Passenger rights

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European Court of Justice decides in two denied boarding cases

On Oct. 4, 2012, the ECJ has published two judgements in denied boarding cases. In both judgements, the ECJ held that the concept of ‘denied boarding’ pursuant to Reg. (EC) 261/2004 relates not only to cases of overbooking but also to those concerning other grounds, such as operational reasons.

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Germany: one more reference for ECJ preliminary ruling on Reg. (EC) 261/2004

On June 29, 2012, the German Landgericht Frankfurt am Main has lodged a new refrence for preliminary ruling to the ECJ on the following question:

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USA: court decides on passenger complaint against cruise ship operator

The US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled that a complaint filed by passengers against a cruise ship operator that alleges specific facts that, if proven, would sustain a finding of negligence is sufficient to withstand a motion for dismissal. In the instant case, plaintiffs alleged that an employee of the cruise ship operator encouraged them to go on a specific excursion during an island port call. They went on the excursion which included transportation on an open-air bus. The bus encountered the funeral service for a member of a local crime gang.

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Canada: Transportation Agency decides in flight cancellation and overbooking cases

In five separate decisions of June 28, 2012, the Canadian Transportation Agency ruled on the reasonableness of international tariff provisions of Air Canada, WestJet and Air Transat, and domestic tariff provisions of Air Canada and WestJet relating to the overbooking, cancellation, delay and rerouting of flights.

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Germany: lugagge to be carried on a later flight is no legitimate reason to deny boarding

The plaintiff and his companions had booked a holiday package to Curacao. The flight MUC-AMS-CUR was to be operated by the defendant. The passengers' luggage was checked through from MUC to CUR. The flight MUC-AMS arrived in AMS with a delay of 20 mins. Nevertheless, the passengers were able to reach the gate for the connecting flight on time. However, they were denied boarding because it was not possible to transship their luggage in due time and same was to be carried on a later flight only.

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Denmark: passengers of a cancelled flight entitled to rerouting at the earliest opportunity

The passengers had 4 return tickets for CPH - Accra/Ghana via AMS with KLM. The tickets were bought through a local travel agent. Original departure 19/12. On the 18/12 the flight was cancelled due to weather conditions in AMS.

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Netherlands: new reference for ECJ preliminary ruling regarding air passenger rights

The Dutch Rechtbank Amsterdam has referred the following questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union:

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German Supreme Court: no compensation for flight cancellation caused by strike

In two cases the passengers' LH flights from Miami to Germany were cancelled because of a strike of the pilots which followed a call for strike by a pilots' association. In first instance, the courts granted compensation pursuant to Reg. 261/2004. In second instance, the Landgericht Köln dismissed LH's appeal reasoning the a strike of the carrier's own staff could not constitute extraordinary circumstances. In the second case, however, the Landgericht Frankfurt/Main followed LH's appeal and reversed the judgement.

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EU Economic and Social Committee publishes opinion on passenger rights in all transport modes

On July 31, 2012 the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) published its opinion on the "Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council — A European vision for passengers: communication on passenger rights in all transport modes".

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IFTTA Law Review 2-2012 available online

The newest edition of the IFTTA Law Review is availbale within the members' section of this website. It focusses on air passenger rights, namley the EU Regulation 261/2004 and the Montreal Convention. Print copies are available as supplement to the Journal "Reiserecht aktuell" published by Sellier European Law Publishers, Germany.

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