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Tourism: SPD Minister wants to abolish prepayment for vacation trips


In the corona summer of 2020, it often took months for airlines and tour operators to return down payments for canceled vacation trips. Now politicians want to advise on changes.

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Photo: Malte Christians / dpa

In the corona summer 2020, this was a major annoyance and a considerable financial burden for many citizens: airlines and tour operators sometimes took many months to transfer the down payments for canceled trips.

Parts of the SPD want to prevent similar cases from happening again.

Holidaymakers should therefore no longer be asked to pay in advance when booking flights or trips: The consumer protection ministers of the federal states should discuss this at their next meeting following a move by the Saarland ministerial director Reinhold Jost (SPD).

According to the study, changeover is not a problem

"100 percent prepayment is not possible," Jost told the dpa news agency.

He advocates a significant reduction in upfront payments - and an automatic refund if the trip does not take place.

This is particularly important for consumers in the corona pandemic.

Jost's proposal met with open ears from consumer advocates.

"The best thing would be: The money will be debited at the exact moment when I start my trip," said the head of the German Consumer Association (vzbv), Klaus Müller.

That is also the case in other areas of the economy: "If I buy a new television, then I also pay when I get it."

This requires a system change - from prepayment to payment at check-in, said Müller.

A new report by the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences shows that a change would only be associated with "moderate price increases" for consumers: the prices for flight bookings then rose by a maximum of 3.3 percent, those for package tours by 1.1 percent.

"It's not as expensive as many people feared," said Müller.

The abolition of the prepayment practice is feasible as a step towards more consumer protection and belongs in the coalition agreement after the federal election.

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beb / dpa

Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2021-03-08

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