Austria: Appelate court reverses judgement in missed connecting flight case

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

In the case which I had referred to in Rostock as "Frozen Antarctica Dreams" and which regarded a couple who had missed their Antarctica cruise following of a delayed departure of their feeder flight to Frankfurt caused by snow covered runways at the Vienna airport had sued the carrier and the airport for damages but their claim was dismissed by the court of first instance, the appelate court (OLG Wien) has now reversed the judgment and held both, Lufthansa and the Vienna airport liable for the damages.

The court followed our argument that the payment of airport fees constituted a contract between the passenger and the airport  which  obliged the latter to excercise all reasonable care to keep the runways clean from snow. The Vienna airport had failed to prove that it had taken all reasonable measures to clean the runways in time to allow for a timely departure of the flight.

This failure of the airport was also contributable to Lufthansa as the contractual carrier of the flight. Lufthansa therefore was liable up to the limit of the Montreal Convention.

The decision, however, is not final yet as the appelate court, becuase of the importance of the case, allowed further appeal to the Supreme Court (OGH).

Case details: OLG Wien 28.03.2012 5 R 227/11f

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