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.
In its ruling the Supreme Court (Cour de cassation) set aside the contested judgment and referred the case to another court for further examination.
According to the Supreme Court (Cour de cassation) the Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 applies also to flight with stopover(s). In fact, judges applied the EU Court of Justice case-law (Case C-11/11, Folkerts), in which the European judges interpreted the Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 and decided that the right to compensation applies when the departure of the first flight was delayed, but also when the passenger arrived at the final destination airport with a delay of 3 hours or more.
In the present case, the French Supreme Court (Cour de cassation) strictly applied this definition and brought its proper case-law in line with the ECJ jurisprudence. Consequently, the supreme judges decided that X had right to seek compensation as he arrived in Manchester with a 6-hours delay. In fact, the time spent at the stop-over airport in Paris was a loss of time which had to be compensated.
The full text is available on EuroCases