CJEU clarifies burden of proof for timely information on flight cancellation

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

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. In a judgement of May 11, 2017, the CJEU now clarified that for this purpose, the carrier has to prove that the passenger concerned was informed of the cancellation of his flight more than two weeks before the scheduled time of departure - which not only applies when the contract for carriage has been entered into directly between the passenger concerned and the air carrier, but also when that contract has been entered into via a third party such as a tour operator or a travel agency. However, Regulation No 261/2004 in no way restricts the operating air carrier’s right to seek reimbursement from a tour operator or another person with whom the operating air carrier has a contract if that tour operator or other person has failed to pass on the information to the passenger.

Judgement of May 11,2017 in case C-302/16 - Krijgsman