Michael Wukoschitz's blog

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USA: TSA announces tighter security measures at certain airports

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) directed the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to implement enhanced security measures in the coming days at certain overseas airports with direct flights to the United States. All electronic devices are screened by security officers. During the security examination, officers may also ask that owners power up some devices, including cell phones. Powerless devices will not be permitted onboard the aircraft. The traveler may also undergo additional screening.

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USA: court finds 'No Fly List' unconstitutional

A federal judge in Orgeon struck down as unconstitutional the government’s procedures for people on the No Fly List to challenge their inclusion.

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German Supreme Court: general strike or breakdown of the radar system qualify as "extraordinary circumstances"

The German Supreme Court (BGH) recently decided two cases related to flight delays.

In the first case, the plaintiff's flight from Frankfurt/Main to Menorca was delayed more than 3 hrs because of a general strike in Greece which affected the previous circulation of the aircraft. The return flight to Frankfurt was also delayed more than 3 hrs because of a breakdown of the radar system in the Greek airspace which, again, delayed the arrival of the aircraft from a previous circulation.

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More references for CJEU prelimiary ruling on Air Passenger Rights Regulation lodged by German courts

With regard to Reg. EC No 261/2004 (" Air Passenger Rights Regulation") the follwowing issues have recently been referred to the CJEU by German courts:

1. Reference of Feb. 4, 2014 by Landgericht Hannover  (C-79/14 - TUIfly):

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European Commission: Member States still need to strengthen enforcement of air passenger rights

The European Commission has published today a review of passenger rights' complaint handling and enforcement in the European air transport sector between 2010 and 2012. The review shows that complaints to national authorities for compensation and assistance have returned to lower levels since the exceptional year 2010 (ash cloud crisis, snow disruptions). Also, airlines get sanctioned in only 1% of the cases as most of the complaints are settled without having to resort to such measures in order to ensure enforcement.

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German Court: air carrier liable for allergic reaction to hot towel

In a recent judgement the Oberlandesgericht Frankfurt am Main held that an air carrier was liable for a passenger's allergic reaction to the hot towels distributed during the flight. In October 2010, the plaintiff traveled on a fligth from India to Germany. She told one of the flight attendants that the hot towels could cause an allergic reaction of her body and asked not to distribute these towels during the flight. Despite this request, the towels were distributed and the plaintiff suffered from a respiatory distress which required immediate medical treatment after landing.

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ICAO: Tokyo Convention amended by new Protocol

On 4 April 2014, an International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) conference in Montreal adopted a Protocol to amend the Convention on Offences and Certain Other Acts Committed On Board Aircraft 1963 (Tokyo Convention). The Protocol will come into force when 22 member states ratify the instrument.

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U.S. Supreme Court: Frequent flier claim preempted by Airline Deregulation Act

Northwest terminated Rabbi S. Binyomin Ginsberg’s membership in its frequent flyer program, apparently based on a provision in the fre­quent flyer agreement that gave Northwest sole discretion to deter­mine whether a participant had abused the program. Rabbi Ginsberg filed a suit, asserting, that Northwest had breached its contract by revoking his membership status without valid cause and had violated the duty of good faith and fair dealing because it terminated his membership in a way that contravened his reasonable expectations.

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IFTTA Law Review 1-2014 available online

The latest edition of the IFTTA Law Review is available in the Members' Section of the webiste. It contains an essay by Josep M. Bech Serrat from Girona, providing an overview of the proposal for a new Package Travel Directive.

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German Supreme Court (BGH) asks CJEU for preliminary ruling in air ticket pricing case

According to Article 23(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008 on common rules for the operation of air services in the Community, air fares and air rates available to the general public shall include the applicable conditions when offered or published in any form, including on the Internet, for air services from an airport located in the territory of a Member State to which the Treaty applies.