Unvisited sights, Covid-19 infections: a trip to Ireland with a taste.
Green landscapes, magnificent cliffs and historical cities. Annemarie Olmei Lieber was looking forward to her trip to Ireland. A retired kindergarten teacher booked a 10-day bus ride for 1,937 francs, operated by Winterthur’s Knob-travel. The Organizer’s Bulletin promised many beautiful experiences. During the trip, the group also visited many attractions, but some of the destinations mentioned in the itinerary were not visited.
Incomplete travel program
For example, the itinerary on the fifth day said: “In Burren, you should try fresh smoked shallots in one of the traditional smoking houses.” When Annemarie Olmei Kleber on Day 5 asked when the bus would get there, she was told they had been through a long time because there wasn’t enough room in the programme.
The bus also traveled non-stop through Killarney National Park, which the program hailed as a “picnicking paradise.” And the English city of Bristol, which was scheduled for the eighth day, was not visited, either. Annemarie Ulmi-Klieber sums it up: “I expected that we would actually be able to visit the attractions that were announced in the travel programme. It was all very disappointing.”
Positive test result with negative consequences
But that’s not all: during the trip, one of the participants fell ill, so he drove the bus to the hospital. Annemarie Olme Kleber recalls: “The woman was said to have contracted Covid-19 and had to stay for observation. They advised the tour guide to test all bus passengers for Covid-19.” According to Ulmi-Klieber, that didn’t happen – although only the elderly were sitting on the bus.
Shortly thereafter, the former kindergarten teacher fell ill. She organizes a rapid Covid test on her own. Result: positive. She informed the tour guide immediately and then wanted to inform her fellow travelers. “But the tour guide said, No, you don’t. Not anyway.”
Back home, a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test also confirmed MERS. Annemarie Olmei Kleber has now requested a refund.
Legal assessment: the program is applied
In terms of Covid disease, travel law expert Vito Roberto sees little chance of a refund. The tour operator has a duty to protect and must warn the traveler. But: “For the time being you have to deal with a Covid infection on such a trip. You will not be able to do anything legally here.”
In terms of the program, however, Roberto really sees a potential refund. The critical factor is how the customer perceives the prospectus: “As a general rule, one can assume that the landmarks in the prospectus have already been visited”.
Knopfl-Reisen does not want to give out any information in front of the camera. The bus company “Kassensturz” writes upon request: “Our company relies on the best possible quality. There were special challenges on the trip to Ireland. We are happy to clarify the matter directly with the customer concerned ».
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