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.
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.
On March 29, 2012, the Swedish Högsta domstolen has referred the following questions to the ECJ for preliminary ruling:
Does the carrier's liability for damage caused by delay under Article 19 of the Montreal Convention also include cases where the passengers' arrival at the destination is delayed as a result of non-operation of a flight? Does any importance attach to the stage at which the flight was cancelled, for example, after check-in?
On May 15, 2012, ECJ Advocate General Bot has delivered his opinion in two pending cases where the national courts sought a review of the "Sturgeon"-Judgement. In this judgement, the Court of Justice had ruled that passengers whose flights are delayed may be treated, so far as the right to compensation is concerned, in the same way as passengers whose flights are cancelled.
On June 5, 2012, the German Civil Supreme Court (BGH) will hear two cases involving flight cancellations due to airline personnel strikes. In one case the appelate court (LG Köln) had held that the operating carrier may not refer to a strike of its own personnel as an "extraordinary circumstance", in the other case the second instance court (LG Frankfurt/Main) had decided to the contrary.
The plaintiff booked a flight connection from Frankfurt (FRA) via Sao Paulo (CGH) to Santiago de Chile (SCL) for 3.3.2010. The defendant should have operated the flight FRA-CGH whereas the flight CGH-SCL was scheduled to be operated by a different carrier. On 27.2.2010 an earthquake caused severe damages at the SCL airport.
In his opinion in case C-12/11 - McDonagh v Ryanair, delivered on 22.03.2012, ECJ Advocate General Bot came to the conclusion that circumstances such as the closure of airspace owing to the eruption of a volcano constitute extraordinary circumstances for the purposes of Reg. 261/2004. Additionally, the EU legislation does not imply any limitation – temporal or monetary – of the obligation to provide care (accommodation, meals, refreshments) to the passengers.