Cancellation

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CJEU clarifies burden of proof for timely information on flight cancellation

In case of cancellation of a flight, according to Article 5 of Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 the carrier shall be exempt from the obligation to pay compensation if the passengers were informed of the cancellation at least two weeks before the scheduled time of departure.

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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: National Enforcement Body must not take enforcement measures to pursue claims of individual air passengers

Upon reference for preliminary ruling lodged by the Dutch Raad van State (State Council), the Advocate General of the CJEU has delivered an opinion according to which Article 16 of the Air Passenger Rights Regulation 261/2004 only entrusts the National Enforcement Bodies (NEBs) with the task to secure general compliance with the Regulation but not to pursue individual claims. Individual claims should rather be pursued before the courts. A concurrent competence of courts and national Enforcment Bodies could lead to different interpretations of the Regulation and cause legal uncertainty.

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German court: tour organizer not entitled to a general cancellation fee of 90 percent of the package price in case of no-show

According to the General Conditions of Contract of a German tour organizer, consumers had to pay a cancellation fee of 90 percent of the full package price if they didn't show up at departure. The cancellation fee applied regardless of the character of the package (air package, round trip, hotel and rental car) with the only exception of cruises to which a cancellation fee of even 100 percent applied.

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European Parliament publishes report on air passenger rights revision

On Jan. 22, 2014, the Committee on Transport and Tourism of the European Parliament published a report on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 261/2004.

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German Supreme Court: "bird strike" constitutes "extraordinary cicumstances"

In judgements issued yesterday in two parallel cases, the German Supreme Court (BGH) has held that a bird strike constitutes extraordinary circumstances and thus exempts the air carrier from the obligation to pay compensation to the passengers in case of a cancellation or a long delay if the air carrier can prove that it had taken all reasonable measures to avoid the cacellation or delay. The Supreme Court argued that bird strikes were unforeseeable and unforstallable events for air carriers.

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Committee on Transport and Tourism of the European Parliament publishes Draft Report on the Commission's proposal for a new Air Passenger Rights Regulation

On August 26, 2013, the Committee on Transport and Tourism of the European Parliament has published a Draft Report on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights and Regulation (EC) No 2027/97 on air carrier liability in respect of the carriage of passengers and their baggage by air.

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Austrian Supreme Court: "bad weather" not enough to release air carrier from compensation for cancellation

In a recently published decision, the Austrian Supreme Court has held that although bad weather can be an indication for "extraordinary circumstances" but doesn't itself constitute such circumstances. The carrier has to prove that despite adverse weather conditions it took all reasonable measures to avoid a flight cancellation. Such measures could include re-routing of the flight to another airport close by or postponing the flight to wait for an improvement of weather conditions.

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Austria: Supreme Court decides on travel insurance

In a recent judgement, the Austrian Supreme Court (OGH) has held that an insurance company which has issued an insurance policy covering cancellation fees of a traveller in case of illness or injury cannot deny payment based on gross negligence of the traveller if the letter was injured in a car accident in which he did not have his sealtbelt fastened. Alhough the obligation to fasten seatbelts is important in car traffic, a violation of same only constitutes slight negligence and does therfore not relieve the insurance company from payment.

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