Transport Law

The German Federal Court (BGH) on the obligation of an air carrier to pay compensation in case of re-booking of a flight

BGH, Urteil vom 17.03.2015, X ZR 34/14

In the present case the German Federal Court (Bundesgerichtshof) examined whether an air carrier is obliged to pay compensation due to denied boarding also in cases when the passenger, who already has a booked flight, is being denied boarding to his booked flight before he could check-in at the planned time. The passengers were informed that their flight was changed and re-booked which resulted in their arriving at the planned destination six hours later as with the original flight and they should have been informed about the change in accordance with Article 5 (1) (c) (I) of the Passenger Regulation at least two weeks before the planned departure time (in the present case planned for 28th of October at 09:00 hours).

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The French Supreme Court decided that the time spent at the stop-over airport is a loss of time which should be compensated

Cour de cassation, Chambre civile 1, 16 avril 2015, 14-13.736, Inédit

The present case concerns the Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 and the air passengers right to compensation in case of delay.

X had a flight ticket from Marseille to Manchester with a stop in Paris. The first flight was delayed by 12 minutes. X did not arrive in time at the Paris stop-over airport and he had to wait 6 hours for the next flight. Finally, he arrived in Manchester at 19 o’clock instead of 13 o’clock, which represented 6 hours of delay compared to the initially previewed arrival. X seised the district court of Marseille (Juridiction de proximité de Marseille) which rejected the claim. The first instance judges found out that the first flight took only a 12-minutes delay, while Article 6 of the Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 required a delay of 3 hours or more. X lodged an appeal in cassation.

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