Air Passenger Rights: EU Cases
This page lists all Air Passenger Rights cases decided by the European Court of Justice.
Click here for an overview of the cases pending before the European Court of Justice.
European Court 13 October 2011, Case C-83/10 (Rodriguez a.o. v Air France)
Cancellation. Taxi costs after re-routing. Reimbursement of costs of assistance. Claim for immaterial damage for failure to provide hotel. ‘Further compensation’ ex Article 12 Regulation 261/2004.
Article 2, 5, 8, 9, and 12 Regulation 261/2004
1. ‘Cancellation’, as defined in Article 2(1) of Regulation 261/2004, must be interpreted as meaning that it does not refer only to the situation in which the aeroplane in question fails to take off at all, but also covers the case in which that aeroplane took off but, for whatever reason, was subsequently forced to return to the airport of departure where the passengers of the said aeroplane were transferred to other flights.
2. The meaning of ‘further compensation’, used in Article 12 of Regulation 261/2004, must be interpreted to the effect that it allows the national court to award compensation, under the conditions provided for by the Montreal Convention. On the other hand, that meaning of ‘further compensation’ may not be the legal basis for the national court to order an air carrier to reimburse to passengers whose flight has been delayed or cancelled the expenses the latter have had to incur because of the failure of that carrier to fulfil its obligations to assist and provide care under Article 8 and 9 of Regulation 261/2004.
European Court 12 May 2011, Case C-294/10 (Eglītis-Ratnieks v. Latvijas Republikas Ekonomikas ministrija)
Article 5 Regulation 261/2004.
At the stage of organising the flight, an air carrier must reasonably take account of the risk of delay caused by extraordinary circumstances and provide for some reserve time to allow it to operate the flight once these circumstances have come to an end.
Article 5(3) of Regulation 261/2004 must be interpreted as meaning that an air carrier, since it is obliged to implement all reasonable measures to avoid extraordinary circumstances, must reasonably, at the stage of organising the flight, take account of the risk of delay connected to the possible occurrence of such circumstances. It must, consequently, provide for a certain reserve time to allow it, if possible, to operate the flight in its entirety once the extraordinary circumstances have come to an end. However, that provision cannot be interpreted as requiring, as a ‘reasonable measure’, provision to be made, generally and without distinction, for a minimum reserve time applicable in the same way to all air carriers in all situations when extraordinary circumstances arise. The assessment of the ability of the air carrier to operate the programmed flight in its entirety in the new conditions resulting from the occurrence of those circumstances must be carried out in such a way as to ensure that the length of the required reserve time does not result in the air carrier being led to make intolerable sacrifices in the light of the capacities of its undertaking at the relevant time. Article 6(1) of that regulation is not applicable in the context of such an assessment.
European Court 6 May 2010, Case C-63/09
Lost and delayed luggage.
Article 22 Montreal Convention.
Compensation for lost and delayed luggage includes both material and non-material damage.
The term ‘damage’, which underpins Article 22(2) of the Montreal Convention, that sets the limit of an air carrier’s liability for the damage resulting, inter alia, from the loss of baggage, must be interpreted as including both material and non-material damage.
Court of Justice EU, 19 November 2009, Joined Cases C-402/07 and C-432/07 (Sturgeon v. Condor and Böck-Lepuschitz v. Air France)
Compensation for delayed flight.
Art. 2, 5, 6, and 7 Regulation 261/2004.
Passengers of a delayed flight of 3 hours or more have the same right to compensation as passengers of a cancelled flight. However, airlines do not have to pay compensation if the delay was caused by extraordinary circumstances.
1. Articles 2(l), 5 and 6 of Regulation 261/2004 mean that a delayed flight, 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 261/2004 mean 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 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.
European Court 22 October 2009, Case C-301/08
Warsaw Convention; Regulation 2027/97.
The Warsaw Convention does not form part of the EU legal order but EU legislation does not preclude the application of this Convention.
1. The Warsaw Convention 1929 does not form part of the rules of the Community legal order, which the Court of Justice has jurisdiction to interpret under Article 234 EC.
2. Regulation 2027/97 on air carrier liability in the event of accidents must be interpreted as not precluding the application of Article 29 of the Warsaw Convention, to a situation in which a passenger seeks to establish the liability of the air carrier on account of harm suffered by him when flying between Member States of the European Community.
European Court 9 July 2009, Case C-204/08
Article 5 Regulation 44/2001.
A passenger can lodge a claim against an airline under the APR Regulation either in the court of the country of departure or the country of arrival.
The second indent of Article 5(1)(b) Regulation 44/2001 must be interpreted as meaning that, in the case of air transport of passengers from one Member State to another Member State, carried out on the basis of a contract with only one airline, which is the operating carrier, the court having jurisdiction to deal with a claim for compensation founded on that transport contract and on Regulation 261/2004 is that, at the applicant’s choice, which has territorial jurisdiction over the place of departure or place of arrival of the aircraft, as those places are agreed in that contract.
European Court 10 March 2009, Case C-345/06
Regulation 622/2003; Regulation 68/2004.
Individuals are not bound by rules regarding banned items of hand luggage if these rules are not published by the European Union.
The annex to Regulation 622/2003 laying down measures for the implementation of the common basic standards on aviation security, as amended by Regulation 68/2004, which was not published in the Official Journal of the European Union, has no binding force in so far as it seeks to impose obligations on individuals.
European Court 22 December 2008, Case C-549/07
Article 5 Regulation 261/2004.
A technical problem can only be an extraordinary circumstance if it is caused by events that are beyond the airline’s actual control. Technical problems usually do not constitute extraordinary circumstances.
1. Article 5(3) of Regulation 261/2004 means 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).
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 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 261/2004 and, therefore, to relieve that carrier of its obligation to pay compensation provided for by Articles 5(1)(c) and 7(1) of that regulation.
European Court 10 July 2008, Case C‐173/07
Article 3 Regulation 261/2004.
A return flight from a non-European airport with a non-European airline constitutes a non-European flight.
Article 3(1)(a) of Regulation 261/2004 does not apply to the case of an outward and return journey in which passengers who have originally departed from an airport located in the territory of a Member State to which the EC Treaty applies travel back to that airport on a flight from an airport located in a non-member country. The fact that the outward and return flights are the subject of a single booking has no effect on the interpretation of that provision.
European Court 10 January 2006, Case C-344/04
Validity of provisions of Regulation 261/2004.
Articles 5, 6, and 7 Regulation 261/2004.
Articles 5, 6, and 7 Regulation 261/2004 are valid.
Regulation 261/2004 is valid. Examination of the questions referred to the Court has revealed nothing that affects the validity of Articles 5, 6 and 7 of Regulation 261/2004.