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

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

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. The final price to be paid shall at all times be indicated and shall include the applicable air fare or air rate as well as all applicable taxes, and charges, surcharges and fees which are unavoidable and foreseeable at the time of publication.

Air Berlin is operating an electronic booking system through the internet which consits of five steps. Certain supplementary costs such as processing fees are not included in the "price per person" as indicated during the first steps. They are only included at a later stage of the booking process. A German consumer association (Bundesverband der Verbraucherzentralen und Verbraucherverbände) filed an injunction suit. The German Supreme Court referred tho following questions to the European Court of Justice:

  • Is the second sentence of Article 23(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008 to be interpreted as meaning that the final price to be paid must, in the context of a computerised booking system, be indicated when the prices of air services are shown for the first time?
  • Is the second sentence of Article 23(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008 to be interpreted as meaning that the final price to be paid must, in the context of a computerised booking system, be indicated only for the air service specifically selected by the customer or for each air service shown?

Case C-573/13 - Air Berlin.

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