CJEU provides another clarification of the Air Passenger Rights Regulation (EC) 216/2004

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

In its judgement of today, the Court of the European Union (CJEU) held that the ‘arrival time’, which is used to determine the length of the delay to which passengers on a flight have been subject, corresponds to the time at which at least one of the doors of the aircraft is opened, the assumption being that, at that moment, the passengers are permitted to leave the aircraft. The Court pointed out that, during a flight, passengers remain confined in an enclosed space, under the instructions and control of the air carrier, in which, for technical and safety reasons, their possibilities of communicating with the outside world are considerably restricted. The situation of passengers on a flight does not change substantially when the aircraft touches down on the runway or when the aircraft reaches its parking position, as the passengers continue to be subject, in the enclosed space in which they are sitting, to various constraints. It is only when the passengers are permitted to leave the aircraft and the order is given to that effect to open the doors of the aircraft that the passengers cease to be subject to those constraints and may in principle resume their normal activities.

Source: CJEU press release 116/14 of Sep 4, 2014

Full text of judgement in case C-452/13 - Germanwings GmbH v Ronny Henning available here>>.

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