German Supreme Court: No Compensation under Reg. 216/2004 if Connecting Flight is Missed due to Delay of Feeder

In a judgment of April 30, 2009 (Xa ZR 78/08), German Supreme Court (BGH) held that the miss of a connecting flight due to a delay of the feeder (both flights operated by the same airline and jointly booked as parts of one and the same contract for carriage) would not constitute “denied boarding” under Reg. 261/2004.BGH reasoned that a right to compensation would require the passenger toprove confirmed bookinghave appeared at check-in in time anda refusal of carriage against the passenger’s will despite him being present at the gate.These requirements were not fulfilled if the passenger due to the delay of the feeder did not present himself for check-in and/or boarding in time.Despite of the different view of some other German courts (LG Berlin, RRa 2008, 42; OLG Hamburg, 6 U 94/07; LG Leipzig 6 S 319/08), BGH regarded the issue as “non-ambiguous” and therefore saw no reason to make a reference fo preliminary ruling of the European Court of Justice.Source: press release 93/2009 by BGH; available in German here>>.

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