Air Passengers

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Australia: Supreme Cout of Queensland decides in 'cramped' air passenger case

The plaintiff, a general medical practitioner, claimed damages for personal injuries allegedly sustained whilst travelling on an international flight between Australia and the United States of America on 9 December 2008. He alledged that his seat did not fully recline and that the passengers seated in the row immediately in front of him kept their seats reclined the entire flight. In the leg room space that would otherwise have been fully available to the plaintiff below the seat immediately in front of him, there was positioned an audio-visual box occupying part of that space.

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European Court of Human Rights: few hours' detention of airline passenger for airport security checks not excessive

In its decision in the case of Gahramanov v. Azerbaijan (application no. 26291/06) the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has, by six votes to one, declared the application inadmissible. The decision is final.

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USA: DOT fines United Airlines USD 1.1 million for lengthy tarmac delays

The U. S. Department of Transportation (DOT) on Oct. 25, 2013, fined United Airlines USD 1.1 million for lengthy tarmac delays that took place at Chicago-O’Hare International Airport on July 13, 2012.   The airline was ordered to cease and desist from future violations of the tarmac-delay rule. This is the largest fine assessed for a tarmac-delay violation since the rule limiting long tarmac delays first took effect in April 2010.

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USA: Appelate court decides on angry passenger's Facebook and Twitter posts about an airline employee

An operations agent employed by Southwest Airlines brought an action against a passenger for posting allegedly false and defamatory statements on Twitter and Facebook regarding actions taken by agent when passenger attempted to board a flight. The plaintiff alledged that the defendant knowingly and intentionally, or in the alternative, with reckless disregard for the veracity of her statements had stated that she had been treated in a very impolite way when she wnated to board the aircraft togehter with her four-year-old daughter.

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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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Germany: Supreme Court reconfirms compensation for missed connecting flight

In a recent judgment, the German Supreme Court (BGH) reconfirmed that passengers who miss their connecting flight due to a delay of the feeder are entitled to claim for compensation if they reach their final destination 3 hrs or more after their scheduled arrival. The plaintiffs had booked a flight from Miami to Düsseldorf via Madrid. As the departure in Miami was delayed for 01:20 hrs they arrived in Madrid too late to catch their connecting flight to Düsseldorf. They were rebooked to another flight and reached Düsseldorf with a delay of 07:30 hrs.

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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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German Supreme Court asks ECJ for interpretation of article 12 of Reg. 261/2004

In a recent reference for ECJ preliminary ruling, the German Supreme Court (BGH) has asked for an interpreation of article 12 of the Air Passenger Rights Regulation 261/2004. This article provides that the Regulation shall apply without prejudice to a passenger's rights to further compensation but that the compensation granted under this Regulation may be deducted from such further compensation.

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German court asks ECJ to clarify offsetting rules in Air Passenger Rights Regulation

A German Regional Court, the "Landgericht Frankfurt am Main", has filed a reference for preliminary ruling to the European Court of Justice asking for interpretation of article 12 of Reg. 261/2004/EC as follows:

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EU: MEPs welcome Commission proposal on air passenger rights

In their first discussion of the proposal on Tuesday, transport committee MEPs welcomed the proposal to update air passengers' rights tabled by the Commission on 13 March but insisted that it include rules on hand luggage and solutions for passengers stranded if an airline goes bankrupt. Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas paid tribute to Parliament's preparatory work in 2012. The transport committee will appoint rapporteurs for the two regulations in the coming weeks.

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