Jump to content


rjstott

Denied boarding, cancellation or long delay. EU compensation regulations

style="text-align:center;"> Please note that this topic has not had any new posts for the last 2426 days.

If you are trying to post a different story then you should start your own new thread. Posting on this thread is likely to mean that you won't get the help and advice that you need.

If you are trying to post information which is relevant to the story in this thread then please flag it up to the site team and they will allow you to post.

Thank you

Recommended Posts

I just replied to a couple of posts about this and did some research. Here is the EU regulation wording:

 

Right to care

1. Where reference is made to this Article, passengers shall be offered free of charge:

(a) meals and refreshments in a reasonable relation to the waiting time;

(b) hotel accommodation in cases

- where a stay of one or more nights becomes necessary, or

- where a stay additional to that intended by the passenger becomes necessary;

© transport between the airport and place of accommodation (hotel or other).

2. In addition, passengers shall be offered free of charge two telephone calls, telex or fax messages, or e-mails.

3. In applying this Article, the operating air carrier shall pay particular attention to the needs of persons with reduced mobility and any persons accompanying them, as well as to the needs of unaccompanied children.

I looked at the BA website on this and interestingly the wording is changed to NOT mention the 'free of charge' phrase. This means to me that you should not be obliged to pay and then reclaim any such costs, the airline must do this.

 

Easyjet claim that their policy is available at check-in desks.

 

Ryanair start out by claiming you get not a lot if the circumstances are beyond their control. However, they in fact MUST demonstrate EXTRAORDINARY circumstances, so bad weather wouldn't do! A bomb threat might!

 

BMI is slightly better but refer to delays within their control.

 

If you face such a situation you need to know your rights and the most important is that the airlines have to give you information and their compensation policy which must be in line with the regulation. However, it is clear that you need a copy of the regulation, not a re-written version from the airline which may be ambiguous.

 

The regulation applies provided the departure or destination is an EU member state.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thread open for further postings


Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, the full article hasn't been posted here!

 

Here is the full article (261/2004)

 

Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council

of 11 February 2004

establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights, and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 295/91

(Text with EEA relevance)

 

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 80(2) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission(1),

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee(2),

After consulting the Committee of the Regions,

Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty(3), in the light of the joint text approved by the Conciliation Committee on 1 December 2003,

Whereas:

(1) Action by the Community in the field of air transport should aim, among other things, at ensuring a high level of protection for passengers. Moreover, full account should be taken of the requirements of consumer protection in general.

(2) Denied boarding and cancellation or long delay of flights cause serious trouble and inconvenience to passengers.

(3) While Council Regulation (EEC) No 295/91 of 4 February 1991 establishing common rules for a denied boarding compensation system in scheduled air transport(4) created basic protection for passengers, the number of passengers denied boarding against their will remains too high, as does that affected by cancellations without prior warning and that affected by long delays.

(4) The Community should therefore raise the standards of protection set by that Regulation both to strengthen the rights of passengers and to ensure that air carriers operate under harmonised conditions in a liberalised market.

(5) Since the distinction between scheduled and non-scheduled air services is weakening, such protection should apply to passengers not only on scheduled but also on non-scheduled flights, including those forming part of package tours.

(6) The protection accorded to passengers departing from an airport located in a Member State should be extended to those leaving an airport located in a third country for one situated in a Member State, when a Community carrier operates the flight.

(7) In order to ensure the effective application of this Regulation, the obligations that it creates should rest with the operating air carrier who performs or intends to perform a flight, whether with owned aircraft, under dry or wet lease, or on any other basis.

(8) This Regulation should not restrict the rights of the operating air carrier to seek compensation from any person, including third parties, in accordance with the law applicable.

(9) The number of passengers denied boarding against their will should be reduced by requiring air carriers to call for volunteers to surrender their reservations, in exchange for benefits, instead of denying passengers boarding, and by fully compensating those finally denied boarding.

(10) Passengers denied boarding against their will should be able either to cancel their flights, with reimbursement of their tickets, or to continue them under satisfactory conditions, and should be adequately cared for while awaiting a later flight.

(11) Volunteers should also be able to cancel their flights, with reimbursement of their tickets, or continue them under satisfactory conditions, since they face difficulties of travel similar to those experienced by passengers denied boarding against their will.

(12) The trouble and inconvenience to passengers caused by cancellation of flights should also be reduced. This should be achieved by inducing carriers to inform passengers of cancellations before the scheduled time of departure and in addition to offer them reasonable re-routing, so that the passengers can make other arrangements. Air carriers should compensate passengers if they fail to do this, except when the cancellation occurs in extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken.

(13) Passengers whose flights are cancelled should be able either to obtain reimbursement of their tickets or to obtain re-routing under satisfactory conditions, and should be adequately cared for while awaiting a later flight.

(14) As under the Montreal Convention, obligations on operating air carriers should be limited or excluded in cases where an event has been caused by extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken. Such circumstances may, in particular, occur in cases of political instability, meteorological conditions incompatible with the operation of the flight concerned, security risks, unexpected flight safety shortcomings and strikes that affect the operation of an operating air carrier.

(15) Extraordinary circumstances should be deemed to exist where the impact of an air traffic management decision in relation to a particular aircraft on a particular day gives rise to a long delay, an overnight delay, or the cancellation of one or more flights by that aircraft, even though all reasonable measures had been taken by the air carrier concerned to avoid the delays or cancellations.

(16) In cases where a package tour is cancelled for reasons other than the flight being cancelled, this Regulation should not apply.

(17) Passengers whose flights are delayed for a specified time should be adequately cared for and should be able to cancel their flights with reimbursement of their tickets or to continue them under satisfactory conditions.

(18) Care for passengers awaiting an alternative or a delayed flight may be limited or declined if the provision of the care would itself cause further delay.

(19) Operating air carriers should meet the special needs of persons with reduced mobility and any persons accompanying them.

(20) Passengers should be fully informed of their rights in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights, so that they can effectively exercise their rights.

(21) Member States should lay down rules on sanctions applicable to infringements of the provisions of this Regulation and ensure that these sanctions are applied. The sanctions should be effective, proportionate and dissuasive.

(22) Member States should ensure and supervise general compliance by their air carriers with this Regulation and designate an appropriate body to carry out such enforcement tasks. The supervision should not affect the rights of passengers and air carriers to seek legal redress from courts under procedures of national law.

(23) The Commission should analyse the application of this Regulation and should assess in particular the opportunity of extending its scope to all passengers having a contract with a tour operator or with a Community carrier, when departing from a third country airport to an airport in a Member State.

(24) Arrangements for greater cooperation over the use of Gibraltar airport were agreed in London on 2 December 1987 by the Kingdom of Spain and the United Kingdom in a joint declaration by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the two countries. Such arrangements have yet to enter into operation.

(25) Regulation (EEC) No 295/91 should accordingly be repealed,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:

 

Article 1

Subject

1. This Regulation establishes, under the conditions specified herein, minimum rights for passengers when:

(a) they are denied boarding against their will;

(b) their flight is cancelled;

© their flight is delayed.

2. Application of this Regulation to Gibraltar airport is understood to be without prejudice to the respective legal positions of the Kingdom of Spain and the United Kingdom with regard to the dispute over sovereignty over the territory in which the airport is situated.

3. Application of this Regulation to Gibraltar airport shall be suspended until the arrangements in the Joint Declaration made by the Foreign Ministers of the Kingdom of Spain and the United Kingdom on 2 December 1987 enter into operation. The Governments of Spain and the United Kingdom will inform the Council of such date of entry into operation.

 

Article 2

Definitions

For the purposes of this Regulation:

(a) "air carrier" means an air transport undertaking with a valid operating licence;

(b) "operating air carrier" means an air carrier that performs or intends to perform a flight under a contract with a passenger or on behalf of another person, legal or natural, having a contract with that passenger;

© "Community carrier" means an air carrier with a valid operating licence granted by a Member State in accordance with the provisions of Council Regulation (EEC) No 2407/92 of 23 July 1992 on licensing of air carriers(5);

(d) "tour operator" means, with the exception of an air carrier, an organiser within the meaning of Article 2, point 2, of Council Directive 90/314/EEC of 13 June 1990 on package travel, package holidays and package tours(6);

(e) "package" means those services defined in Article 2, point 1, of Directive 90/314/EEC;

(f) "ticket" means a valid document giving entitlement to transport, or something equivalent in paperless form, including electronic form, issued or authorised by the air carrier or its authorised agent;

(g) "reservation" means the fact that the passenger has a ticket, or other proof, which indicates that the reservation has been accepted and registered by the air carrier or tour operator;

(h) "final destination" means the destination on the ticket presented at the check-in counter or, in the case of directly connecting flights, the destination of the last flight; alternative connecting flights available shall not be taken into account if the original planned arrival time is respected;

(i) "person with reduced mobility" means any person whose mobility is reduced when using transport because of any physical disability (sensory or locomotory, permanent or temporary), intellectual impairment, age or any other cause of disability, and whose situation needs special attention and adaptation to the person's needs of the services made available to all passengers;

(j) "denied boarding" means a refusal to carry passengers on a flight, although they have presented themselves for boarding under the conditions laid down in Article 3(2), except where there are reasonable grounds to deny them boarding, such as reasons of health, safety or security, or inadequate travel documentation;

(k) "volunteer" means a person who has presented himself for boarding under the conditions laid down in Article 3(2) and responds positively to the air carrier's call for passengers prepared to surrender their reservation in exchange for benefits.

(l) "cancellation" means the non-operation of a flight which was previously planned and on which at least one place was reserved.

 

Article 3

Scope

1. This Regulation shall apply:

(a) to passengers departing from an airport located in the territory of a Member State to which the Treaty applies;

(b) to passengers departing from an airport located in a third country to an airport situated in the territory of a Member State to which the Treaty applies, unless they received benefits or compensation and were given assistance in that third country, if the operating air carrier of the flight concerned is a Community carrier.

2. Paragraph 1 shall apply on the condition that passengers:

(a) have a confirmed reservation on the flight concerned and, except in the case of cancellation referred to in Article 5, present themselves for check-in,

- as stipulated and at the time indicated in advance and in writing (including by electronic means) by the air carrier, the tour operator or an authorised travel agent,

or, if no time is indicated,

- not later than 45 minutes before the published departure time; or

(b) have been transferred by an air carrier or tour operator from the flight for which they held a reservation to another flight, irrespective of the reason.

3. This Regulation shall not apply to passengers travelling free of charge or at a reduced fare not available directly or indirectly to the public. However, it shall apply to passengers having tickets issued under a frequent flyer programme or other commercial programme by an air carrier or tour operator.

4. This Regulation shall only apply to passengers transported by motorised fixed wing aircraft.

5. This Regulation shall apply to any operating air carrier providing transport to passengers covered by paragraphs 1 and 2. Where an operating air carrier which has no contract with the passenger performs obligations under this Regulation, it shall be regarded as doing so on behalf of the person having a contract with that passenger.

6. This Regulation shall not affect the rights of passengers under Directive 90/314/EEC. This Regulation shall not apply in cases where a package tour is cancelled for reasons other than cancellation of the flight.

 

Article 4

Denied boarding

1. When an operating air carrier reasonably expects to deny boarding on a flight, it shall first call for volunteers to surrender their reservations in exchange for benefits under conditions to be agreed between the passenger concerned and the operating air carrier. Volunteers shall be assisted in accordance with Article 8, such assistance being additional to the benefits mentioned in this paragraph.

2. If an insufficient number of volunteers comes forward to allow the remaining passengers with reservations to board the flight, the operating air carrier may then deny boarding to passengers against their will.

3. If boarding is denied to passengers against their will, the operating air carrier shall immediately compensate them in accordance with Article 7 and assist them in accordance with Articles 8 and 9.

 

Article 5

Cancellation

1. In case of cancellation of a flight, the passengers concerned shall:

(a) be offered assistance by the operating air carrier in accordance with Article 8; and

(b) be offered assistance by the operating air carrier in accordance with Article 9(1)(a) and 9(2), as well as, in event of re-routing when the reasonably expected time of departure of the new flight is at least the day after the departure as it was planned for the cancelled flight, the assistance specified in Article 9(1)(b) and 9(1)©; and

© have the right to compensation by the operating air carrier in accordance with Article 7, unless:

(i) they are informed of the cancellation at least two weeks before the scheduled time of departure; or

(ii) they are informed of the cancellation between two weeks and seven days before the scheduled time of departure and are offered re-routing, allowing them to depart no more than two hours before the scheduled time of departure and to reach their final destination less than four hours after the scheduled time of arrival; or

(iii) they are informed of the cancellation less than seven days before the scheduled time of departure and are offered re-routing, allowing them to depart no more than one hour before the scheduled time of departure and to reach their final destination less than two hours after the scheduled time of arrival.

2. When passengers are informed of the cancellation, an explanation shall be given concerning possible alternative transport.

3. An operating air carrier shall not be obliged to pay compensation in accordance with Article 7, if it can prove that the cancellation is caused by extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken.

4. The burden of proof concerning the questions as to whether and when the passenger has been informed of the cancellation of the flight shall rest with the operating air carrier.

 

Article 6

Delay

1. When an operating air carrier reasonably expects a flight to be delayed beyond its scheduled time of departure:

(a) for two hours or more in the case of flights of 1500 kilometres or less; or

(b) for three hours or more in the case of all intra-Community flights of more than 1500 kilometres and of all other flights between 1500 and 3500 kilometres; or

© for four hours or more in the case of all flights not falling under (a) or (b),

passengers shall be offered by the operating air carrier:

(i) the assistance specified in Article 9(1)(a) and 9(2); and

(ii) when the reasonably expected time of departure is at least the day after the time of departure previously announced, the assistance specified in Article 9(1)(b) and 9(1)©; and

(iii) when the delay is at least five hours, the assistance specified in Article 8(1)(a).

2. In any event, the assistance shall be offered within the time limits set out above with respect to each distance bracket.

 

Article 7

Right to compensation

1. Where reference is made to this Article, passengers shall receive compensation amounting to:

(a) EUR 250 for all flights of 1500 kilometres or less;

(b) EUR 400 for all intra-Community flights of more than 1500 kilometres, and for all other flights between 1500 and 3500 kilometres;

© EUR 600 for all flights not falling under (a) or (b).

In determining the distance, the basis shall be the last destination at which the denial of boarding or cancellation will delay the passenger's arrival after the scheduled time.

2. When passengers are offered re-routing to their final destination on an alternative flight pursuant to Article 8, the arrival time of which does not exceed the scheduled arrival time of the flight originally booked

(a) by two hours, in respect of all flights of 1500 kilometres or less; or

(b) by three hours, in respect of all intra-Community flights of more than 1500 kilometres and for all other flights between 1500 and 3500 kilometres; or

© by four hours, in respect of all flights not falling under (a) or (b),

the operating air carrier may reduce the compensation provided for in paragraph 1 by 50 %.

3. The compensation referred to in paragraph 1 shall be paid in cash, by electronic bank transfer, bank orders or bank cheques or, with the signed agreement of the passenger, in travel vouchers and/or other services.

4. The distances given in paragraphs 1 and 2 shall be measured by the great circle route method.

 

Article 8

Right to reimbursement or re-routing

1. Where reference is made to this Article, passengers shall be offered the choice between:

(a) - reimbursement within seven days, by the means provided for in Article 7(3), of the full cost of the ticket at the price at which it was bought, for the part or parts of the journey not made, and for the part or parts already made if the flight is no longer serving any purpose in relation to the passenger's original travel plan, together with, when relevant,

- a return flight to the first point of departure, at the earliest opportunity;

(b) re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination at the earliest opportunity; or

© re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination at a later date at the passenger's convenience, subject to availability of seats.

2. Paragraph 1(a) shall also apply to passengers whose flights form part of a package, except for the right to reimbursement where such right arises under Directive 90/314/EEC.

3. When, in the case where a town, city or region is served by several airports, an operating air carrier offers a passenger a flight to an airport alternative to that for which the booking was made, the operating air carrier shall bear the cost of transferring the passenger from that alternative airport either to that for which the booking was made, or to another close-by destination agreed with the passenger.

 

Article 9

Right to care

1. Where reference is made to this Article, passengers shall be offered free of charge:

(a) meals and refreshments in a reasonable relation to the waiting time;

(b) hotel accommodation in cases

- where a stay of one or more nights becomes necessary, or

- where a stay additional to that intended by the passenger becomes necessary;

© transport between the airport and place of accommodation (hotel or other).

2. In addition, passengers shall be offered free of charge two telephone calls, telex or fax messages, or e-mails.

3. In applying this Article, the operating air carrier shall pay particular attention to the needs of persons with reduced mobility and any persons accompanying them, as well as to the needs of unaccompanied children.

 

Article 10

Upgrading and downgrading

1. If an operating air carrier places a passenger in a class higher than that for which the ticket was purchased, it may not request any supplementary payment.

2. If an operating air carrier places a passenger in a class lower than that for which the ticket was purchased, it shall within seven days, by the means provided for in Article 7(3), reimburse

(a) 30 % of the price of the ticket for all flights of 1500 kilometres or less, or

(b) 50 % of the price of the ticket for all intra-Community flights of more than 1500 kilometres, except flights between the European territory of the Member States and the French overseas departments, and for all other flights between 1500 and 3500 kilometres, or

© 75 % of the price of the ticket for all flights not falling under (a) or (b), including flights between the European territory of the Member States and the French overseas departments.

 

Article 11

Persons with reduced mobility or special needs

1. Operating air carriers shall give priority to carrying persons with reduced mobility and any persons or certified service dogs accompanying them, as well as unaccompanied children.

2. In cases of denied boarding, cancellation and delays of any length, persons with reduced mobility and any persons accompanying them, as well as unaccompanied children, shall have the right to care in accordance with Article 9 as soon as possible.

 

Article 12

Further compensation

1. This Regulation shall apply without prejudice to a passenger's rights to further compensation. The compensation granted under this Regulation may be deducted from such compensation.

2. Without prejudice to relevant principles and rules of national law, including case-law, paragraph 1 shall not apply to passengers who have voluntarily surrendered a reservation under Article 4(1).

 

Article 13

Right of redress

In cases where an operating air carrier pays compensation or meets the other obligations incumbent on it under this Regulation, no provision of this Regulation may be interpreted as restricting its right to seek compensation from any person, including third parties, in accordance with the law applicable. In particular, this Regulation shall in no way restrict the operating air carrier's right to seek reimbursement from a tour operator or another person with whom the operating air carrier has a contract. Similarly, no provision of this Regulation may be interpreted as restricting the right of a tour operator or a third party, other than a passenger, with whom an operating air carrier has a contract, to seek reimbursement or compensation from the operating air carrier in accordance with applicable relevant laws.

 

Article 14

Obligation to inform passengers of their rights

1. The operating air carrier shall ensure that at check-in a clearly legible notice containing the following text is displayed in a manner clearly visible to passengers: "If you are denied boarding or if your flight is cancelled or delayed for at least two hours, ask at the check-in counter or boarding gate for the text stating your rights, particularly with regard to compensation and assistance".

2. An operating air carrier denying boarding or cancelling a flight shall provide each passenger affected with a written notice setting out the rules for compensation and assistance in line with this Regulation. It shall also provide each passenger affected by a delay of at least two hours with an equivalent notice. The contact details of the national designated body referred to in Article 16 shall also be given to the passenger in written form.

3. In respect of blind and visually impaired persons, the provisions of this Article shall be applied using appropriate alternative means.

 

Article 15

Exclusion of waiver

1. Obligations vis-à-vis passengers pursuant to this Regulation may not be limited or waived, notably by a derogation or restrictive clause in the contract of carriage.

2. If, nevertheless, such a derogation or restrictive clause is applied in respect of a passenger, or if the passenger is not correctly informed of his rights and for that reason has accepted compensation which is inferior to that provided for in this Regulation, the passenger shall still be entitled to take the necessary proceedings before the competent courts or bodies in order to obtain additional compensation.

 

Article 16

Infringements

1. Each Member State shall designate a body responsible for the enforcement of this Regulation as regards flights from airports situated on its territory and flights from a third country to such airports. Where appropriate, this body shall take the measures necessary to ensure that the rights of passengers are respected. The Member States shall inform the Commission of the body that has been designated in accordance with this paragraph.

2. Without prejudice to Article 12, each passenger may complain to any body designated under paragraph 1, or to any other competent body designated by a Member State, about an alleged infringement of this Regulation at any airport situated on the territory of a Member State or concerning any flight from a third country to an airport situated on that territory.

3. The sanctions laid down by Member States for infringements of this Regulation shall be effective, proportionate and dissuasive.

 

Article 17

Report

The Commission shall report to the European Parliament and the Council by 1 January 2007 on the operation and the results of this Regulation, in particular regarding:

- the incidence of denied boarding and of cancellation of flights,

- the possible extension of the scope of this Regulation to passengers having a contract with a Community carrier or holding a flight reservation which forms part of a "package tour" to which Directive 90/314/EEC applies and who depart from a third-country airport to an airport in a Member State, on flights not operated by Community air carriers,

- the possible revision of the amounts of compensation referred to in Article 7(1).

The report shall be accompanied where necessary by legislative proposals.

 

Article 18

Repeal

Regulation (EEC) No 295/91 shall be repealed.

 

Article 19

Entry into force

This Regulation shall enter into force on 17 February 2005.

 

This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.

Done at Strasbourg, 11 February 2004.

 

For the European Parliament

The President

P. Cox

 

For the Council

The President

M. McDowell

 

(1) OJ C 103 E, 30.4.2002, p. 225 and OJ C 71 E, 25.3.2003, p. 188.

(2) OJ C 241, 7.10.2002, p. 29.

(3) Opinion of the European Parliament of 24 October 2002 (OJ C 300 E, 11.12.2003, p. 443), Council Common Position of 18 March 2003 (OJ C 125 E, 27.5.2003, p. 63) and Position of the European Parliament of 3 July 2003. Legislative Resolution of the European Parliament of 18 December 2003 and Council Decision of 26 January 2004.

(4) OJ L 36, 8.2.1991, p. 5.

(5) OJ L 240, 24.8.1992, p. 1.

(6) OJ L 158, 23.6.1990, p. 59.

 

 

 

Commission Statement

 

The Commission recalls its intention to promote voluntary agreements or to make proposals to extend Community measures of passenger protection to other modes of transport than air, notably rail and maritime navigation.

 

Regulation with guidance:

 

http://ec.europa.eu/transport/air_portal/passenger_rights/doc/2008/q_and_a_en.pdf

 

The problem with these regulations is that Airlines have been sneaking out of thier obligations for far too long via the excuse 'extraordinary circumstances'

 

Airlines use all manner of excuses, citing that.

 

Hugh of travelmole had a great way of looking at it, this isn't word for word but surely this constitutes 'extraordinary':

 

An Airline is short of staff, and the standby crew is insufficient for one reason or another, Airline claims extraordinary circumstances. Well, no, arguably they could have had more staff on standby, not extraordinary, but plannable.

 

Now, said crew are on route to aircraft and pass through an area of disturbance and crew are ambushed, or are struck down with outbreak of birdflu, fallout of leak at nuclear power station...you get my drift. That would be 'extraordinary'.

 

I think this matter should be discussed alot more and keep abreast of as much of what is going on as possible, to stop them hiding behind this lame excuse. We should break them down eventually. For me this sort of stuff is short on the net, with little victory to report, and I don't know why. Well I have an idea, because allsorts of information we would need of the airlines would be very hard to get hold of, amongst others, but I think we should give it a shot!.

 

Those regulations are there to help us, rather compensate us for some of the rubbish they make some of us go through.

 

I know hardly anything, but I'm willing to learn!!

 

Zamzara posted a link to a case that was started last year, and was won...very encouraging. ;)

 

BBC NEWS | World | Europe | Airlines warned over compensation

 

Cheers Martin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mmmmm

 

EUROPEAN COMMISSION GIVES PASSENGER RIGHTS A HIGHER PRIORITY THAN AIR SAFETY

 

23/12/2008

 

By welcoming yesterday’s decision by the European Court of Justice (ECJ), which sets a legal precedent for airlines to pay compensation for flights cancelled for technical reasons, the European Commission is putting passenger rights ahead of passenger safety, says the European Regions Airline Association (ERA). Airlines are now faced with additional commercial pressures which are unnecessary and wholly avoidable. There will be some occasions, in marginal conditions, where knowledge and experience would otherwise dictate that it would be more prudent not to fly.

 

“I am appalled that the European Commission has welcomed this ill-conceived judgement from the ECJ. Members of the ECJ cannot be expected to understand the serious safety implications of their judgement: the European Commission can,” says ERA Director General, Mike Ambrose.

 

The case in question concerns the scope of the “extraordinary circumstances” exemption in Regulation 261/2004 on Compensation and Assistance to Passengers in the Event of Denied Boarding, Cancellations and Long Delays. Case C-549/07 Friederike Wallentin-Hermann v Alitalia, which led to the cancellation of an Alitalia flight from Vienna to Brindisi via Rome on 28 June 2005, resulted from a complex engine defect in the turbine. The repair of the aircraft necessitated the dispatch of spare parts and engineers, and was not completed until 8 July 2005. Yesterday’s court ruling states that: “the resolution of a technical problem caused by failure to maintain an aircraft must [therefore] be regarded as inherent in the normal exercise of an air carrier’s activity. Consequently, technical problems which come to light during maintenance of aircraft or on account of failure to carry out such maintenance do not constitute, in themselves, ‘extraordinary circumstances’.”

 

Ambrose comments: “The ECJ judgement applies needless commercial pressure on crews to accept operations that might comply with all existing safety regulations but which, when all circumstances are considered, are contrary to the aircraft commander’s instincts and experience for safe flight.

 

“The primary ‘passenger right’ is to expect safe travel – passenger rights are of trivial importance compared to the ongoing airline objective of maintaining public safety. For decades, European air transport has been successful in encouraging all personnel concerned with air safety, especially operating crews, to identify and report issues that negatively affect the safety of operations: the ECJ ruling risks undermining years of progress in improving safety performance. Urgent action is needed by the European Commission to mitigate this flawed and ill-informed decision by the ECJ,” Ambrose concluded.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Judgement.

 

JUDGMENT OF THE COURT (Fourth Chamber)

22 December 2008 (*)

(Carriage by air – Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 – Article 5 – Compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of cancellation of flights – Exemption from the obligation to pay compensation – Cancellation due to extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken)

In Case C‑549/07,

REFERENCE for a preliminary ruling under Article 234 EC from the Handelsgericht Wien (Austria), made by decision of 30 October 2007, received at the Court on 11 December 2007, in the proceedings

Friederike Wallentin-Hermann

v

Alitalia – Linee Aeree Italiane SpA,

THE COURT (Fourth Chamber),

composed of K. Lenaerts, President of Chamber, T. von Danwitz, E. Juhász, G. Arestis and J. Malenovský (Rapporteur), Judges,

Advocate General: E. Sharpston,

Registrar: R. Grass,

having regard to the written procedure,

after considering the observations submitted on behalf of:

– Mrs Wallentin-Hermann, by herself, Rechtsanwältin,

– Alitalia – Linee Aeree Italiane SpA, by O. Borodajkewycz, Rechtsanwalt,

– the Austrian Government, by E. Riedl, acting as Agent,

– the Greek Government, by S. Chala and D. Tsagkaraki, acting as Agents,

– the Polish Government, by M. Dowgielewicz, acting as Agent,

– the Portuguese Government, by L. Fernandes, acting as Agent,

– the United Kingdom Government, by C. Gibbs, acting as Agent, and D. Beard, Barrister,

– the Commission of the European Communities, by R. Vidal Puig and M. Vollkommer, acting as Agents,

having decided, after hearing the Advocate General, to proceed to judgment without an Opinion,

gives the following

Judgment

1 This reference for a preliminary ruling concerns the interpretation of Article 5(3) of Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights, and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 295/91 (OJ 2004 L 46, p. 1).

2 The reference was made in the course of proceedings between Mrs Wallentin-Hermann and Alitalia – Linee Aree Italiane SpA (‘Alitalia’) following Alitalia’s refusal to pay compensation to the applicant in the main proceedings whose flight had been cancelled.

Legal context

International law

3 The Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air, concluded in Montreal on 28 May 1999 (‘the Montreal Convention’), was signed by the European Community on 9 December 1999 and approved on its behalf by Council Decision 2001/539/EC of 5 April 2001 (OJ 2001 L 194, p. 38). That convention entered into force so far as concerns the Community on 28 June 2004.

4 Articles 17 to 37 of the Montreal Convention comprise Chapter III thereof, headed ‘Liability of the carrier and extent of compensation for damage’.

5 Article 19 of the Convention, headed ‘Delay’, provides:

‘The carrier is liable for damage occasioned by delay in the carriage by air of passengers, baggage or cargo. Nevertheless, the carrier shall not be liable for damage occasioned by delay if it proves that it and its servants and agents took all measures that could reasonably be required to avoid the damage or that it was impossible for it or them to take such measures.’

Community law

6 Regulation No 261/2004 includes, inter alia, the following recitals:

‘(1) Action by the Community in the field of air transport should aim, among other things, at ensuring a high level of protection for passengers. Moreover, full account should be taken of the requirements of consumer protection in general.

(2) Denied boarding and cancellation or long delay of flights cause serious trouble and inconvenience to passengers.

(12) The trouble and inconvenience to passengers caused by cancellation of flights should … be reduced. This should be achieved by inducing carriers to inform passengers of cancellations before the scheduled time of departure and in addition to offer them reasonable re-routing, so that the passengers can make other arrangements. Air carriers should compensate passengers if they fail to do this, except when the cancellation occurs in extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken.

(14) As under the Montreal Convention, obligations on operating air carriers should be limited or excluded in cases where an event has been caused by extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken. Such circumstances may, in particular, occur in cases of political instability, meteorological conditions incompatible with the operation of the flight concerned, security risks, unexpected flight safety shortcomings and strikes that affect the operation of an operating air carrier.

(15) Extraordinary circumstances should be deemed to exist where the impact of an air traffic management decision in relation to a particular aircraft on a particular day gives rise to a long delay, an overnight delay, or the cancellation of one or more flights by that aircraft, even though all reasonable measures had been taken by the air carrier concerned to avoid the delays or cancellations.’

7 Article 5 of Regulation No 261/2004, headed ‘Cancellation’, states:

‘1. In case of cancellation of a flight, the passengers concerned shall:

(a) be offered assistance by the operating air carrier in accordance with Article 8; and

(b) be offered assistance by the operating air carrier in accordance with Article 9(1)(a) and 9(2), as well as, in event of re-routing when the reasonably expected time of departure of the new flight is at least the day after the departure as it was planned for the cancelled flight, the assistance specified in Article 9(1)(b) and 9(1)©; and

© have the right to compensation by the operating air carrier in accordance with Article 7, unless:

(i) they are informed of the cancellation at least two weeks before the scheduled time of departure; or

(ii) they are informed of the cancellation between two weeks and seven days before the scheduled time of departure and are offered re-routing, allowing them to depart no more than two hours before the scheduled time of departure and to reach their final destination less than four hours after the scheduled time of arrival; or

(iii) they are informed of the cancellation less than seven days before the scheduled time of departure and are offered re-routing, allowing them to depart no more than one hour before the scheduled time of departure and to reach their final destination less than two hours after the scheduled time of arrival.

3. An operating air carrier shall not be obliged to pay compensation in accordance with Article 7, if it can prove that the cancellation is caused by extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken.

…’

8 Article 7(1) of Regulation No 261/2004, headed ‘Right to compensation’, provides:

‘Where reference is made to this Article, passengers shall receive compensation amounting to:

(a) EUR 250 for all flights of 1 500 kilometres or less;

(b) EUR 400 for all intra-Community flights of more than 1 500 kilometres, and for all other flights between 1 500 and 3 500 kilometres;

© EUR 600 for all flights not falling under (a) or (b).

…’

The dispute in the main proceedings and the questions referred for a preliminary ruling

9 It is apparent from the order for reference that Mrs Wallentin-Hermann booked three seats on a flight with Alitalia from Vienna (Austria) to Brindisi (Italy) via Rome (Italy) for herself, her husband and her daughter. The flight was scheduled to depart from Vienna on 28 June 2005 at 6.45 a.m. and to arrive at Brindisi on the same day at 10.35 a.m.

10 After checking in, the three passengers were informed, five minutes before the scheduled departure time, that their flight had been cancelled. They were subsequently transferred to an Austrian Airlines flight to Rome, where they arrived at 9.40 a.m., that is 20 minutes after the time of departure of their connecting flight to Brindisi, which they therefore missed. Mrs Wallentin-Hermann and her family arrived at Brindisi at 14.15 p.m.

11 The cancellation of the Alitalia flight from Vienna resulted from a complex engine defect in the turbine which had been discovered the day before during a check. Alitalia had been informed of the defect during the night preceding that flight, at 1.00 a.m. The repair of the aircraft, which necessitated the dispatch of spare parts and engineers, was completed on 8 July 2005.

12 Mrs Wallentin-Hermann requested that Alitalia pay her EUR 250 compensation pursuant to Articles 5(1)© and 7(1) of Regulation No 261/2004 due to the cancellation of her flight and also EUR 10 for telephone charges. Alitalia rejected that request.

13 In the judicial proceedings that Mrs Wallentin-Hermann then brought, the Bezirksgericht für Handelssachen Wien (District Commercial Court, Vienna) upheld her application for compensation, in particular on the ground that the technical defects which affected the aircraft concerned were not covered by the ‘extraordinary circumstances’ provided for in Article 5(3) of Regulation No 261/2004 which exempt from the obligation to pay compensation.

14 Alitalia lodged an appeal against that decision before the Handelsgericht Wien (Commercial Court, Vienna), which decided to stay the proceedings and to refer the following questions to the Court for a preliminary ruling:

‘(1) Are there extraordinary circumstances within the meaning of Article 5(3) of Regulation … No 261/2004 … , having regard to recital 14 in the preamble to the regulation, if a technical defect in the aeroplane, in particular damage to the engine, results in the cancellation of the flight, and must the grounds of excuse under Article 5(3) of [that] regulation be interpreted in accordance with the provisions of Article 19 of the Montreal Convention?

(2) If the answer to the first question is in the affirmative, are there extraordinary circumstances within the meaning of Article 5(3) of Regulation [No 261/2004] where air carriers cite technical defects as a reason for flight cancellations with above average frequency, solely on the basis of their frequency?

(3) If the answer to the first question is in the affirmative, has an air carrier taken all “reasonable measures” in accordance with Article 5(3) of Regulation [No 261/2004] if it establishes that the minimum legal requirements with regard to maintenance work on the aeroplane have been met and is that sufficient to relieve the air carrier of the obligation to pay compensation provided for by Article 5 in conjunction with Article 7 of [that] regulation?

(4) If the answer to the first question is in the negative, are extraordinary circumstances within the meaning of Article 5(3) of Regulation [No 261/2004] cases of force majeure or natural disasters, which were not due to a technical defect and are thus unconnected with the air carrier?’

The questions referred for a preliminary ruling

The first and fourth questions

15 By its first and fourth questions, which it is appropriate to examine together, the referring court is essentially asking whether Article 5(3) of Regulation No 261/2004, read in the light of recital 14 in the preamble to that regulation, must be interpreted as meaning that a technical problem in an aircraft which leads to the cancellation of a flight is covered by the concept of ‘extraordinary circumstances’ within the meaning of that provision or whether, conversely, that concept covers situations of a different kind which are not due to technical problems. The referring court is also asking whether the grounds of exemption under that provision must be interpreted in accordance with the provisions of the Montreal Convention, in particular Article 19 thereof.

16 It must be stated that the concept of extraordinary circumstances is not amongst those which are defined in Article 2 of Regulation No 261/2004. Moreover, that concept is not defined in the other articles of that regulation.

17 It is settled case‑law that the meaning and scope of terms for which Community law provides no definition must be determined by considering their usual meaning in everyday language, while also taking into account the context in which they occur and the purposes of the rules of which they are part. Moreover, when those terms appear in a provision which constitutes a derogation from a principle or, more specifically, from Community rules for the protection of consumers, they must be read so that that provision can be interpreted strictly (see, to that effect, Case C‑336/03 easyCar [2005] ECR I‑1947, paragraph 21 and the case‑law cited). Furthermore, the preamble to a Community measure may explain the latter’s content (see, to that effect, inter alia, Case C‑344/04 IATA and ELFAA [2006] ECR I‑403, paragraph 76).

18 In this respect, the objectives pursued by Article 5 of Regulation No 261/2004, which lays down the obligations owed by an operating air carrier in the event of cancellation of a flight, are clear from recitals 1 and 2 in the preamble to the regulation, according to which action by the Community in the field of air transport should aim, among other things, at ensuring a high level of protection for passengers and take account of the requirements of consumer protection in general, inasmuch as cancellation of flights causes serious inconvenience to passengers (see, to that effect, IATA and ELFAA, paragraph 69).

19 As is apparent from recital 12 in the preamble to, and Article 5 of, Regulation No 261/2004, the Community legislature intended to reduce the trouble and inconvenience to passengers caused by cancellation of flights by inducing air carriers to announce cancellations in advance and, in certain circumstances, to offer re-routing meeting certain criteria. Where those measures could not be adopted by air carriers, the Community legislature intended that they should compensate passengers, except when the cancellation occurs in extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken.

20 In that context, it is clear that, whilst Article 5(1)© of Regulation No 261/2004 lays down the principle that passengers have the right to compensation if their flight is cancelled, Article 5(3), which determines the circumstances in which the operating air carrier is not obliged to pay that compensation, must be regarded as derogating from that principle. Article 5(3) must therefore be interpreted strictly.

21 In this respect, the Community legislature indicated, as stated in recital 14 in the preamble to Regulation No 261/2004, that such circumstances may, in particular, occur in cases of political instability, meteorological conditions incompatible with the operation of the flight concerned, security risks, unexpected flight safety shortcomings and strikes that affect the operation of an air carrier.

22 It is apparent from that statement in the preamble to Regulation No 261/2004 that the Community legislature did not mean that those events, the list of which is indeed only indicative, themselves constitute extraordinary circumstances, but only that they may produce such circumstances. It follows that all the circumstances surrounding such events are not necessarily grounds of exemption from the obligation to pay compensation provided for in Article 5(1)© of that regulation.

23 Although the Community legislature included in that list ‘unexpected flight safety shortcomings’ and although a technical problem in an aircraft may be amongst such shortcomings, the fact remains that the circumstances surrounding such an event can be characterised as ‘extraordinary’ within the meaning of Article 5(3) of Regulation No 261/2004 only if they relate to an event which, like those listed in recital 14 in the preamble to that regulation, is not inherent in the normal exercise of the activity of the air carrier concerned and is beyond the actual control of that carrier on account of its nature or origin.

24 In the light of the specific conditions in which carriage by air takes place and the degree of technological sophistication of aircraft, it must be stated that air carriers are confronted as a matter of course in the exercise of their activity with various technical problems to which the operation of those aircraft inevitably gives rise. It is moreover in order to avoid such problems and to take precautions against incidents compromising flight safety that those aircraft are subject to regular checks which are particularly strict, and which are part and parcel of the standard operating conditions of air transport undertakings. The resolution of a technical problem caused by failure to maintain an aircraft must therefore be regarded as inherent in the normal exercise of an air carrier’s activity.

25 Consequently, technical problems which come to light during maintenance of aircraft or on account of failure to carry out such maintenance cannot constitute, in themselves, ‘extraordinary circumstances’ under Article 5(3) of Regulation No 261/2004.

26 However, it cannot be ruled out that technical problems are covered by those exceptional circumstances to the extent that they stem from events which are not inherent in the normal exercise of the activity of the air carrier concerned and are beyond its actual control. That would be the case, for example, in the situation where it was revealed by the manufacturer of the aircraft comprising the fleet of the air carrier concerned, or by a competent authority, that those aircraft, although already in service, are affected by a hidden manufacturing defect which impinges on flight safety. The same would hold for damage to aircraft caused by acts of sabotage or terrorism.

27 It is therefore for the referring court to ascertain whether the technical problems cited by the air carrier involved in the case in the main proceedings stemmed from events which are not inherent in the normal exercise of the activity of the air carrier concerned and were beyond its actual control.

28 As regards the question whether the ground of exemption set out in Article 5(3) of Regulation No 261/2004 must be interpreted in accordance with the provisions of the Montreal Convention, in particular Article 19 thereof, it must be stated that that convention forms an integral part of the Community legal order. Moreover, it is clear from Article 300(7) EC that the Community institutions are bound by agreements concluded by the Community and, consequently, that those agreements have primacy over secondary Community legislation (see Case C‑173/07 Emirates Airlines [2008] ECR I‑0000, paragraph 43).

29 Under Article 19 of the Montreal Convention, a carrier may be exempted from its liability for damage occasioned by delay ‘if it proves that it and its servants and agents took all measures that could reasonably be required to avoid the damage or that it was impossible for it or them to take such measures’.

30 In this respect, it must be observed that Article 5(3) of Regulation No 261/2004 refers to the concept of ‘extraordinary circumstances’, whereas that concept does not appear in either Article 19 or any other provision of the Montreal Convention.

31 It should also be noted that that Article 19 relates to delays, whereas Article 5(3) of Regulation No 261/2004 deals with flight cancellations.

32 Moreover, as is clear from paragraphs 43 to 47 of IATA and ELFAA, Article 19 of the Montreal Convention and Article 5(3) of Regulation No 261/2004 relate to different contexts. Article 19 et seq. of that convention govern the conditions under which, if a flight has been delayed, the passengers concerned may bring actions for damages by way of redress on an individual basis. By contrast, Article 5 of Regulation No 261/2004 provides for standardised and immediate compensatory measures. Those measures, which are unconnected with those whose institution is governed by the Montreal Convention, thus intervene at an earlier stage than the convention. It follows that the carrier’s grounds of exemption from liability provided for in Article 19 of that convention cannot be transposed without distinction to Article 5(3) of Regulation No 261/2004.

33 In those circumstances, the Montreal Convention cannot determine the interpretation of the grounds of exemption under that Article 5(3).

34 In the light of the above, the answer to the first and fourth questions referred must be that Article 5(3) of Regulation No 261/2004 must be interpreted as meaning that a technical problem in an aircraft which leads to the cancellation of a flight is not covered by the concept of ‘extraordinary circumstances’ within the meaning of that provision, unless that problem stems from events which, by their nature or origin, are not inherent in the normal exercise of the activity of the air carrier concerned and are beyond its actual control. The Montreal Convention is not decisive for the interpretation of the grounds of exemption under Article 5(3) of Regulation No 261/2004.

The second question

35 In the light of all the questions referred, it must be considered that, by this question, the referring court is essentially asking whether the frequency alone of the technical problems precludes them from being covered by ‘extraordinary circumstances’ within the meaning of Article 5(3) of Regulation No 261/2004 where air carriers cite those problems as a reason for flight cancellations with above average frequency.

36 As was stated at paragraph 27 of this judgment, it is for the referring court to ascertain whether the technical problems cited by the air carrier in question in the main proceedings stem from events which are not inherent in the normal exercise of its activity and are beyond its actual control. It is apparent from this that the frequency of the technical problems experienced by an air carrier is not in itself a factor from which the presence or absence of ‘extraordinary circumstances’ within the meaning of Article 5(3) of Regulation No 261/2004 can be concluded.

37 In view of the foregoing, the answer to the second question referred must be that the frequency of the technical problems experienced by an air carrier is not in itself a factor from which the presence or absence of ‘extraordinary circumstances’ within the meaning of Article 5(3) of Regulation No 261/2004 can be concluded.

The third question

38 By its third question, the referring court is essentially asking whether it must be considered that an air carrier has taken ‘all reasonable measures’ within the meaning of Article 5(3) of Regulation No 261/2004 if it establishes that the minimum legal requirements with regard to maintenance work have been met on the aircraft the flight of which was cancelled and whether that evidence is sufficient to relieve that carrier of its obligation to pay compensation provided for by Articles 5(1)© and 7(1) of that regulation.

39 It must be observed that the Community legislature intended to confer exemption from the obligation to pay compensation to passengers in the event of cancellation of flights not in respect of all extraordinary circumstances, but only in respect of those which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken.

40 It follows that, since not all extraordinary circumstances confer exemption, the onus is on the party seeking to rely on them to establish, in addition, that they could not on any view have been avoided by measures appropriate to the situation, that is to say by measures which, at the time those extraordinary circumstances arise, meet, inter alia, conditions which are technically and economically viable for the air carrier concerned.

41 That party must establish that, even if it had deployed all its resources in terms of staff or equipment and the financial means at its disposal, it would clearly not have been able – unless it had made intolerable sacrifices in the light of the capacities of its undertaking at the relevant time – to prevent the extraordinary circumstances with which it was confronted from leading to the cancellation of the flight.

42 It is for the referring court to ascertain whether, in the circumstances of the case in the main proceedings, the air carrier concerned took measures appropriate to the situation, that is to say measures which, at the time of the extraordinary circumstances whose existence the air carrier is to establish, met, inter alia, conditions which were technically and economically viable for that carrier.

43 In view of the foregoing, the answer to the third question referred must be that the fact that an air carrier has complied with the minimum rules on maintenance of an aircraft cannot in itself suffice to establish that that carrier has taken ‘all reasonable measures’ within the meaning of Article 5(3) of Regulation No 261/2004 and, therefore, to relieve that carrier of its obligation to pay compensation provided for by Articles 5(1)© and 7(1) of that regulation.

Costs

44 Since these proceedings are, for the parties to the main proceedings, a step in the action pending before the referring court, the decision on costs is a matter for that court. Costs incurred in submitting observations to the Court, other than the costs of those parties, are not recoverable.

On those grounds, the Court (Fourth Chamber) hereby rules:

1. Article 5(3) of Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights, and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 295/91, must be interpreted as meaning that a technical problem in an aircraft which leads to the cancellation of a flight is not covered by the concept of ‘extraordinary circumstances’ within the meaning of that provision, unless that problem stems from events which, by their nature or origin, are not inherent in the normal exercise of the activity of the air carrier concerned and are beyond its actual control. The Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air, concluded in Montreal on 28 May 1999, is not decisive for the interpretation of the grounds of exemption under Article 5(3) of Regulation No 261/2004.

2. The frequency of the technical problems experienced by an air carrier is not in itself a factor from which the presence or absence of ‘extraordinary circumstances’ within the meaning of Article 5(3) of Regulation No 261/2004 can be concluded.

3. The fact that an air carrier has complied with the minimum rules on maintenance of an aircraft cannot in itself suffice to establish that that carrier has taken ‘all reasonable measures’ within the meaning of Article 5(3) of Regulation No 261/2004 and, therefore, to relieve that carrier of its obligation to pay compensation provided for by Articles 5(1)© and 7(1) of that regulation

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

“I am appalled that the European Commission has welcomed this ill-conceived judgement from the ECJ. Members of the ECJ cannot be expected to understand the serious safety implications of their judgement: the European Commission can,” says ERA Director General, Mike Ambrose.

 

Rapid - Press Releases - EUROPA

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is an important judgment from 9th of July 2009 from the ECJ (C-204/08). Baltic Airline is taken to court although the airline argues that it can not be taken to court in a different EU-memberstate other than where its head office is. Now the consumer has the right to say what country he wishes to take court action. Regarding Ryanair it is not clear that we can take them to court whatever EU-country we wish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope that you may be able to help me. I have a flight booked with jet2.com for this coming friday and i have recieved an email today (after the customer service office closed). We were due to fly at 15.20 due to land at 19.20 and are now flying at 18.55 due to land at 22.50. As it is an somewhere i travel to a lot and do not drive i use public transport to get to and from the airports at both ends but now there is no transport runnung at the time of night that i land (the same is true of the return flight i am landing in the uk at 1am and the next train is not for 2 hours,if the flight is on time and it not it is 3.5 hours) because they have altered the flight and only given me 7 days notice where do i stand on making a claim for compensation? Is this classed as denied boarding or delayed flight. I am going to have to book another day off work because of the late arrival home. I would not have booked the flight times that i now have to start with so a you can imagine i am more than a little annoyed at the moment.


:-|

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

best way to get advice is to click this button, then repeat your post in the new window

 

newthread.gif

 

that will then allow you to start your own thread on the board, people are more likely to respond to a new thread.

 


Please note:

 

  • I am employed in the IT sector of a high street retail chain but am not posting in any official capacity,so therefore any comments,suggestions or opinions are expressly personal ones and should not be viewed as an endorsement or with agreement of any company.
  • i am not legal trained in any form.
  • I have many experiences in life and do often use these in my posts

if ive been helpful kick my scales, if ive been unhelpful kick the scales of the person more helpful :eek:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You have the right of compensation. The amount depends on the length of the journey. Usually 250 EUR of most european destinations. See EC regulation 261/2004 Art. 4. Write to the airline demanding a compensation of the amount of 250 EUR.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The ECJ has recently ruled that compensation can be claimed not just for cancelled flights but also for flights delayed by 3 hours or more. The delay referred to is the time of arrival at your destination.

 

The airlines may still seek to rely on the 'extraordinary circumstances' defence in this case but since the ECJ rulings have all come down on the side of the passenger, such circumstances must be shown to be truly 'extraordinary' for this defence to be valid.

 

The ruling judgement on delay is as follows:

 

In Joined Cases C‑402/07 and C‑432/07,

REFERENCES for a preliminary ruling under Article 234 EC from the Bundesgerichtshof (Germany) and the Handelsgericht Wien (Austria) made by decisions of 17 July and 26 June 2007, received at the Court on 30 August and 18 September 2007 respectively, in the proceedings

Christopher Sturgeon,

Gabriel Sturgeon,

Alana Sturgeon

v

Condor Flugdienst GmbH (C-402/07),

and

Stefan Böck,

Cornelia Lepuschitz

v

Air France SA (C-432/07),

THE COURT (Fourth Chamber),

composed of K. Lenaerts, President of the Third Chamber, acting for the President of the Fourth Chamber, R. Silva de Lapuerta, E. Juhász, G. Arestis and J. Malenovský (Rapporteur), Judges,

Advocate General: E. Sharpston,

Registrar: R. Şereş, Administrator,

having regard to the written procedure and further to the hearing on 24 September 2008,

after considering the observations submitted on behalf of:

– C. Sturgeon, G. Sturgeon and A. Sturgeon, by R. Schmid, Rechtsanwalt,

– S. Böck and C. Lepuschitz, by M. Wukoschitz, Rechtsanwalt,

– Condor Flugdienst GmbH, by C. Marko and C. Döring, Rechtsanwälte,

– Air France SA, by O. Borodajkewycz, Rechtsanwalt,

– the Austrian Government, by E. Riedl, acting as Agent,

– the Greek Government, by S. Chala and D. Tsagkaraki, acting as Agents,

– the French Government, by G. de Bergues and A. Hare, acting as Agents,

– the Italian Government, by I.M. Braguglia, acting as Agent, and W. Ferrante, avvocato dello Stato,

– the Polish Government, by M. Dowgielewicz, acting as Agent,

– the Swedish Government, by A. Falk, acting as Agent,

– the United Kingdom Government, by T. Harris, acting as Agent, and D. Beard, Barrister,

– the Commission of the European Communities, by R. Vidal-Puig and P. Dejmek, acting as Agents,

after hearing the Opinion of the Advocate General at the sitting on 2 July 2009,

gives the following

Judgment

1 These references for a preliminary ruling concern the interpretation of Articles 2(l), 5, 6 and 7 of Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights, and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 295/91 (OJ 2004 L 46, p. 1).

2 The references were made in proceedings between (i) Mr Sturgeon and his family (‘the Sturgeons’) and Condor Flugdienst GmbH (‘Condor’) (C‑402/07) and (ii) Mr Bock and Ms Lepuschitz and Air France SA (‘Air France’) (C-432/07), concerning the refusal of those airlines to pay compensation to the passengers concerned, whose arrival at the airport of destination was delayed by 25 and 22 hours respectively in relation to the scheduled arrival time.

Legal context

3 Recitals 1 to 4 in the preamble to Regulation No 261/2004 state:

‘(1) Action by the Community in the field of air transport should aim, among other things, at ensuring a high level of protection for passengers. Moreover, full account should be taken of the requirements of consumer protection in general.

(2) Denied boarding and cancellation or long delay of flights cause serious trouble and inconvenience to passengers.

(3) While Council Regulation (EEC) No 295/91 of 4 February 1991 establishing common rules for a denied boarding compensation system in scheduled air transport [(OJ 1991 L 36, p. 5)] created basic protection for passengers, the number of passengers denied boarding against their will remains too high, as does that affected by cancellations without prior warning and that affected by long delays.

(4) The Community should therefore raise the standards of protection set by that Regulation both to strengthen the rights of passengers and to ensure that air carriers operate under harmonised conditions in a liberalised market.’

4 According to Recital 15 in the preamble to Regulation No 261/2004:

‘Extraordinary circumstances should be deemed to exist where the impact of an air traffic management decision in relation to a particular aircraft on a particular day gives rise to a long delay, an overnight delay, or the cancellation of one or more flights by that aircraft, even though all reasonable measures had been taken by the air carrier concerned to avoid the delays or cancellations.’

5 Article 2 of Regulation No 261/2004, headed ‘Definitions’, provides:

‘For the purposes of this Regulation:

(l) “cancellation” means the non-operation of a flight which was previously planned and on which at least one place was reserved.’

6 Article 5 of that regulation, headed ‘Cancellation’, states:

‘1. In case of cancellation of a flight, the passengers concerned shall:

(a) be offered assistance by the operating air carrier in accordance with Article 8; and

© have the right to compensation by the operating air carrier in accordance with Article 7, unless:

(iii) they are informed of the cancellation less than seven days before the scheduled time of departure and are offered re-routing, allowing them to depart no more than one hour before the scheduled time of departure and to reach their final destination less than two hours after the scheduled time of arrival.

3. An operating air carrier shall not be obliged to pay compensation in accordance with Article 7, if it can prove that the cancellation is caused by extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken.

…’

7 Article 6 of Regulation No 261/2004, headed ‘Delay’, is worded as follows:

‘1. When an operating air carrier reasonably expects a flight to be delayed beyond its scheduled time of departure:

(a) for two hours or more in the case of flights of 1 500 kilometres or less; or

(b) for three hours or more in the case of all intra-Community flights of more than 1 500 kilometres and of all other flights between 1 500 and 3 500 kilometres; or

© for four hours or more in the case of all flights not falling under (a) or (b),

passengers shall be offered by the operating air carrier:

(i) the assistance specified in Article 9(1)(a) and 9(2); and

(ii) when the reasonably expected time of departure is at least the day after the time of departure previously announced, the assistance specified in Article 9(1)(b) and 9(1)©; and

(iii) when the delay is at least five hours, the assistance specified in Article 8(1)(a).

2. In any event, the assistance shall be offered within the time-limits set out above with respect to each distance bracket.’

8 Article 7 of Regulation No 261/2004, headed ‘Right to compensation’, provides:

‘1. Where reference is made to this Article, passengers shall receive compensation amounting to:

(a) EUR 250 for all flights of 1 500 kilometres or less;

(b) EUR 400 for all intra-Community flights of more than 1 500 kilometres, and for all other flights between 1 500 and 3 500 kilometres;

© EUR 600 for all flights not falling under (a) or (b).

In determining the distance, the basis shall be the last destination at which the denial of boarding or cancellation will delay the passenger’s arrival after the scheduled time.

2. When passengers are offered re-routing to their final destination on an alternative flight pursuant to Article 8, the arrival time of which does not exceed the scheduled arrival time of the flight originally booked:

(a) by two hours, in respect of all flights of 1 500 kilometres or less; or

(b) by three hours, in respect of all intra-Community flights of more than 1 500 kilometres and for all other flights between 1 500 and 3 500 kilometres; or

© by four hours, in respect of all flights not falling under (a) or (b),

the operating air carrier may reduce the compensation provided for in paragraph 1 by 50%.

…’

9 Article 8(1) of Regulation No 261/2004 provides that where reference is made to Article 8, passengers are to be offered the choice between, under paragraph 1(a), reimbursement of the ticket and a return flight to the first point of departure or, under paragraph 1(b) and ©, re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination.

10 Article 9(1) of that regulation, where reference is made to Article 9, passengers are to be offered free of charge, under Article 9(1)(a), meals and refreshments and, under Article 9(1)(b) and ©, hotel accommodation and transfer to the place of accommodation; in addition, under Article 9(2), they are to be offered free of charge two telephone calls, telex or fax messages, or e-mails.

The disputes in the main proceedings and the questions referred for a preliminary ruling

Case C-402/07

11 The Sturgeons booked return tickets with Condor from Frankfurt am Main (Germany) to Toronto (Canada).

12 The return flight from Toronto to Frankfurt was due to depart at 16.20 on 9 July 2005. Following check-in, passengers on that flight were informed that the flight was cancelled, as was indicated on the airport departures board. Their luggage was returned to them and they were then driven to a hotel where they spent the night. The following day, the passengers were checked in at another airline’s counter for a flight with the same number as that on their booking. Condor did not schedule another flight with the same number for the day concerned. The passengers were given different seats from those they had been allocated on the previous day. The booking was not converted into a booking for a flight scheduled by another airline. The flight concerned arrived in Frankfurt at around 07.00 on 11 July 2005, some 25 hours after its scheduled arrival time.

13 The Sturgeons took the view that, in light of all the abovementioned circumstances, in particular the delay of more than 25 hours, the flight had been not delayed but cancelled.

14 The Sturgeons brought an action against Condor before the Amtsgericht Rüsselsheim (Local Court, Rüsselsheim) (Germany), claiming compensation of EUR 600 per person plus damages, since, in their view, the damage sustained was the result not of a flight delay but of a cancellation.

15 Condor contended that the action as framed should be dismissed on the ground that the flight in question was delayed and not cancelled. Prior to the proceedings before the national court, Condor claimed that the flight had been delayed as the result of a hurricane in the Caribbean but during the proceedings it attributed the delay to technical faults on the plane and illness among the crew.

16 The Amtsgericht Rüsselsheim concluded that the flight had been delayed not cancelled and, consequently, dismissed the Sturgeons’ claim for compensation. The Sturgeons appealed to the Landgericht Darmstadt (Regional Court, Darmstadt) which upheld the decision of the lower court.

17 The Sturgeons then appealed on a point of law (‘Revision’) to the Bundesgerichtshof (Federal Court of Justice).

18 Taking the view that the outcome of the appeal depended on the interpretation of Articles 2(l) and 5(1)© of Regulation No 261/2004, the Bundesgerichtshof decided to stay the proceedings and to refer the following questions to the Court for a preliminary ruling:

‘1. Is it decisive for the interpretation of the term “cancellation” whether the original flight planning is abandoned, with the result that a delay, regardless of how long, does not constitute a cancellation if the air carrier does not actually abandon the planning for the original flight?

2. If Question 1 is answered in the negative: in what circumstances is a delay of the planned flight no longer to be regarded as a delay but as a cancellation? Is the answer to this question dependent on the length of the delay?’

Case C-432/07

19 Mr Böck and Ms Lepuschitz booked return tickets with Air France from Vienna (Austria) to Mexico City (Mexico) via Paris (France).

20 The Mexico City-Paris flight which Mr Böck and Ms Lepuschitz were due to take was scheduled to depart at 21.30 on 7 March 2005. When they came to check in, they were immediately informed, without the check-in taking place, that their flight was cancelled. The cancellation resulted from a change in the flight planning between Mexico City and Paris, which arose because of a technical breakdown on the aircraft due to fly from Paris to Mexico City and on account of the need to observe the rest period prescribed by law for the crew.

21 In order to get back earlier, Mr Böck and Ms Lepuschitz accepted Air France’s offer of seats on a flight operated by Continental Airlines, which was scheduled to leave the following day, 8 March 2005, at 12.20. Their tickets were first cancelled and then new tickets were issued to them at the Continental Airlines counter.

22 The other passengers on the Mexico City-Paris flight, who did not take the Continental Airlines flight, left Mexico City, with a number of additional passengers, on 8 March 2005 at 19.35. That flight, whose original number was followed by the letter ‘A’, was operated in addition to the regular flight scheduled by Air France on the same day.

23 Mr Böck and Ms Lepuschitz arrived in Vienna almost 22 hours after the scheduled arrival time.

24 Mr Böck and Ms Lepuschitz brought an action against Air France before the Bezirksgericht für Handelssachen Wien (District Commercial Court, Vienna) (Austria), claiming EUR 600 compensation per person for cancellation of their flight, on the basis of Articles 5 and 7(1)© of Regulation No 261/2004. That court dismissed their claim on the ground that, despite the evident flight delay, Regulation No 261/2004 did not support the conclusion that there was a flight cancellation. Mr Böck and Ms Lepuschitz appealed against that decision to the Handelsgericht Wien (Commercial Court, Vienna).

25 In those circumstances, the Handelsgericht Wien decided to stay the proceedings and to refer the following questions to the Court for a preliminary ruling:

‘1. Must Article 5, read in conjunction with Articles 2(l) and 6, of Regulation … No 261/2004 …, be interpreted as meaning that a 22-hour delay in the time of departure constitutes a “delay” within the meaning of Article 6?

2. Must Article 2(l) of Regulation … No 261/2004 be interpreted as meaning that instances in which passengers are transported significantly later (22 hours later) on a flight operating under a longer flight number (original flight number supplemented by an “A”) and carrying only an – albeit large – proportion of the passengers booked on the initial flight, but also additional passengers not booked on the initial flight, constitute “cancellations” rather than “delays”?

If Question 2 is to be answered in the affirmative:

3. Must Article 5(3) of Regulation … No 261/2004 be interpreted as meaning that technical problems with a plane and the resulting changes to the flight schedule represent extraordinary circumstances (which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken)?’

26 By order of the President of the Court of 19 October 2007, Cases C‑402/07 and C‑432/07 were joined for the purposes of the written and oral procedure and of the judgment.

Consideration of the questions referred

27 Before the national courts, the applicants in the main actions claim from Condor and Air France respectively the compensation provided for in Article 7 of Regulation No 261/2004 on the ground that with those airlines they reached their airports of destination, in the first case, 25 and, in the second case, 22 hours after the scheduled arrival times. Condor and Air France assert that the applicants are not entitled to any compensation, since the flights concerned were not cancelled but delayed and Regulation No 261/2004 provides for a right to compensation only in the case of flight cancellation. Furthermore, the airlines maintain that the late arrival of the flights was attributable to technical faults on the aircraft, which are covered by the concept of ‘extraordinary circumstances’ within the meaning of Article 5(3) of Regulation No 261/2004, and that they are thus released from the obligation to pay compensation.

28 In those circumstances, in order to give the national courts a useful answer, the questions referred should be understood as seeking, in essence, to ascertain:

– whether a flight delay must be regarded as a flight cancellation for the purposes of Articles 2(l) and 5 of Regulation No 261/2004 where the delay is long;

– whether Articles 5, 6 and 7 of Regulation No 261/2004 must be interpreted as meaning that passengers whose flights are delayed may, for the purpose of the application of the right to compensation laid down in Article 7 of that regulation, be treated as passengers whose flights are cancelled, and

– whether a technical problem in an aircraft is covered by the concept of ‘extraordinary circumstances’ within the meaning of Article 5(3) of Regulation No 261/2004.

The first part of the questions referred, concerning the concept of delay

29 Regulation No 261/2004 does not contain a definition of ‘flight delay’. That concept may, however, be clarified in the light of the context in which it occurs.

30 In that regard, it should be recalled, first, that a ‘flight’ within the meaning of Regulation No 261/2004 consists in an air transport operation, performed by an air carrier which fixes its itinerary (Case C‑173/07 Emirates Airlines [2008] ECR I‑5237, paragraph 40). Thus, the itinerary is an essential element of the flight, as the flight is operated in accordance with the carrier’s pre-arranged planning.

31 It is clear furthermore from Article 6 of Regulation No 261/2004 that the Community legislature adopted a notion of ‘flight delay’ which is considered only by reference to the scheduled departure time and which implies as a consequence that, after the departure time, the other elements pertaining to the flight must remain unchanged.

32 Thus, a flight is ‘delayed’ for the purposes of Article 6 of Regulation No 261/2004 if it is operated in accordance with the original planning and its actual departure time is later than the scheduled departure time.

33 Second, according to Article 2(l) of Regulation No 261/2004, flight cancellation, unlike delay, is the result of non-operation of a flight which was previously planned. It follows that, in that regard, cancelled flights and delayed flights are two quite distinct categories of flights. It cannot therefore be inferred from Regulation No 261/2004 that a flight which is delayed may be classified as a ‘cancelled flight’ merely on the ground that the delay is extended, even substantially.

34 Consequently, a flight which is delayed, irrespective of the duration of the delay, even if it is long, cannot be regarded as cancelled where there is a departure in accordance with the original planning.

35 In those circumstances, where passengers are carried on a flight whose departure time is later than the departure time originally scheduled, the flight can be classified as ‘cancelled’ only if the air carrier arranges for the passengers to be carried on another flight whose original planning is different from that of the flight for which the booking was made.

36 Thus, it is possible, as a rule, to conclude that there is a cancellation where the delayed flight for which the booking was made is ‘rolled over’ onto another flight, that is to say, where the planning for the original flight is abandoned and the passengers from that flight join passengers on a flight which was also planned – but independently of the flight for which the passengers so transferred had made their bookings.

37 By contrast, it cannot, as a rule, be concluded that there is a flight delay or cancellation on the basis of a ‘delay’ or a ‘cancellation’ being shown on the airport departures board or announced by the air carrier’s staff. Similarly, the fact that passengers recover their luggage or obtain new boarding cards is not, as a rule, a deciding factor. Those circumstances are not connected with the objective characteristics of the flight as such. They can be attributable to inaccurate classifications or to factors obtaining in the airport concerned or, yet again, they may be unavoidable given the waiting time and the fact that it is necessary for the passengers concerned to spend the night in a hotel.

38 Nor, as a rule, is it conclusive that the composition of the group of passengers who initially held reservations is essentially identical to that of the group subsequently transported. Indeed, as the delay grows longer by reference to the departure time originally scheduled, the number of passengers in the first of those groups may decrease because some passengers have been offered re-routing on another flight and others, for personal reasons, have decided not to take the delayed flight. Conversely, to the extent that seats have become available on the flight for which the booking was made, there is nothing to prevent the carrier accepting, before departure of the plane which is delayed, additional passengers.

39 In view of the foregoing, the answer to the first part of the questions referred is that Articles 2(l), 5 and 6 of Regulation No 261/2004 must be interpreted as meaning that a flight which is delayed, irrespective of the duration of the delay, even if it is long, cannot be regarded as cancelled where the flight is operated in accordance with the air carrier’s original planning.

The second part of the questions referred, concerning the right to compensation in the event of delay

40 Article 5(1) of Regulation No 261/2004 provides that in the event of cancellation of a flight, the passengers concerned are to have the right to compensation by the operating air carrier in accordance with Article 7 of the regulation.

41 By contrast, it does not expressly follow from the wording of Regulation No 261/2004 that passengers whose flights are delayed have such a right. Nevertheless, as the Court has made clear in its case-law, it is necessary, in interpreting a provision of Community law, to consider not only its wording, but also the context in which it occurs and the objectives pursued by the rules of which it is part (see, inter alia, Case C-156/98 Germany v Commission [2000] ECR I-6857, paragraph 50, and Case C-306/05 SGAE [2006] ECR I-11519, paragraph 34).

42 In that regard, the operative part of a Community act is indissociably linked to the statement of reasons for it, so that, when it has to be interpreted, account must be taken of the reasons which led to its adoption (Case C‑298/00 P Italy v Commission [2004] ECR I‑4087, paragraph 97 and the case-law cited).

43 It must be stated that, even though the possibility of relying on ‘extraordinary circumstances’, allowing air carriers to be released from the obligation to pay compensation under Article 7 of Regulation No 261/2004, is provided for only in Article 5(3) thereof, which concerns flight cancellation, Recital 15 in the preamble to the regulation nevertheless states that that ground may also be relied on where an air traffic management decision in relation to a particular aircraft on a particular day gives rise to ‘a long delay [or] an overnight delay’. As the notion of long delay is mentioned in the context of extraordinary circumstances, it must be held that the legislature also linked that notion to the right to compensation.

44 That is implicitly borne out by the objective of Regulation No 261/2004, since it is apparent from Recitals 1 to 4 in the preamble, in particular from Recital 2, that the regulation seeks to ensure a high level of protection for air passengers regardless of whether they are denied boarding or whether their flight is cancelled or delayed, since they are all caused similar serious trouble and inconvenience connected with air transport.

45 That is a fortiori the case since the provisions conferring rights on air passengers, including those conferring a right to compensation, must be interpreted broadly (see, to that effect, Case C-549/07 Wallentin-Hermann [2008] ECR I‑0000, paragraph 17).

46 In those circumstances it cannot automatically be presumed that passengers whose flights are delayed do not have a right to compensation and cannot, for the purposes of recognition of such a right, be treated as passengers whose flights are cancelled.

47 Next, it must be stated that, according to a general principle of interpretation, a Community act must be interpreted, as far as possible, in such a way as not to affect its validity (see, to that effect, Case C‑403/99 Italy v Commission [2001] ECR I‑6883, paragraph 37). Likewise, where a provision of Community law is open to several interpretations, preference must be given to that interpretation which ensures that the provision retains its effectiveness (see, inter alia, Case 187/87 Land de Sarre and Others [1988] ECR 5013, paragraph 19, and Case C‑434/97 Commission v France [2000] ECR I‑1129, paragraph 21).

48 In that regard, all Community acts must be interpreted in accordance with primary law as a whole, including the principle of equal treatment, which requires that comparable situations must not be treated differently and that different situations must not be treated in the same way unless such treatment is objectively justified (Case C‑210/03 Swedish Match [2004] ECR I‑11893, paragraph 70, and Case C‑344/04 IATA and ELFAA [2006] ECR I‑403, paragraph 95).

49 In view of the objective of Regulation No 261/2004, which is to strengthen protection for air passengers by redressing damage suffered by them during air travel, situations covered by the regulation must be compared, in particular by reference to the type and extent of the various types of inconvenience and damage suffered by the passengers concerned (see, to that effect, IATA and ELFAA, paragraphs 82, 85, 97 and 98).

50 In this instance, the situation of passengers whose flights are delayed should be compared with that of passengers whose flights are cancelled.

51 In that connection, Regulation No 261/2004 seeks to redress damage in an immediate and standardised manner and to do so by various forms of intervention which are the subject of rules relating to denied boarding, cancellation and long flight delay (see, to that effect, IATA and ELFAA, paragraph 43).

52 Regulation No 261/2004 has, in those measures, the objective of repairing, inter alia, damage consisting, for the passengers concerned, in a loss of time which, given that it is irreversible, can be redressed only by compensation.

53 In that regard, it must be stated that that damage is suffered both by passengers whose flights are cancelled and by passengers whose flights are delayed if, prior to reaching their destinations, the latter’s journey time is longer than the time which had originally been scheduled by the air carrier.

54 Consequently, passengers whose flights have been cancelled and passengers affected by a flight delay suffer similar damage, consisting in a loss of time, and thus find themselves in comparable situations for the purposes of the application of the right to compensation laid down in Article 7 of Regulation No 261/2004.

55 More specifically, the situation of passengers whose flights are delayed is scarcely distinguishable from that of passengers whose flights are cancelled, who are re-routed in accordance with Article 5(1)©(iii) of Regulation No 261/2004 and who may be informed of the flight cancellation at the very last moment, when they actually arrive at the airport (see Case C‑204/08 Rehder [2009] ECR I‑0000, paragraph 19).

56 First, both categories of passengers are informed, as a rule, at the same time of the incident which will make their journey by air more difficult. Second, even if they are transported to their final destination, they reach it after the time originally scheduled and, as a consequence, they suffer a similar loss of time.

57 That said, passengers who are re-routed under Article 5(1)©(iii) of Regulation No 261/2004 are afforded the right to compensation laid down in Article 7 of the regulation where the carrier fails to re-route them on a flight which departs no more than one hour before the scheduled time of departure and reaches their final destination less than two hours after the scheduled time of arrival. Those passengers thus acquire a right to compensation when they suffer a loss of time equal to or in excess of three hours in relation to the duration originally planned by the air carrier.

58 If, by contrast, passengers whose flights are delayed did not acquire any right to compensation, they would be treated less favourably even though, depending on the circumstances, they suffer a similar loss of time, of three hours or more, in the course of their journey.

59 There appears, however, to be no objective ground capable of justifying such a difference in treatment.

60 Given that the damage sustained by air passengers in cases of cancellation or long delay is comparable, passengers whose flights are delayed and passengers whose flights are cancelled cannot be treated differently without the principle of equal treatment being infringed. That is a fortiori the case in view of the aim sought by Regulation No 261/2004, which is to increase protection for all air passengers.

61 In those circumstances, the Court finds that passengers whose flights are delayed may rely on the right to compensation laid down in Article 7 of Regulation No 261/2004 where they suffer, on account of such flights, a loss of time equal to or in excess of three hours, that is to say when they reach their final destination three hours or more after the arrival time originally scheduled by the air carrier.

62 That solution is, moreover, consistent with Recital 15 in the preamble to Regulation No 261/2004. As stated at paragraph 43 of this judgment, it must be held that the legislature, in that recital, also linked the notion of ‘long delay’ to the right to compensation. That notion corresponds to a delay to which the legislature attaches certain legal consequences. As Article 6 of the regulation already accepts such legal consequences in the case of certain flights which are delayed for two hours, Recital 15 necessarily covers delays of three hours or more.

63 It is important to point out that the compensation payable to a passenger under Article 7(1) of Regulation No 261/2004 may be reduced by 50% if the conditions laid down in Article 7(2) of the regulation are met. Even though the latter provision refers only to the case of re-routing of passengers, the Court finds that the reduction in the compensation provided for is dependent solely on the delay to which passengers are subject, so that nothing precludes the application mutatis mutandis of that provision to compensation paid to passengers whose flights are delayed. It follows that the compensation payable to a passenger whose flight is delayed, who reaches his final destination three hours or more after the arrival time originally scheduled, may be reduced by 50%, in accordance with Article 7(2)© of Regulation No 261/2004, where the delay is – in the case of a flight not falling under points (a) or (b) of Article 7(2) – less than four hours.

64 The conclusion set out in paragraph 61 of this judgment is not undermined by the fact that Article 6 of Regulation No 261/2004 provides for different forms of assistance under Articles 8 and 9 thereof for passengers whose flights are delayed.

65 As the Court has already stated, Regulation No 261/2004 provides for various forms of intervention in order to redress, in a standardised and immediate manner, the different types of damage constituted by the inconvenience that delay in the carriage of passengers by air causes (see, to that effect, IATA and ELFAA, paragraphs 43 and 45).

66 Those measures are autonomous in the sense that they address different aims and seek to make up for various types of damage caused by such delay.

67 That said, it should be recalled that, with the adoption of Regulation No 261/2004, the legislature was also seeking to strike a balance between the interests of air passengers and those of air carriers. Having laid down certain rights for those passengers, it provided at the same time, in Recital 15 and Article 5(3) of the regulation, that air carriers are not obliged to pay compensation if they can prove that the cancellation or long delay is caused by extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken, namely circumstances which are beyond the air carrier’s actual control.

68 Moreover, the discharge of obligations pursuant to Regulation No 261/2004 is without prejudice to air carriers’ rights to seek compensation from any person who caused the delay, including third parties, as Article 13 of the regulation provides. Such compensation may accordingly reduce or even remove the financial burden borne by carriers in consequence of those obligations. Nor does it appear unreasonable for those obligations initially to be borne, subject to the abovementioned right to compensation, by the air carriers with which the passengers concerned have a contract of carriage that entitles them to a flight that should be neither cancelled nor delayed (IATA and ELFAA, paragraph 90).

69 In the light of the foregoing, the answer to the second part of the questions referred is that Articles 5, 6 and 7 of Regulation No 261/2004 must be interpreted as meaning that passengers whose flights are delayed may be treated, for the purposes of the application of the right to compensation, as passengers whose flights are cancelled and they may thus rely on the right to compensation laid down in Article 7 of the regulation where they suffer, on account of a flight delay, a loss of time equal to or in excess of three hours, that is, where they reach their final destination three hours or more after the arrival time originally scheduled by the air carrier. Such a delay does not, however, entitle passengers to compensation if the air carrier can prove that the long delay was caused by extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken, namely circumstances beyond the actual control of the air carrier.

The third question in Case C-432/07, concerning extraordinary circumstances resulting from a technical problem in an aircraft

70 The Court has already held that Article 5(3) of Regulation No 261/2004 must be interpreted as meaning that a technical problem in an aircraft which leads to the cancellation of a flight is not covered by the concept of ‘extraordinary circumstances’ within the meaning of that provision, unless that problem stems from events which, by their nature or origin, are not inherent in the normal exercise of the activity of the air carrier concerned and are beyond its actual control (Wallentin-Hermann, paragraph 34).

71 The same conclusion applies when Article 5(3) of Regulation No 261/2004 is pleaded in the case of flight delay.

72 Thus, the answer to the third question in Case C‑432/07 is that Article 5(3) of Regulation No 261/2004 must be interpreted as meaning that a technical problem in an aircraft which leads to the cancellation or delay of a flight is not covered by the concept of ‘extraordinary circumstances’ within the meaning of that provision, unless that problem stems from events which, by their nature or origin, are not inherent in the normal exercise of the activity of the air carrier concerned and are beyond its actual control.

Costs

73 Since these proceedings are, for the parties to the main proceedings, a step in the action pending before the national court, the decision on costs is a matter for that court. Costs incurred in submitting observations to the Court, other than the costs of those parties, are not recoverable.

On those grounds, the Court (Fourth Chamber) hereby rules:

1. Articles 2(l), 5 and 6 of Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights, and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 295/91, must be interpreted as meaning that a flight which is delayed, irrespective of the duration of the delay, even if it is long, cannot be regarded as cancelled where the flight is operated in accordance with the air carrier’s original planning.

2. Articles 5, 6 and 7 of Regulation No 261/2004 must be interpreted as meaning that passengers whose flights are delayed may be treated, for the purposes of the application of the right to compensation, as passengers whose flights are cancelled and they may thus rely on the right to compensation laid down in Article 7 of the regulation where they suffer, on account of a flight delay, a loss of time equal to or in excess of three hours, that is, where they reach their final destination three hours or more after the arrival time originally scheduled by the air carrier. Such a delay does not, however, entitle passengers to compensation if the air carrier can prove that the long delay was caused by extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken, namely circumstances beyond the actual control of the air carrier.

3. Article 5(3) of Regulation No 261/2004 must be interpreted as meaning that a technical problem in an aircraft which leads to the cancellation or delay of a flight is not covered by the concept of ‘extraordinary circumstances’ within the meaning of that provision, unless that problem stems from events which, by their nature or origin, are not inherent in the normal exercise of the activity of the air carrier concerned and are beyond its actual control.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been wrangling with Air France, and been updating this thread:

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?329981-Air-France-long-delay-EU-compensation-regulations-for-600-EUR%281-Viewing%29-nbsp

 

First they claimed that I'm wrong about the regulation entitling me to 600 EUR. Then they claimed "extraordinary circumstances" (technical fault in this case) exempt them- I showed them Buck v Air France and the court ruling. Now their latest claim is that their General Conditions of Carriage exempt them from all liability. I've replied back that their T&C overruling EU law and legislation is absurd and pointed them to text on the EU website.

 

I probably will have to contact the CAA and send a recorded mail tomorrow. After 1 month if I am not refunded, then I will start a small claims procedure and will sue for 1000 EUR or more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The ECJ has today upheld its previous ruling granting compensation to passengers whose flights are delayed by 3 hours or more and the reasons for which are not due to "extraordinary circumstances".

 

No surprises really as this decision had long been predicted.

 

Link to full judgement:http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:62010CJ0581:EN:HTML

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great news and should open up the floodgates to claims against the airlines.

I see that there are Compo claim companies sprouting up already.

 

I am looking to pursue a claim from 2006 where 11 of us were delayed by 6 hours on a flight from Manchester to Palma, however, I have no documentation, apart from a bank statement stating when we bought the holiday. I am wondering if the holiday company are obliged to provide us with the flight deatils if we request it. Any ideas anyone?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Great news and should open up the floodgates to claims against the airlines.

I see that there are Compo claim companies sprouting up already.

 

I am looking to pursue a claim from 2006 where 11 of us were delayed by 6 hours on a flight from Manchester to Palma, however, I have no documentation, apart from a bank statement stating when we bought the holiday. I am wondering if the holiday company are obliged to provide us with the flight deatils if we request it. Any ideas anyone?

 

Pete

 

It depends on what date your delay took place in 2006. If it is more than 6 years ago to the day then you are unlikely to succeed as small claims court in Eng/Wales has a 6 year time limit to start a claim. The airline will simply ignore you after all this time knowing that you cannot enforce or receive a judgement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The "6 years" is from when you could reasonably discover that it was unlawful, and as the test case has just gone thrugh it should be fine. A SAR should provide all the information you need.


If in doubt, contact a qualified insured legal professional (or my wife... she knows EVERYTHING)

 

Or send a cheque or postal order payable to Reclaim the Right Ltd.

to

923 Finchley Road London NW11 7PE

 

 

Click here if you fancy an email address that shows you mean business! (only £6 and that will really help CAG)

 

If you can't donate, please use the Internet Search boxes on the CAG pages - these will generate a small but regular income for the site

 

Please also consider using the

C.A.G. Toolbar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The downside to this is that the airlines will not take the hit on all the compensation claims they will need to pay out and will simply respond by increasing ticket prices for everyone.Whilst one hopes that they might simply work to be more reliable and efficient, that would again cost money in things such as extra staff so either way, ticket prices are likely to increase as a result.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, We flew in August 2006 which was just over 6 years ago, however according to Martins Lewis at,

 

http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/travel/2012/10/flight-delay-compensation-floodgates-open

 

Compo can be claimed if: The flight departed on 17 February 2005 or later..I have spent all morning trying to find a record of the flight number on that day. To no avail :roll:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just got off the phone with the customer relations at Thomas cook, and they said that none of their companies will pay compensation for delayed flights because the E.U. ruling is not yet U.K. law

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LOL and have you recorded that or got that in writing?

 

When I had a minor dispute with Thomas cook I emailed the CEO of the Thomas cook group sam.weihagen@thomascook.com and got a resolution very quickly, but my dispute was similar to what you just experienced, they said one thing over the phone than was agreed when I booked. The CEO's department sorted this and put a note on the account telling them to abide by what was agreed when I booked.

 

The moral of the story is get everything agreed in writing or recorded as they will just deny things, and when push comes to shove you need evidence of this.


If in doubt, contact a qualified insured legal professional (or my wife... she knows EVERYTHING)

 

Or send a cheque or postal order payable to Reclaim the Right Ltd.

to

923 Finchley Road London NW11 7PE

 

 

Click here if you fancy an email address that shows you mean business! (only £6 and that will really help CAG)

 

If you can't donate, please use the Internet Search boxes on the CAG pages - these will generate a small but regular income for the site

 

Please also consider using the

C.A.G. Toolbar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The "6 years" is from when you could reasonably discover that it was unlawful, and as the test case has just gone thrugh it should be fine. A SAR should provide all the information you need.

 

The original judgement allowing flight delay compensation was in November 2009 so by following your line of reasoning, passengers have had good notice of this for just under 3 years as of now. It might be useful to have a look at post #11 upthread just to check!!

 

If you are in any doubt, telephone your local county court and ask the question as I have done earlier today. The county court small claims track time limit is 6 years from the date of the event giving rise to your claim.

Edited by Cityboy62

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi, We flew in August 2006 which was just over 6 years ago, however according to Martins Lewis at,

 

http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/travel/2012/10/flight-delay-compensation-floodgates-open

 

Compo can be claimed if: The flight departed on 17 February 2005 or later..I have spent all morning trying to find a record of the flight number on that day. To no avail :roll:

 

Pete

 

MSE's comment is incorrect. See my comment above to locutus. If you have spent all day trying to find the record of the flight you haven't tried www.flightstats.com (register free for archive data)! And if you're struggling for that data, do you have any booking ref/PNR to give to the airline as proof that you took this flight as without that detail they will simply ignore you anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just got off the phone with the customer relations at Thomas cook, and they said that none of their companies will pay compensation for delayed flights because the E.U. ruling is not yet U.K. law

 

More typical airline obfuscation!

  • Confused 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The original judgement allowing flight delay compensation was in November 2009 so by following your line of reasoning, passengers have had good notice of this for just under 3 years as of now. If you are in any doubt, telephone your local county court and ask the question as I have done earlier today. The county court small claims track time limit is 6 years from the date of the event giving rise to your claim.

 

I am surprised that a court gave legal advice over the telephone. The Judges job is to judge on the legal issues,and the court to facilitate this and provide the admin work. Still, the limitations act is set out clearly that your time limit is from then you could have reasonably discovered that they owe the money. (section 5)

  • Confused 1

If in doubt, contact a qualified insured legal professional (or my wife... she knows EVERYTHING)

 

Or send a cheque or postal order payable to Reclaim the Right Ltd.

to

923 Finchley Road London NW11 7PE

 

 

Click here if you fancy an email address that shows you mean business! (only £6 and that will really help CAG)

 

If you can't donate, please use the Internet Search boxes on the CAG pages - these will generate a small but regular income for the site

 

Please also consider using the

C.A.G. Toolbar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:-)Cityboy. Thanks mate. I found the flight number in two minutes. if you are right that the time frame for a claim is 6 years max, then I am unlucky that I did not realise this sooner. I will be interested to see why MSE said 2005.

Edited by petemc
forget something

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
style="text-align:center;"> Please note that this topic has not had any new posts for the last 2426 days.

If you are trying to post a different story then you should start your own new thread. Posting on this thread is likely to mean that you won't get the help and advice that you need.

If you are trying to post information which is relevant to the story in this thread then please flag it up to the site team and they will allow you to post.

Thank you
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 Caggers

    No registered users viewing this page.


  • Have we helped you ...?


×
×
  • Create New...