ECJ opposes airline’s legal challenge to comp rules

Victoria
By Victoria May 21, 2012 10:55

ECJ opposes airline’s legal challenge to comp rules

An European Court of Justice advocate general has opposed a joint legal challenge by British Airways, easyJet, Tui Travel and the International Air Transport Association to compensation rules introduced in November 2009.

Yves Bot proposes that the ECJ confirm that passengers whose flights are delayed may be entitled to compensation when they reach their final destination three hours or more after the scheduled arrival time, they may seek flat-rate compensation from the airline. EU law provides that in the event of flight cancellation passengers may receive flat-rate compensation of between €250 and €600. However, it is not expressly provided that passengers whose flights are delayed also have such a right.

In its Sturgeon judgment2, the Court of Justice ruled that passengers whose flights are delayed may be treated, so far as the right to compensation is concerned, in the same way as passengers whose flights are cancelled. Thus, if they reach their final destination three hours or more after the arrival time as originally scheduled, they may seek flat-rate compensation from the airline, unless the delay has been caused by extraordinary circumstances.

The Advocate General took the view that compensating passengers whose flights have been delayed does not, in his view, result in an arbitrary and unduly severe financial burden on air carriers, particularly since the frequency of delays of more than three hours, which confer entitlement to compensation, appears to be limited. Moreover, airlines are not obliged to pay compensation if they can prove that the cancellation or long delay is caused by extraordinary circumstances.

Victoria
By Victoria May 21, 2012 10:55
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