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USA: new law to require airlines to seat families together?

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) is introducing legislation that would prevent families from being separated because of airline fees for priority seats like aisles and windows. The bill, which has been dubbed the Families Flying Together Act of 2012, would direct the Department of Transportation to enforce the family seating requirement.

Source: The Hill; find article here>>.

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Austria: Appelate court decides on "fly all or pay up" clauses

In their General Conditions of Carriage, Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines had incorporated clauses which provided that a passenger who doesn't use all the flight coupons of his ticket or doesn't use them in the original order can be required to pay up to the tariff applicable at the time of booking for the actual routing otherwise the airline would be entitled to deny boarding. Thus, a passenger who had purchased a low fare return ticket and then only used the outward flight could be required to pay up to the more expensive one way fare.

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Spain: Court of Appeal of Barcelona regards Ryanair's boarding pass printing policy lawful

On October 5, 2011 the Court of Appeal of Barcelona delivered a judgment in a case concerning Ryanair's policy with regard to printing boarding passes: the claimant had been charged EUR 40 by Ryanair because he had appeared at the airport without a printed bording pass. He sued for reimbursement of this "fine" and requested that the related clause within the general conditions of contract was declared void because of being unfair. The court of first instance granted the claim.

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Austria: Appelate court reverses judgement in missed connecting flight case

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.

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Swedish Court asks ECJ for peliminary ruling regarding Montreal Convention and Reg. 261/2004

On March 29, 2012, the Swedish Högsta domstolen has referred the following questions to the ECJ for preliminary ruling:

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Austria: new legislation related to travel and tourism

The Austrian legislator has recently passed the follwoing acts related to travel and tourism:

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ECJ Advocate General proposes the Court to confirm its "Sturgeon"-Judgement

On May 15, 2012, ECJ Advocate General Bot has delivered his opinion in two pending cases where the national courts sought a review of the "Sturgeon"-Judgement. In this judgement, the Court of Justice had ruled that passengers whose flights are delayed may be treated, so far as the right to compensation is concerned, in the same way as passengers whose flights are cancelled.

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Germany: Supreme Court to hear cases on airline personnel strikes as "extraordinary circumstances"

On June 5, 2012, the German Civil Supreme Court (BGH) will hear two cases involving flight cancellations due to airline personnel strikes. In one case the appelate court (LG Köln) had held that the operating carrier may not refer to a strike of its own personnel as an "extraordinary circumstance", in the other case the second instance court (LG Frankfurt/Main) had decided to the contrary.

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USA: DOT issues guidance on aviation consumer information-related requirements

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued on April 19 a notice to provide guidance to airlines and U.S. travel agents regarding compliance with the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. One of the issues addressed in the guidance letter is the requirement that, effective April 14, airlines and travel agents disclose to consumers countries that require the use of insecticides by airlines.

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UK: OFT fines British Airways in fuel surcharges price-fixing case

On April 19, 2012, the UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has announced its decision that British Airways (BA) and Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA) engaged in anti-competitive practices in relation to the pricing of passenger fuel surcharges, and has imposed a fine of GBP 58.5 million on BA. VAA brought the matter to the OFT's attention and, under the OFT's leniency policy, has not been fined.