Regulation

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USA: DOT fines Virgin America for failing to make safety videos accessible to passengers with hearing impairments

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) fined Virgin America USD 150,000 for failing to make its in-flight safety video accessible to passengers with hearing impairments.  The airline also was ordered to cease and desist from further violations.

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ECJ: Delayed rail passsengers are entitled to a partial price refund - even in cases of force majeure

The Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007 on rail passengers’ rights and obligations provides that the liability of railway undertakings in the case of delay is governed by the Uniform Rules concerning the Contract for International Carriage of Passengers and Luggage by Rail, subject to the applicable provisions of the regulation.

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German Supreme Court: "bird strike" constitutes "extraordinary cicumstances"

In judgements issued yesterday in two parallel cases, the German Supreme Court (BGH) has held that a bird strike constitutes extraordinary circumstances and thus exempts the air carrier from the obligation to pay compensation to the passengers in case of a cancellation or a long delay if the air carrier can prove that it had taken all reasonable measures to avoid the cacellation or delay. The Supreme Court argued that bird strikes were unforeseeable and unforstallable events for air carriers.

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Germany: Supreme Court reconfirms compensation for missed connecting flight

In a recent judgment, the German Supreme Court (BGH) reconfirmed that passengers who miss their connecting flight due to a delay of the feeder are entitled to claim for compensation if they reach their final destination 3 hrs or more after their scheduled arrival. The plaintiffs had booked a flight from Miami to Düsseldorf via Madrid. As the departure in Miami was delayed for 01:20 hrs they arrived in Madrid too late to catch their connecting flight to Düsseldorf. They were rebooked to another flight and reached Düsseldorf with a delay of 07:30 hrs.

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Austrian Supreme Court: "bad weather" not enough to release air carrier from compensation for cancellation

In a recently published decision, the Austrian Supreme Court has held that although bad weather can be an indication for "extraordinary circumstances" but doesn't itself constitute such circumstances. The carrier has to prove that despite adverse weather conditions it took all reasonable measures to avoid a flight cancellation. Such measures could include re-routing of the flight to another airport close by or postponing the flight to wait for an improvement of weather conditions.

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USA: DOT fines Delta for violating Denied Boarding Rules

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) assessed a civil penalty against Delta Air Lines for violating federal rules protecting passengers who are denied boarding against their will, or “bumped,” on oversold flights.  DOT fined Delta USD 750,000 and ordered the airline to cease and desist from further violations.

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USA: DOT fines ticket agent for violating code-share disclosure rules

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) fined the ticket agent JTB USA, Inc., USD 60,000 for failing to adequately disclose to consumers when flights were being operated by a different airline than the one marketing their flight through a code-sharing agreement. DOT also ordered the company to cease and desist from further violations.

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EU: MEPs welcome Commission proposal on air passenger rights

In their first discussion of the proposal on Tuesday, transport committee MEPs welcomed the proposal to update air passengers' rights tabled by the Commission on 13 March but insisted that it include rules on hand luggage and solutions for passengers stranded if an airline goes bankrupt. Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas paid tribute to Parliament's preparatory work in 2012. The transport committee will appoint rapporteurs for the two regulations in the coming weeks.

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Russia to implement smoking ban

Russia will ban smoking in some public places by June 1. Smoking will be prohibited in long-distance trains, aircraft and commuter transport, and less than 45 feet from the entrances to rail stations, metro stations and airports. In June 2014, smoking will be banned in hotels, cafes, restaurants and on commuter platforms.

Source: Travel Weekly

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