Germany: one more reference for preliminary ruling in regard to Reg. 261/2004

German Supreme Court (BGH) once again instituted proceedings on the interpretation of Reg. 261/2004 on air passenger rights. In the case concerend a flight from/to Berlin was part of a package tour to Turkey. During the trip the tour organizer changed the booking for the return flight and rerouted passengers to another flight of the same carrier, not going to Berlin but to Leipzig (from where a bus transfer to Berlin was provided). The originally booked flight to Berlin was duly operated by the carrier.Passengers sued the operating carrier for compensation because of denied boarding under Reg. 261/2004. First instance court (Amtsgericht Rüsselsheim) granted the claim, court of appeal (LG Darmstadt) dismissed it. Upon further appeal of the passengers, BGH posed the following questions to the ECJ:Can a rebooking to another flight be regarded “denied boarding” under Art. 4 par. 3 of the Reulation,if answered yes, shall this also apply if the rebooking solely was based on a decision of a tour organizer, not one of the carrier.Source: BGH press release 168/08; German text available here>>.

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