Cases

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CJEU: bird strikes qualify as "extraordinary circumstances"

In a highly anticipated judgement, the CJEU held  today that a collision between an aircraft and a bird, as well as any damage caused by that collision, are not intrinsically linked to the operating system of the aircraft, with the result that such a collision is not by  its nature or origin inherent in the  normal exercise of the activity  of the air carrier concerned and  is outside its actual control.  Accordingly,  a collision between an  aircraft and a bird is an extraordinary circumstance within the meaning of the regulation.

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CJEU asked to decide on price quotation for air tickets - which currency?

Article 23 of Reg. (EC) No 1008/2008 provides that with regard to air fares and air rates available to the general public, the final price to be paid shall at all times be indicated and shall include the applicable air fare or air rate as well as all applicable taxes, and charges, surcharges and fees which are unavoidable and foreseeable at the time of publication. However, there is no explicit rule on a particular currency to be used.

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German Supreme Court decides on copyright in cruise line logo

AIDA cruise ships are characterized by a distinctive logo consisting of a blue wave, an eye and a pair of red lips on the bow.The artist who created the logo has confered the exclusive right of use to the cruise company. The defendant who offers shore leave trips in Egypt published a photo on his website which showed an AIDA cruise ship with its typical logo. AIDA filed a cease and desist claim based on its exclusive right of use of the logo as well as a claim for damages. The claim was dismissed in all court instances.

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Austrian Supreme Court decides on KLM's "Flying Blue" bonus programme term

In a recent decision the Austrian Supreme Court (OGH) upheld a judgement of the appelate court (Oberlandesgericht Wien) regarding a term of KLM's "Flying Blue" bonus programme. According to the decision, a standardized contract term providing that any premium miles shall expire with the lapse of 20 month from their acqusition unless they are extended by 'qualified activities' is unfair - at least if the contract term doesn’t differentiate between premium miles granted for flights and premium miles bought by the passenger in addition.

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CJEU decides on communication of broadcasts by TV sets installed in hotel

Upon request for preliminary ruling lodged by the Commercial Court Vienna, the CJEU held that the communication of television and radio broadcasts by means of TV sets installed in hotel rooms does not constitute a communication made in a place accessible to the public against payment of an entrance fee.

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Germany: tour organiser has to reimburse package price after car accident caused by third party

The plaintiffs had booked a package to Turkey including air transport, hotel accomodation and a bus transfer from the airport to the hotel. During this transfer a ghost driver's car  hit the transfer bus and the passengers were severely injured. Instead of the hotel they were taken to hospital and therefore could not take any advantage of the services included in their package. The German Supreme Court held that the organiser owed a safe transport and the accident therefore constituted a lack of confotmity with the contract.

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CJEU: a flight during which an unscheduled stopover took place cannot be regarded as cancelled

On Oct. 5, 2016 the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) provided another clarification regarding the interpretation of Reg. (EC) No. 261/2004. The case involved an Bulgarian Air Charter flight from Burgas (Bulgaria) to Dresden (Germany). The flight departed as scheduled but made an unscheduled stopover in Prague which caused a delay in arrvial at Dresden of  2 hours and 20 minutes.

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German Supreme Court: transfer of package booking can be made subject to payment of higher ticket price

According to Article 4 para 3 of the Package Travel Directive 1990/314, a consumer who is prevented from proceeding with the package may transfer his booking to another person who satisfies all the conditions applicable to the package but he remains jointly and severally liable to the organiser for the payment of the due balance and any additional costs arising from the transfer.

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CJEU Advocate General: bird strikes do not constitute 'extraordinary circumstances'

In an opinion delivered on July 28, 2016, CJEU Advocate General Bot has concluded that bird strikes do not fall within the extraordinary circumstances defence currently available to air carriers according to Article 5 para 3 of Reg. (EC) 261/2004. In the Advocate General's opinion, such incidents are inherent in the normal exercise of the activity of an air carrier and therefore not 'extraordinary'. Although an opinion of an Advocate Genrral is not binding to the Court but only advisory in nature, the judges in most cases follow the recommedations expressed therein.

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CJEU clarifies remdies for downgrading in air travel

In a recently published judgement, the European Court of Justice has clarfied the rules applying to downgrading of air passagners according to Reg. (EC) No 261/2004.

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