European Union

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European Court of Justice decides in two denied boarding cases

On Oct. 4, 2012, the ECJ has published two judgements in denied boarding cases. In both judgements, the ECJ held that the concept of ‘denied boarding’ pursuant to Reg. (EC) 261/2004 relates not only to cases of overbooking but also to those concerning other grounds, such as operational reasons.

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Germany: one more reference for ECJ preliminary ruling on Reg. (EC) 261/2004

On June 29, 2012, the German Landgericht Frankfurt am Main has lodged a new refrence for preliminary ruling to the ECJ on the following question:

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CJEU: no distance contract required for consumer forum pursuant to Brussels I Regulation

Upon reference of the Austrian Supreme Court (OGH), the CJEU has held in its judgement of Sep. 6, 2012 in Case C-190/11 (Mühlleitner) that the consumer’s possibility of bringing proceedings before the courts of his Member State against a trader domiciled in another Member State is not subject to the condition that the contract was concluded at a distance.

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German Court challenges EU Regulation on security standards for passports and travel documents

In the case concerned, the claimant had filed for a new passport but refused to provide his finger prints. The city of Bochum has therefore denied the issuance of the passport and the claimant filed a law suit against the city of Bochum before the Administrative Court Gelsenkirchen.

The court has doubts whether

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Germany: lugagge to be carried on a later flight is no legitimate reason to deny boarding

The plaintiff and his companions had booked a holiday package to Curacao. The flight MUC-AMS-CUR was to be operated by the defendant. The passengers' luggage was checked through from MUC to CUR. The flight MUC-AMS arrived in AMS with a delay of 20 mins. Nevertheless, the passengers were able to reach the gate for the connecting flight on time. However, they were denied boarding because it was not possible to transship their luggage in due time and same was to be carried on a later flight only.

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Denmark: passengers of a cancelled flight entitled to rerouting at the earliest opportunity

The passengers had 4 return tickets for CPH - Accra/Ghana via AMS with KLM. The tickets were bought through a local travel agent. Original departure 19/12. On the 18/12 the flight was cancelled due to weather conditions in AMS.

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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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EU Economic and Social Committee publishes opinion on passenger rights in all transport modes

On July 31, 2012 the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) published its opinion on the "Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council — A European vision for passengers: communication on passenger rights in all transport modes".

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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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