General Terms and Conditions for Travel Agency Services Provided by Besttravel dortmund GmbH

1. Scope

1.1  The following General Terms and Conditions (GTCs) constitute an integrated component of the travel mediation contract that comes into effect between the customer and besttravel Dortmund GmbH for the mediation of contracts on behalf of the customer with vendors/suppliers of travel and similar services (travel contracts).

1.2  The travel agent mediates contracts (non-gratuitous contract for services or work) in the sense of § 675, 631 et seq. of the German Civil Code for individual services (e.g., flights, hotel) or package holidays in the sense of § 651 a of the German Civil Code (package holidays) between its customer and an external service provider (e.g. tour operator, airline).

1.3   These GTCs are exclusively applicable. Collateral agreements are excluded. We shall not recognise the customer’s own terms and conditions where they contradict or deviate from these GTCs unless we have explicitly consented to their application.

1.4  These GTCs are valid for all future contracts with the customer with regard to the mediation of travel services. The currently applicable version at the time of a contract’s conclusion is authoritative.

2. Conclusion of the mediated contract – travel documents

2.1 The customer is bound by an offer on the conclusion of a travel and/or insurance contract (booking order) that he or she submits to us.

2.2 The booking order can be issued in writing, orally, by telephone, or electronically (Internet/intranet/email). In the case of electronic bookings, the order is regarded as issued with the conclusion of the booking process.

2.3 We reserve the right to reject a booking order or not to carry it out, whereby we shall immediately inform the customer that the order has been rejected or not carried out. Should we convey a booking order placed by the customer to the travel service provider (service provider), the travel contract will immediately come into effect between the customer and the service provider as soon as we have we have received the service provider’s acceptance.

2.4 As the person responsible for the choice of service providers, the customer is obliged to issue instructions as to the service provider’s person to besttravel with the booking order at the latest. Should no instruction be given, we will assume that the customer (the traveller) approves of all service providers who, in principle, are able to provide the travel service. We will not accept liability for the choice of service provider in any circumstances.

2.5 As regards the customer’s rights and responsibilities vis-à-vis service providers, they are governed exclusively by the respective agreements made with the service providers, especially their travel or business conditions. These general contractual conditions can be viewed directly from the respective service provider or requested from besttravel.

2.6 The customer shall check travel documents for completeness and accuracy on receiving them. Any mistakes that are apparent are to be shown to us within five days of receiving the documents.

2.7 Should the customer make a booking less than five days before the beginning of the trip, we are entitled to send the tickets and insurance documents by courier where postage has been arranged. The customer shall bear the costs for this.

2.8 The sending of the travel documents by post is at the customer’s own risk. We are not obliged to replace missing or lost travel documents free of charge unless we are responsible for this loss.

3. Provision of information

3.1 We will undertake to mediate booking orders with the proper level of care expected of a responsible businessperson and to furnish the customer (or the traveller) with the necessary advice and information regarding such orders. Otherwise, besttravel is only obliged to provide information or clarification where the customer explicitly requests this. This applies in particular to (A), entry requirements and transit requirements (visas) that are to be heeded by the traveller when in receipt of travel services, (B), the terms and conditions relevant to the particular tariff desired by the customer and (C), existing alternatives that would maximise cost savings.

3.2 Information regarding entry and transit requirements is considered to have been communicated correctly where it corresponded with the information published or otherwise made known by the competent authority at the time of the booking’s confirmation. In accordance with the law and the contractual agreements, we are only liable for the appropriate choice of information source and for passing it on to the customer correctly. An information contract with a contractual obligation to provide information will only come into effect where a corresponding express agreement has been entered into.

3.3 The procurement of the documents required for entry or transit (including, but not limited to a valid passport, identity card, or visa) is fundamentally the responsibility of the customer or traveller. We are prepared to procure a visa for him or her at his or her explicit behest. In the event of our accepting such an order, we may demand that he or she reimburses us the costs incurred by him or her, especially for telecommunication costs and, in urgent cases, courier services or relevant service companies as well as compensation for expenses.

3.4 We are not liable for the issuance of visas or other documents, nor are we liable for their punctual delivery unless the decisive circumstances that resulted in their non-issuance or late arrival were culpably caused by us or we culpably contributed to them.

4. Service provision – cancellation

4.1 The travel services will be provided by the service provider independently as per the booking confirmation. The customer hereby recognises that the travel contract comes into effect between him or her and the service provider directly and that besttravel as mediator is not responsible for the deficient provision of the travel service or any other ancillary obligations contained within the travel contract.

4.2 Should the customer (traveller) withdraw from the mediated travel service prior to its commencement in part or completely, or should the customer not make use or complete use of the travel services, then the service provider, depending on the tariff category, is entitled to the agreed price less the expenses saved or a contractually arranged cancellation fee. besttravel hereby explicitly advises that it is possible to take out travel cancellation insurance or travel interruption insurance in order to protect oneself against the consequences of non-appearance or the non-utilisation of travel services.

4.3 Should the customer owe the service provider cancellation fees, we are entitled to retain the cancellation fee when billing for the existing, not yet forwarded travel price and to pay this to the service provider.

5. Claims arising from travel deficiencies

5.1 Claims arising from travel deficiencies shall only be asserted against the service provider which provided the travel service.

5.2 Guarantee claims or liability claims for travel deficiencies only exist against the service provider which provided the travel service.

5.3 In the event of complaints or the assertion of claims against the mediated companies, our obligation is limited to the provision of all information and documents important to the customer for this purpose, especially the communication of the names and addresses of the companies booked.

5.4 There exists no obligation on the part of besttravel to take delivery of and/or pass on relevant declarations or documents. Should we undertake to forward customer complaints that are to be submitted by a set deadline, we will only accept liability for late arrival at the recipient’s address where we intentionally missed the deadline or did so due to gross negligence.

6. Liability

6.1 besttravel’s liability and that of its vicarious agents and organs used for business services and ancillary obligations provided by besttravel within the scope of the mediation contract is limited to gross negligence or intentionally caused direct damages. The travel agent is only liable to pay 1.5 times the price of the mediated service for damages culpably caused by besttravel’s mediation activity. Excepted from this is a limitation of liability for damages arising from injury to life, body or health which were culpably caused by besttravel or which were caused by its vicarious agents intentionally or due to gross negligence.

6.2 besttravel is not liable for deficiencies in the provision of services or personal, property or pecuniary losses incurred by the customer in connection with the mediated travel service.

7. Assertion of claims and limitation period

7.1 Claims that we have not provided consultancy and/or mediation services in accordance with the contract are to be asserted by the customer within one month. It is expressly recommended that these be submitted in writing.

7.2 Contractual claims owing to the poor performance of mediation services shall elapse within one year. The limitation period begins with the end of the year in which the claim arose, usually on the day on which the mediated travel service was provided.

8. Force majeure

8.1 Should it not be possible for us to provide the mediation service because of force majeure, especially because of industrial disputes or operational disruptions which were no fault of our own or which could not have been foreseen, because of official measures that cannot be attributed to us or other events for which we are not responsible, we are not obliged to provide the service for as long as the impediment to performance continues.

8.2 Should the impediment to performance last longer than two weeks, we are entitled to withdraw from the contract. The customer’s statutory rights remain unaffected.

9. Mediation of services provided by low-cost carriers

9.1 Should we mediate the travel services of a provider which acts as a low-cost carrier (a discount airline orientated towards direct sales), then the following regulations shall apply:

9.2 The travel services of low-cost carriers can only be booked via the Internet for the most part. The terms of data transferral are determined by the particular vendor and lie outside our sphere of influence. Consequently, the customer’s or traveller’s data may possibly be forwarded via an insecure connection. We hereby expressly point out the associated risk of abuse; this risk is taken by the customer.

9.3 The tariff conditions of low-cost carriers deviate in part with regard to content and scope from otherwise typical offers. We advise in particular that these providers typically do not guarantee reimbursement of the fee where the customer cancels the travel service. Should the provider not provide the travel service, it is to be anticipated that no substitute service (e.g. alternative flights) will be provided. We refer to points 3 and 4 of these GTCs should the customer have any claims arising from this.

10. Data protection

10.1 The customer accepts that the information contained in the travel profile and made available to besttravel by the customer for the purpose of travel mediation contains personal data as well as personality profiles in the sense of German and European data protection legislation.

10.2 The customer acknowledges that the owner of the personal data contained in the travel profile is obliged to determine the purpose and nature of the data processing to be carried out by besttravel. besttravel will undertake to process the personal data in the travel profile only in accordance with the customer’s instructions. Where besttravel has good reason to suspect that the customer’s instructions are not in line with statutory requirements regarding the protection of personal data, besttravel is not obliged to act on the customer’s instructions. Nevertheless, besttravel is not obliged to check whether the customer’s instructions are in line with statutory provisions.

10.3 The customer will ensure and guarantee that (A) the personal data in the travel profile has been collected and processed in accordance with statutory provisions; (B) the personal data is always kept up to date; (C) the service recipients agree to the (i) transferral of the personal data to besttravel or third parties for the purpose of mediating and providing travel services and (ii) the processing of the personal data by besttravel or third parties for the purpose of mediating and providing travel services and that they provide their express consent to this even where the processing of the personal data by besttravel or third parties takes place in countries whose level of data protection is inadequate; (D) the service recipients expressly agree to besttravel generating management information reports for the customer with reference to the travel services received by the service recipients and making these available to the customer.

10.4 besttravel shall undertake not to use data provided for processing or utilisation either for purposes other than the aforementioned ones or for the purposes of third parties operating in different field.

11. Applicable law/place of jurisdiction

11.1 The law of the Federal Republic of Germany is applicable.

11.2 Cologne has been designated the place of jurisdiction. We are entitled to pursue legal action in the customer’s place of residence as an alternative.

12. Final provisions

12.1 Should individual provisions within these GTCs have not become part of the contract or have become ineffective in whole or in part, the remainder of the contract shall remain effective. Where provisions have not become part of the contract or have become ineffective, the content of the contract shall comply with statutory provisions.

12.2 besttravel Dortmund GmbH will not participate in any dispute settlement procedures in front of a consumer arbitration board.