Unfair Terms

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

CJEU decides on disclosure of air ticket price components and cancellation fees

A German Consumer Association (Bundesverband der Verbraucherzentralen und Verbraucherverbände) made a test booking on Air Berlin’s website and found that the taxes, charges and fees applicable to the ticket were indicated as being only 1 Euro or 3 Euro while the real taxes, charges and fees must have been much higher. The Consumer Association regarded this practice as misleading.

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

Austrian Supreme Court decides on KLM's "Flying Blue" bonus programme term

In a recent decision the Austrian Supreme Court (OGH) upheld a judgement of the appelate court (Oberlandesgericht Wien) regarding a term of KLM's "Flying Blue" bonus programme. According to the decision, a standardized contract term providing that any premium miles shall expire with the lapse of 20 month from their acqusition unless they are extended by 'qualified activities' is unfair - at least if the contract term doesn’t differentiate between premium miles granted for flights and premium miles bought by the passenger in addition.

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

Germany: air carriers allowed to demand immediate payment of the full fare upon booking

The German Civil Supreme Court (BGH) decided that it cannot be regarded an unfair term if an air carrier demands immediate payment of the full ticket fare upon booking. Even though air transport contracts were regarded as service contracts, the general rules on service contracts would only to a small extent characterize the model of an air transport contract. In particular, the rules on maturity of the remuneration in service contracts would not preclude advance payment clauses in air transport contracts.

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

German court: tour organizer not entitled to a general cancellation fee of 90 percent of the package price in case of no-show

According to the General Conditions of Contract of a German tour organizer, consumers had to pay a cancellation fee of 90 percent of the full package price if they didn't show up at departure. The cancellation fee applied regardless of the character of the package (air package, round trip, hotel and rental car) with the only exception of cruises to which a cancellation fee of even 100 percent applied.

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

German Supreme Court regards Lufthansa's frequent flyer terms and conditions lawful

The Plaintiff was a participant of Lufthansa's frequent flyer programme ("Miles & More") terms and conditions of which state that  air tickets aquired under the programme must not be transferred to any third persons unless this person had a tight personal relationship to the participant. Nevertheless, the plaintiff booked air tickets on behalf of a third person who he had no personal relation to using his bonus "miles". Lufthansa therefore terminated plaintiff's participation in the programme and cancelled his HON Circle Member status.

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

CJEU Advocate General: EU law allows air carriers pricing freedom - including services such as checking in baggage

In August 2010, the air carrier Vueling added a surcharge of €40 to the base price of airline tickets (€241.48) purchased by Ms Arias Villegas when she checked in two pieces of baggage online. Ms Villegas therefore lodged a complaint against Vueling, claiming that the contract of carriage by air concluded with that undertaking contained an unfair term.

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

German Supreme Court: tour organizer must not reserve alterations of the flying times

Upon law suit filed by a federal consumer association, the German Supreme Court has regarded contractual provisions unfair and illegal which allowed the tour organizer to alter the flying times. The "General Conditions of Contract" of the defendant had contained the following provision:

"Final flying times will be communicated by the organzier in the travel vouchers. Any information on flying times provided by a travel agent is not binding."

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

Canada: CTA orders Air Canada and Porter Airlines to revise domestic tariff provisions

In two separate decisions of Aug. 29, 2013, the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) ordered Air Canada and Porter Airlines to revise certain domestic tariff provisions. A tariff is the contract between the carrier and the passenger which contains an air carrier’s terms and conditions of carriage. Tariff provisions are enforceable by the CTA.

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

Canada: CTA decides on overbooking - and finds European compensation system unreasonable

On December 12, 2011, Gábor Lukács filed a complaint with the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) alleging that Air Canada’s practice of overselling domestic flights and certain domestic tariff provisions governing denied boarding compensation appearing in Air Canada’s Tariff are unreasonable. He requested the CTA to:

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

Austrian Supreme Court: ticket office must disclose commission

The defendant runs a ticket office which sells theater and concert tickets through the internet. In the course of the online booking process, the website showed the total price of the respective ticket and the information "ticket price includes booking fee and VAT". Only the General Conditions of Contract contained the information that the booking fee/commission ammounted to 25 percent of the net ticket price.

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