What rights do winter vacationers have if there is a lack of snow?

Absence of snow during a ski vacation © Adobe Stock

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Fewer slopes or even a closed ski area. when mild temperatures allow your winter vacation to pass, it’s extremely annoying. However, this is not often considered a lack of travel. “Whether you can actually ski on site is out of the organizer’s control. He can’t make up snow,” explains attorney Paul Degott, who specializes in travel law. Weather conditions are therefore part of the overall risk to the life of travelers.

What promises did the organizer make?

An exception is if the tour operator has made certain promises about the destination in its catalog or on its website, such as a “snow guarantee” or “snow certainty”. “Or when he shows pictures of snowy landscapes and packed passengers and promises snow adventures,” says Degot. The description of the travel area is a kind of contractual guarantee, explains the travel lawyer. If it is so full, there may be requirements to cut back on travel days when skiing was not possible.

Can you cancel a package tour for free?

And when you read that the ski area is not open at all due to the lack of snow? Can the package tour be canceled for free? Rather not, according to Degott. The right of withdrawal applies only in the event of a significant defect in the travel service.

In such a case, the organizer should have already made huge commitments and, for example, advertised the trip as a snow adventure.” To have proof of this, it is recommended to save the catalog or take a screenshot of the description. about the trip when you book online on the organizer’s website.

Bad cards for individual travelers

Everything that is written applies only to package tours. However, many winter holidaymakers book their own accommodation and travel individually by car or train. Then it looks even worse with free cancellations.

“In such a case, the room reservations remain, the supplier provides his service,” says Degot. Here one can only hope for goodwill.

Mild temperatures are currently causing problems for German ski areas during the popular Christmas season. For example, skiing on the Winklmoosalm in Reit am Winkle has been closed since Christmas Eve. The start of the season has been postponed in the Großer Arber in the Bavarian Forest. Elsewhere, fewer lifts and slopes are open than usual.


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