European Court of Justice

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More references for CJEU prelimiary ruling on Air Passenger Rights Regulation lodged by German courts

With regard to Reg. EC No 261/2004 (" Air Passenger Rights Regulation") the follwowing issues have recently been referred to the CJEU by German courts:

1. Reference of Feb. 4, 2014 by Landgericht Hannover  (C-79/14 - TUIfly):

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CJEU: a Member State must not require an air carrier licensed in another Member State to obtain permission to enter its airspace

International Jet Management, an airline company with its seat in Austria, operated private flights from Moscow and Ankara to Germany without having the authorisation, required by the German legislation, to enter German airspace. In criminal proceedings against International Jet Management, the German Apellate Court (Oberlandesgericht Braunschweig) filed a request for preliminary ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

In its judgement of March 18, 2014, the Grand Chamber of the Court came to the following conclusion:

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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.

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CJEU decides on jurisdiction in package travel case

The plaintiffs, domiciled in Bludesch (Austria), booked and paid for themselves, as private individuals, a package holiday to Egypt on the website of a German online travel agent. The OTA, a company whose registered office is in Munich (Germany), stated that it acted as the travel agent and that the trip would be operated by a particular our operator, which has its registered office in Vienna (Austria).

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CJEU: Including fingerprints in passports is lawful

Mr Schwarz applied to the Stadt Bochum (city of Bochum, Germany) for a passport, but refused at that time to have his fingerprints taken. After the city rejected his application, Mr Schwarz brought an action before the Verwaltungsgericht Gelsenkirchen (Administrative Court, Gelsenkirchen, Germany) in which he requested that the city be ordered to issue him with a passport without taking his fingerprints. Regulation No 2252/2004 provides that passports are to include a highly secure storage medium which must contain, besides a facial image, two fingerprints.

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ECJ: the special VAT scheme for travel agents is not limited to sales of travel services to travellers

The European Commission brought a series of infringement proceedings against eight Member States for failure to comply with their obligations under the directive 2006/112/EC on the common system of value added tax. The actions relate to the special scheme for travel agents.

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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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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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German court requests ECJ preliminary ruling with regard to passport data

The German Verwaltungsgerichtshof Baden-Württemberg has filed a reference for preliminary ruling to the ECJ regarding interpretation of Regulation (EC) No 2252/2004 on standards for security features and biometrics in passports and travel documents issued by Member States. The reference includes the following questions:

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