisions governing the law on travel agreements contained in §§ 651a - m of the German Civil Code and the provisions regulating the duties to provide information and certification under civil law in §§ 4 to 11 of the German Civil Code Decree on the Duty to Provide Information [BGB-InfoV] and inform you as a traveller (hereafter "Customer") of the services of Severin Touristik GmbH as a tour operator (hereafter "Severin Travel") as well as the rights and duties under this travel agreement.
1.2. Tour operators (e.g. travel agencies) and service providers (e.g. hotels, carriers) are not authorised by Severin Travel to conclude agreements with the Customer, to provide information or make assurances which change the agreed contents of the travel agreement, which go beyond the contractually assured services of Severin Travel or which contradict the travel description and the product details provided by Severin Travel.
1.3. Local and hotel brochures which are not published by Severin Travel are not binding for the purposes of the service requirements of Severin Travel unless they are made the object of the travel agreement or specified as a required duty by Severin Travel by express agreement with the Customer.
1.4. Registration for travel may be made orally, in writing, by telephone, fax or electronically (email or internet). Electronic reservations will be confirmed by Severin Travel in the first instance promptly after receipt of the reservation in electronic form. This confirmation of receipt does not yet constitute acceptance of the reservation.
1.5. The travel agreement is concluded by Severin Travel's acceptance of the reservation. It does not require any specific form. Upon conclusion of the agreement or promptly thereafter, Severin Travel will send the Customer a written travel confirmation. Severin Travel is not required to do so where the reservation is made by the Customer less than 7 working days before the start of the holiday. If the travel confirmation differs from the contents of the reservation, this will constitute a new offer by Severin Travel, by which Severin Travel will be bound for a period of ten days after receipt of the travel confirmation and which the Customer may accept within this period either expressly or through conclusive conduct (e.g. through payment of the holiday price).
1.6. Contractual acceptance of the reservation by Severin Travel is made subject to the condition precedent that the Customer approve these General Terms and Conditions of Travel made available to him by refraining from objecting to them.
1.7. The Customer shall be responsible for all contractual obligations of registered co-travellers for which he makes the reservation on the same basis as his own, provided that he has accepted this obligation by way of an express and specific declaration.
2.1. Severin Travel and a travel agency acting as intermediary may only demand or accept payments for the holiday price if the Customer has been provided with a security document. Upon conclusion of the agreement a payment must be made in return for issue of the security document. This amounts to 25% of the holiday price and is due and payable within 7 days of receipt of the travel confirmation.
2.2. Payment of the remainder will be due and payable where it is certain that the holiday will be taken according to the terms of the travel confirmation and may no longer be cancelled for the reasons specified in paragraph 7 and the travel documents are ready for the Customer. The remainder of the holiday price will nevertheless be due and payable subject to the above preconditions at the latest 4 weeks before the start of the holiday.
2.3. In the event that, due to the nature and scope of the travel services or on the basis of special price arrangements, payments are demanded by the service providers as security for the travel services, Severin Travel is entitled to require that these payments be advanced by the customer even before the remainder of the holiday price is due, by way of reimbursement of expenses in return for issue of the security document.
2.4. If the holiday lasts for less than 24 hours, involves no overnight stay and the holiday price per Customer does not exceed € 75, payments towards the holiday price may be required even without the issue of a security document.
2.5. If the Customer does not make the advance payment and/or final payment in accordance with the agreed payment deadlines, then Severin Travel will be entitled to withdraw from the travel agreement following the setting of a reasonable deadline for performance and to claim compensation in the amount of the lump-sum compensation amounts specified under paragraph 4.2, unless there was already a material defect in the holiday at this stage which would have entitled the Customer to terminate. The Customer will receive the travel documents only upon complete payment of the holiday price. Unless the holiday price is paid in full the traveller will not be entitled to claim the travel services.
3.1. Changes in material travel services compared to what was agreed in the travel agreement which become necessary after conclusion of the agreement and which are made by Severin Travel in good faith are only permitted provided that the changes are not significant and do not compromise the integrity of the holiday. This shall be without prejudice to warranty claims, if any, where the services changed are faulty.
3.2. The holiday prices specified by Severin Travel in the holiday advertisement are in principle binding on Severin Travel. However, a price adjustment prior to conclusion of the agreement is legally permissible in particular where, following publication of the holiday advertisement, a change is necessary due to an increase in transport costs, charges for particular services, such as port or airport fees, or a change in the exchange rate applicable to the holiday concerned, or where the holiday requested by the Customer and described in the holiday advertisement is only available through purchase of additional allocations after publication of the holiday advertisement by Severin Travel.
3.3. Severin Travel reserves the right, in the event of an increase incurred by Severin Travel after conclusion of the agreement in transport costs or charges for particular services, such as port and airport fees, or a change in the exchange rate applicable to the holiday concerned, to change the prices advertised and confirmed for the holiday insofar as this increase in the share of the transport, costs or exchange rate has an impact on the holiday price per person or per seat at the time of conclusion of the agreement. In the event that transport costs increase, the additional costs demanded by the carriers for each means of transport will be divided by the number of seats in the agreed means of transport, and the resulting increased amount for the individual seat will be charged to the Customer. An increase in the holiday price is only permitted where there are more than four months between conclusion of the agreement and the agreed travel date. In such cases Severin Travel is obliged to notify the Customer of any planned legal price increase at least 21 days before the agreed travel date. After this point no price increases are permitted. When making the additional demand, Severin Travel will inform the Customer of the purchase price of the relevant affected holiday at the time of travel confirmation and at the time when the additional demand is made, as well as the resulting cost calculation relating to this travel service.
3.4 Where the price is increased by more than 5% of the holiday price or a material travel service is significantly changed, the Customer will be entitled to withdraw from the travel agreement or to demand participation in a holiday of at least equivalent value provided that Severin Travel is able to offer the Customer such a holiday from its range without any additional costs for the Customer. The Customer must exercise these rights against Severin Travel promptly after receipt of the notification of the change.
4.1 The Customer may withdraw from the holiday at any tima before the start of the holiday. Severin Travel recommends that the Customer declare the withdrawal in writing to Severin Travel. If the holiday was booked through a travel agency, withdrawal may also be notified to the latter.
4.2. Where the Customer withdraws from the holiday before the start of the holiday or does not start the holiday, Severin Travel may claim compensation for the travel arrangements or expenses already made or incurred. When calculating this claim to compensation, any expenses normally saved and other uses of the travel services ordinarily possible are to be taken into account. Severin Travel may exercise this claim to compensation, taking into account the proximity of the time of withdrawal to the contractually agreed start of the holiday, charging a lump-sum percentage of the holiday price as follows:
4.2.1. Package holidays by air, safaris and flights in connection with a regional programme
up to 30 days before start of holiday 25%
from 29 to 22 days before start of holiday 30%
from 21 to 15 days before start of holiday 35%
from 14 to 8 days before start of holiday 50%
from 7 to 3 days before start of holiday 65%
2 days or less before the start of holiday or in the event of a no-show 80%
4.2.2. Hotel accommodation
up to 35 days before start of holiday 25%
from 34 to 15 days before start of holiday 50%
from 14 to 3 days before start of holiday 85%
2 days or less before start of holiday or in the event of a no-show 95%
4.2.3. For scheduled flights and charter flights at special prices the terms of the relevant airliner apply, about which the Customer will be informed by Severin Travel.
4.2.4. With reference to the types of service and holiday not specified above, Severin Travel may also claim the price of the service or any other fee as compensation, deducting the value of the expenses saved by it and any other use of the travel services.
4.4 The Customer will in any case be entitled to establish that Severin Travel has suffered no damage or significantly lower damage than the lump-sum cancellation fee demanded by Severin Travel.
4.5 Severin Travel reserves the right, notwithstanding the aforementioned lump-sum charges, to demand higher actual compensation. In this case Severin Travel will be required specifically to itemise and document the compensation demanded, taking into account any expenditure saved and any other use of the travel services.
5.1. After conclusion of the agreement the Customer will have no right to change the travel date, the destination, the place from where the journey starts, the accommodation or the means of transportation (rebooking). However, if a rebooking is made at the request of the Customer, Severin Travel will be entitled to charge a rebooking fee, in addition to any additional costs and price differences incurred. Severin Travel may charge a rebooking fee of Euro 30 per traveller without providing any particular evidence, although the Customer retains the right to establish that the costs were lower than the rebooking fee or that no costs were incurred.
5.2. This is without prejudice to the Customer's right to nominate a replacement traveller, who will take on his rights and duties under the travel agreement in his place.
If the Customer does not take advantage of certain travel services which were provided free from defects and duly offered to the Customer, for reasons for which he is responsible (e.g. returning early for personal reasons), he will have no claim to partial reimbursement of the holiday price. Severin Travel will take steps to refund any expenses saved by the service provider. This obligation will not apply where the services concerned are completely insubstantial or where reimbursement is precluded by statutory or administrative provisions.
7.1 In the event that the advertised or officially specified minimum number of participants is not reached by two weeks before the start of the holiday, Severin Travel may withdraw from the travel agreement provided that there was a reference to a minimum number of participants for the relevant holiday in the holiday advertisement. Severin Travel is obliged to inform the Customer of a permitted cancellation in the event of failure to reach the advertised minimum number of participants or due to force majeure or a significant change to a material travel service promptly after it becomes aware of it.
8.1. Severin Travel may terminate the travel agreement without notice if, notwithstanding a warning by Severin Travel, the Customer keeps behaving in a disruptive fashion or where his conduct runs contrary to the agreement such that immediate termination of the agreement is justified. If Severin Travel terminates the agreement, it will retain the right to the holiday price, although it must offset the value of expenses saved as well as any advantages which it obtains from alternative use of the unused service, including amounts credited to Severin Travel by the service providers.
8.2 If the holiday is significantly complicated, jeopardised or impaired by force majeure which is not foreseeable when the agreement is concluded, then both the Customer and Severin Travel may terminate the travel agreement only in accordance with the law governing termination on grounds of force majeure. The legal consequences will be those specified by law (§ 651J, § 651e of the German Civil Code). In such cases Severin Travel will reimburse the price paid for the holiday, although it may claim reasonable compensation for travel services already provided or still to be provided. Where termination occurs after the start of the holiday, Severin Travel is obliged to take the necessary steps resulting from the termination of the agreement including in particular, in the event that the agreement includes return transport, to provide such return transport for the Customer. The Customer and Severin Travel will each bear one half of the additional costs of return transport. Other additional costs will be borne by the Customer.
9.1. [Redress] If the holiday is not provided in accordance with the agreement, the Customer may claim redress within a reasonable period. Severin Travel may refuse to provide redress if this would require an unreasonably high outlay. In addition, Severin Travel may also provide redress through the provision of a replacement service of equivalent value.
9.2. [Abatement] The Customer may claim a corresponding reduction in the holiday price (abatement) for the duration of a provision of travel services that does not comply with the agreement. The holiday price will be reduced in proportion to the value of the holiday in a fault-free state at the time of sale compared to its actual value. The reduction will not be applied where the Customer has negligently failed to report the fault.
9.3. [Termination] If the holiday is significantly impaired as a result of a fault and if Severin Travel provides no redress within a reasonable period, the Customer may terminate the agreement subject to the statutory conditions. Severin Travel recommends that this be done in writing. There is no need to set a deadline for the provision of redress if redress is impossible or is refused by Severin Travel or if the immediate termination of the agreement is justified by a special interest of the Customer. The Customer will nevertheless be required to pay Severin Travel the part of the holiday price corresponding to the services used.
9.4. [Damages] Without prejudice to the right of abatement or termination, the Customer may claim damages for non-performance unless the fault in the holiday is caused by a situation for which Severin Travel is not responsible.
9.5. The Customer will only enjoy the statutory warranty rights of redress, self-redress, reduction of the holiday price, termination of the agreement and damages provided that he has not negligently failed to report a fault emerging during the holiday to Severin Travel. Fault reports are in principle to be made to the local holiday coordinator. Should it not be possible to contact this person, contrary to expectations, then the Customer should contact Severin Travel directly.
9.6. In the event of loss of luggage, damage to luggage or delays in delivery of luggage on flights Severin Travel recommends making a report promptly at the place and location of the competent airline. Airlines usually refuse to pay compensation if a property irregularity report (P.I.R.) has not been filled out. The P.I.R. must be filed with the airline in the case of lost luggage at the latest within 7 days, and for delays within 21 days after delivery. In addition, the loss, damage or mis-routing of travel luggage must be reported to the holiday coordinator or local representative of Severin Travel. Severin Travel recommends that travel luggage insurance be taken out.
10.1. The contractual liability of Severin Travel for damages other than personal injury is limited to three times the holiday price, unless damage suffered by the Customer was caused intentionally or through gross negligence, or where a service provider appointed by Severin Travel is exclusively responsible for the damage caused. Statutory provisions limiting or excluding liability which are based on international agreements and upon which a service provider appointed by Severin Travel can rely will also apply in favour of Severin Travel.
10.2. For cross-border air transport, the liability of Severin Travel as the contractual air carrier is governed according to the provisions of the Montreal Convention.
10.3. If Severin Travel provides a transport service (line haul) which is not part of the holiday package and for which the Customer receives identification, Severin Travel provides this service as an external service unless Severin Travel explicitly and clearly communicates to the Customer that this particular transport service is not part of the travel services of Severin Travel.
11.1. Claims that the holiday was not provided in accordance with the agreement are to be brought by the Customer against Severin Travel within one month after the time when the holiday ended as specified in the agreement. After expiry of this period, the Customer may only bring claims if he was unable to comply with the time limit through no fault of his own. The time limits specified under paragraph 9.6, to which the Customer is expressly referred, apply to any claims against the airline for loss, damage or delay of travel luggage.
11.2. Claims by the Customer pursuant to §§ 651c to 651f of the German Civil Code become time barred after one year. The prescription period starts on the day when the holiday should have ended according to the agreement. If negotiations are underway between the Customer and Severin Travel regarding the claim or the circumstances upon which the claim is based, then the prescription period will be suspended until either the Customer or Severin Travel refuses to continue negotiations. The claim may be time-barred at the earliest 3 months after the end of the suspension.
In the event of default or insolvency, Severin Travel has warranted that the Customer will be reimbursed the holiday price paid, insofar as travel services are not provided for this reason and any necessary expenditure for the contractually agreed return journey is incurred.
In such cases, upon presentation of the security document, the Customer must file a direct claim with R + V Allgemeine Versicherung AG, Taunusstr. 1, 65193 Wiesbaden, Tel.: +49-(0)611-5335859.
Where the warranty is invoked, claims are to be filed promptly by the Customer.
The EU Regulation on informing air transport passengers of the identity of the operating air carrier obliges Severin Travel to inform the Customer at the time of reservation of the identity of the operating air carrier for all air transport services to be provided within the ambit of the holiday booked. Where the identity of the operating air carrier has not yet been established upon reservation, Severin Travel will at least notify the Customer of the airline which will probably operate the flight. As soon as the identity of the airline has been established, it will be notified to the Customer. Should the airline change, Severin Travel will notify the Customer as quickly as possible. The Community List or airlines banned from flying in the European Union as well as the list of air carriers approved by the German Federal Aviation Office are available for download by the Customer in their current version as PDF files from the website http://ec.europa.eu/transport/air-ban/list_en.htm [in German, http://ec.europa.eu/transport/air-ban/list_de.htm].
14.1. Severin Travel will inform citizens of Member States of the European Community in which the holidays are offered of the provisions of passport, visa and health regulations prior to conclusion of the agreement as well as any changes in these provisions before the start of the holiday. Advice will be provided by the relevant consulate to citizens of other states. When providing such information it will be assumed that the Customer and any co-travellers are not subject to any special circumstances (e.g. dual nationality, stateless status).
14.2. The Customer is responsible for obtaining and carrying the necessary travel documents, for obtaining any vaccinations which may be necessary as well as for complying with customs and currency regulations. Any disadvantages resulting from the failure to comply with these regulations, e.g. the payment of withdrawal fees, will be borne by the Customer. This does not apply where Severin Travel negligently failed to provide or provided insufficient or false information.
14.3. Severin Travel will not be liable for the timely issue and receipt of the necessary visa by the relevant diplomatic representation or any necessary immigration or transit permits, including in particular the necessary US travel permits under the ESTA procedure, even if the Customer has appointed Severin Travel to procure it, unless Severin Travel is responsible for the delay.
15.1 The contractual relationship between the Customer and Severin Travel will be governed exclusively by German law. The same applies to the relationship as a whole. Insofar as German law is not applied to claims by the Customer against Severin Travel abroad for the liability of Severin Travel as regards the merits of the claim, German law shall apply exclusively to the legal consequences, especially as regards the nature, extent and level of the Customer's claims.
15.2 The Customer may only sue Severin Travel at its registered office. Claims by Severin Travel against the Customer shall be brought at the Customer's place of residence. The registered office of Severin Travel will be decisive in establishing jurisdiction for claims against Customers or parties to the travel agreement which are traders, public or private legal entities or individuals which are officially or ordinarily resident abroad or whose official or ordinary residence at the time the claim was brought was not known. The above provisions will not apply if and insofar as the provisions of an international agreement that may not be set aside by contract and which apply to the travel agreement between the Customer and Severin Travel provide otherwise to the benefit of the Customer, or if and insofar as the mandatory provisions under the law of a Member State of the European Community of which the Customer is a citizen that are applicable to the travel agreement are more beneficial for the Customer than the above terms and conditions or the corresponding German regulations.
Tour operator Severin Travel
Severin Touristik GmbH
Rathausplatz 2, 59846 Sundern
Managing directors: Severin Schulte, Lothar Schulte
District Court of Arnsberg, Commercial Registry no. 613
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