As reported today in the Cabinet, before the initiative was approved at the meeting of the government. Subsequently people will be able to vouchers to the same tour or to get on the same flight. As explained by a member of the Association of lawyers of Russia prepared the project addresses gaps in the legislation. However, she advised tourists, having booked their own tickets using any online services, to try to recover money through these services.
Tell me, people who have snapped because of the pandemic, one can right now get the money back?
Assiya mukhamedshina: I treat citizens, whom the airlines refuse to return the money, citing the fact that emergency mode is entered, the situation is not deemed force majeure at the government level. However, many airlines and tour operators do not return money for the cancelled flight, often impose clients a bonus program, or the rebooking of flights. According to tourists, this does not allow them to exercise their legal right to return the money.
does it make sense to go to court?
Assiya mukhamedshina: do Not need to have special knowledge to understand that the virus COVID-19 has obvious signs of force majorette. Moreover, in a recent survey the Supreme court of Russia is said to be established by the coronavirus limitations may be deemed to be force majeure. But if there is a number of changes at the legislative level, the situation can lead to massive litigation, so as to allow emerging in the new reality of a conflict by the same standards is difficult. The same review does not indicate a clear and accurate actions, and rights of both parties, no conceptual apparatus.
In practice, there are already some court decisions which you can navigate?
Assiya Muhamedshina: Today, the courts do not consider cases of this nature because of the imposed time constraints. So now the participants of these relations, that is, the citizens and airlines or passengers to seize the possibility to resort to norms of article 421 of the civil code, which provides for the principle of freedom of contract.
simply put: try to negotiate. But how?
Assiya mukhamedshina: Terms acceptable to both parties are negotiated individually or through lawyers. But the law does not establish clear obligations, rules, regulations and deadlines for the parties to compromise. As shown by my practice and practice of my colleagues, if the parties failed to agree and each “pulls a blanket on itself”, this leads to protracted conflicts. Therefore, I consider it necessary to introduce clear and extended rules governing the legal relations in conditions of high alert. No��s such norms is a gap in the legislation.
Why the legislators didn’t think of that before?
Assiya mukhamedshina: In connection with the pandemic dynamically change the public relations and legal scholarship has not kept pace with some of them. In General, the gaps in the law are constant companions of the law-making process and considered as a kind of law-making mistakes or defects. In the case of relations of air carriers, tour operators and citizens, a space will be offset by proposed legislative acts, regulating the issue arose in an emergency situation.
In your opinion, which side should be the law: citizens or tour operators, airlines, etc.?
Assiya mukhamedshina: the Spread of the new coronavirus infection tries to strength as a tourism business, and citizens. Companies incur losses due to the lack of customers and the mass refund of failed travelers. Citizens, and themselves in a difficult financial situation, I want my money back you paid for the flights. The government’s bill establishes a sensible balance. For tour operators will be assigned the obligation to the citizens that they will give the consumer a chance to tour after the lifting of all restrictions similar to the one that was planned. The person will be issued the corresponding voucher. If, after the end of the pandemic, prices will rise and travel will be more expensive, the tour operator shall not be entitled to demand from the tourist, presenting the voucher Supplement.
the New proposals should not be different from the terms previously purchased vouchers is a food, travel conditions and so on.
If a person does decide to go, money to burn?
Assiya Muhamedshina: the Bill also addresses the opportunity to bring tourists paid for the tourism product funds from the tour operator. However, the government of Russia with the introduction of high alert or emergency is the right decision on suspension of the obligations of tour operators to return the tourists paid their sums, but without removing responsibility from the tour operator. So immediately after the introduction of restrictions the money is not returned. The person whose trip was cancelled, will receive a voucher. If the tourist before the expiration of the commitments will not take advantage of the tourist product, the contract is terminated and the funds paid must be returned to the person within 10 days. Also the operator will need to pay interest on this amount for the use of specified funds in the amount of one hundred sixty-fifth key rate of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation. Of provide during account creation��e interest accrues from the day of commitment of the tour operator on provision of tourist product is equivalent to the date of return by the tour operator cash.
Assiya mukhamedshina: According to the concept of the amendments “, the carrier has the right to unilaterally modify the contract of carriage or to refuse it and to return the money paid for the ticket.” This right will be regulated in the relevant decree of the government of the country. It details the rules prescribe how to act to passengers and airlines in case of emergency such as the current pandemic. Most likely, the airlines will allow in case of flight cancellation, issue to the person a voucher which he can exchange for a ticket.
Many people booked independently of the hotel, when planning your trip. But the restrictions, what about advances paid to the hotels?
Assiya mukhamedshina: What about the refund for the hotel while the issue was not spelled out clearly at the legislative level. The parties act in agreement: either the traveler and the innkeeper come to a compromise, or you can try to get the money back through the service itself, which was used to make the booking. For this you need to contact the support service to talk about the reasons for the cancellation and provide available documents. For example, it can be a screenshot of a cancelled flight, a decree banning flights into the country and so on. Service usually takes the side of the injured tourists.