Airlines

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Netherlands: new reference for ECJ preliminary ruling regarding air passenger rights

The Dutch Rechtbank Amsterdam has referred the following questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union:

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German Supreme Court: no compensation for flight cancellation caused by strike

In two cases the passengers' LH flights from Miami to Germany were cancelled because of a strike of the pilots which followed a call for strike by a pilots' association. In first instance, the courts granted compensation pursuant to Reg. 261/2004. In second instance, the Landgericht Köln dismissed LH's appeal reasoning the a strike of the carrier's own staff could not constitute extraordinary circumstances. In the second case, however, the Landgericht Frankfurt/Main followed LH's appeal and reversed the judgement.

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IFTTA Law Review 2-2012 available online

The newest edition of the IFTTA Law Review is availbale within the members' section of this website. It focusses on air passenger rights, namley the EU Regulation 261/2004 and the Montreal Convention. Print copies are available as supplement to the Journal "Reiserecht aktuell" published by Sellier European Law Publishers, Germany.

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USA: DOT fines companies for violating Consumer Protection and Price Advertising Rules

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) fined online travel agent Travelocity $180,000 for violating the Department’s rule on full-fare advertising by failing to include fuel surcharges and other fees in advertised airfares and ordered it to cease and desist from further violations.

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USA: Airlines lose appeal against DOT fare rules

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington has upheld the Transportation Department’s full-fare advertising and fare refund rules that had been challenged by Allegiant, Spirit and Southwest. The rules that require airlines and travel sellers to quote full prices with all taxes and mandatory fees includedwent into effect last year. The airlines had challenged that provision on the grounds that there is nothing “inherently” deceptive about showing taxes separately, as is commonly done in most other industries.

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CJEU: inclusion of flight cancellation insurance as a default setting unlawful when selling air tickets over the internet

A German consumer-protection association has taken proceedings against ebookers.com before the German courts with a view to requiring that company to refrain from automatically including cancellation insurance with the air fare:

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UK: British Airways to check passengers on Google?

According to an article by Margaret Tofalides from Manches LLP, published on lexology.com, British Airways is planning to use information from the internet to create dossiers on passengers. The programme would search Google images in order to find pictures of passengers so that they can be identified by the BA staff. It would would also search data held by BA, including records of previous flights and complaints. The programme, of course, raises data protection and privacy concerns.

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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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