New German reference for ECJ preliminary ruling regarding Air Passenger Rights Regulation

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

In another motion for preliminary ruling regarding Regulation 261/2004 (EC) on Air Passenger Rights, a German court seeks further clarification of the right of a passenger to receive compensation in case of a long delay.

The plaintiff was booked on a flight from Palma de Mallorca to Munich on Oct. 10, 2011. The flight was delayed more than 25 hrs. The plaintiff, however, did not take the delayed flight but was rebooked to an earlier alternative flight which resulted into a delyed arrival of 5 hrs less.

The court wants to know whether the compensation pursuant to Article 7 of the Regulation also applies if the arrival of the originally booked flight is delayed for more than 3 hrs but the passenger is rebooked to another flight which also arrives more than 3 hrs after the scheduled arrival of his orginal flight. In addtion the court wants to know if it makes any difference whether the passenger was rebooked to the alternative flight by the carrier or changed the reservation to an alternative flight himself in order to suffer less delay.

Case details: AG Rüsselsheim 05.02.2013, 3 C 1896/12

Remark: in C-432/07 Böck, Lepuschitz v. Air France, the plaintiffs had also been rebooked to an alternative flight which arrived a little earlier than the AF-flight they had originally booked but still about 22 hrs after the scheduled arrival of their original flight. The ECJ in that judgement did not consider any relevance of this fact.

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