Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > British Airways | Executive Club
Reload this Page >

Interesting Court Decision In Germany - Passenger does not need to fly last leg

Interesting Court Decision In Germany - Passenger does not need to fly last leg

Reply

Old Dec 12, 18, 10:29 am
  #1  
Shl
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Programs: BA Gold/ Star Alliance Gold
Posts: 263
Interesting Court Decision In Germany - Passenger does not need to fly last leg

A German district court has ruled against Lufthansa. A passenger was charged € 2,100 (around £ 1.900) for not flying his last leg to OSL (ex-EU flight). However, the passenger did not agree with Lufthansa's demand and sought advice from a law firm (Franz LLP).

As described in the report on the firm's website the man had booked a trip with Lufthansa from Oslo via Frankfurt to North America (and also back). He started his journey in OSL, but on the way back he broke off his journey in Frankfurt and flew - on a separate Lufthansa reservation - on to Berlin. In a first hearing the court showed a trend to decide in the favour of the customer. Lufthansa then wanted to withdraw the lawsuit, however the passenger wanted a verdict. The court ruled and declared the conditions of carriage partially ineffective. The passenger does not have to pay.

The judgement is not yet final and Lufthansa can still appeal. However, according to lawyer Matthias Böse this is unlikely, as the terms and conditions show massive deficiencies. In an interview with German blog travel-dealz.de he said: "The current decision has clarified that passengers under the previous conditions of carriage can at least forfeit flights at the end of a ticket without penalty."

This seems to be the first court ruling in such a case. It will be interesting to see how it finishes, as this would certainly effect other European carriers - and with this BA - as well. However, as stated, unlikely that Lufthansa appeals.

Last edited by Shl; Dec 12, 18 at 6:09 pm
Shl is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 18, 11:09 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Brighton. UK
Programs: BA (GOLD), VS
Posts: 9,175
My understanding is that this only applies in Germany just as the IB ruling only applies to Spain. For it to apply across the EU there would need to be a ruling by the ECJ which would only happen if LH appealed to the ECJ and they confirmed the German ruling.

LH have a simple remedy which is to update their T&Cs to allow them to reprice the ticket to flights actually flown and the sooner they do that the sooner this ruling will have no effects.
UKtravelbear is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 18, 11:49 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Programs: BAEC Gold, EK Skywards (enhanced Blue !), Oman Air Sindbad Gold
Posts: 4,525
Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post

..............................

LH have a simple remedy which is to update their T&Cs to allow them to reprice the ticket to flights actually flown and the sooner they do that the sooner this ruling will have no effects.
I’m not so sure that it would be so simple as that - whether for Lufthansa or any other carrier. Some sort of update/revision could indeed prove to be a solution - but perhaps only a temporary one, until such time as it is challenged again.

My knowledge of German law is marginally less than zero. But certainly in the UK, where we have an Unfair Terms Contract Act, it has been shown that, whilst an organisation can incorporate (pretty much) whatever it chooses into its consumer T&C’s, it cannot necessarily rely on all aspects of those being upheld in a Court. On numerous occasions, judges have ruled that certain dubious T&C’s are not binding upon a customer who feels adversely affected. I seem to remember a case (amongst many) of a large tour operator being satisfied with itself for including small print to the effect that if it changed pre-booked, confirmed, hotel accommodation, at the last minute to another, inferior, property then then the customer just had to suck it up. But damages were awarded, if I have my facts right. Happy to be corrected.

It will be interesting to see how this scenario pans out in the coming months / years. Yes, the decisions do seemingly apply only to Spain and Germany respectively. But nor would I say it’s impossible to imagine other countries going down a similar path.




subject2load is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 18, 12:10 pm
  #4  
2019 FlyerTalk Awards
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 67
Originally Posted by Shl View Post
A German district court has ruled against Lufthansa. A passenger was charged € 2,100 (around £ 2.300) for not flying his last leg to OSL (ex-EU flight). However, the passenger did not agree with Lufthansa's demand and sought advice from a law firm (Franz LLP).

As described in the report on the firm's website the man had booked a trip with Lufthansa from Oslo via Frankfurt to North America (and also back). He started his journey in OSL, but on the way back he broke off his journey in Frankfurt and flew - on a separate Lufthansa reservation - on to Berlin. In a first hearing the court showed a trend to decide in the favour of the customer. Lufthansa then wanted to withdraw the lawsuit, however the passenger wanted a verdict. The court ruled and declared the conditions of carriage partially ineffective. The passenger does not have to pay.

The judgement is not yet final and Lufthansa can still appeal. However, according to lawyer Matthias Böse this is unlikely, as the terms and conditions show massive deficiencies. In an interview with German blog travel-dealz.de he said: "The current decision has clarified that passengers under the previous conditions of carriage can at least forfeit flights at the end of a ticket without penalty."

This seems to be the first court ruling in such a case. It will be interesting to see how it finishes, as this would certainly effect other European carriers - and with this BA - as well. However, as stated, unlikely that Lufthansa appeals.
but its only an Amtsgericht decision. Its not final.
Nephoi is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 18, 1:09 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: London, UK
Programs: Starbucks Rewards GOLD
Posts: 1,398
This repricing malarkey does not apply to British airways in any way shape or form. According to BA's own conditions of carriage, if you miss a sector in your journey British airways is allowed to reprice the ticket and if you don't pay up they can refuse to carry you.

Nowhere does it say that you have to pay BA the repriced journey. You can just accept the consequence of having your ticket voided which won't be a problem if it's the last sector anyway. It's all there in writing, black and white.

I sometimes wonder where do flyertalkers get these hallucinated fantasies of the airline coming after you trying to collect your money...
​​​​​​
annihilation and bisonrav like this.
mario is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 18, 1:11 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Planet Earth
Programs: BA Gold, Amex Centurion, HH Diam
Posts: 48
Could be coming from agents of the airline. I once cancelled an Avis booking (which had cost maybe $50) - the agent said I was liable for a $100 cancellation fee, at which point I just laughed at her. She genuinely thought they would charge me more than the rental. People might be told the same on the phone with BA.
Xonus is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 18, 1:30 pm
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 39,098
Thes are phyrric victories. When the German courts determined that tickets sold in Germany could not categorically require that segments be flown in the order issued, the result was that for those tickets, carriers offer the opportunity to purchase a ticket which need not be flown in order issues. It is imply much more expensive.

There is nothing remotely unfair about the carrier practice of selling different routes at different prices based on supply and demand. Rather, those carriers which have inaccurate contracts will have them interpreted against them.
Often1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 18, 1:35 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: London
Programs: Mucci, BA Gold, VS Gold, Accor Gold, Hilton Gold
Posts: 1,652
Surely the number of people doing exEU is tiny.
I've done a few exINV (have family there) and find it exhausting. And if LH and BA are selling a route for a price, they should be aware of the extra revenue of positioning flights etc.
Xonus and jmastron like this.
Sealink is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 18, 1:53 pm
  #9  
2019 FlyerTalk Awards
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Munich, Algarve, Sussex or S.F Bay Area
Programs: BA Gold, A3*Gold, AA Plat, HH Gold, IHG Plat, SPG Gold
Posts: 2,706
After reading the judgement I can say that the reason Lufthansa lost was because their pricing was intransparent. The only way they could get around this is if before purchase they require the passenger to agree to a repricing and clearly state what those prices would be for each phase of the journey depending on when you interupt travel.

The LH CoC, just like BA do allow a repricing if you do not fly the entire ticket. This was deemed invalid. I do consider this ruling as important and I will no longer have any qualm booking any of these kinds of tickets from Germany. Also BA tickets originating in Germany but abandoned in LHR would come under this ruling IMHO.
lowmiles likes this.
Tafflyer is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 18, 4:24 pm
  #10  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: London
Programs: Mucci. Nothing else matters.
Posts: 34,304
Sadly, if this leads to more revenue leakage from the lucrative market which would logically fly non-stop from the airline's hub, the airline will become less keen to carry the connecting traffic at current prices.

That is what I'm concerned about as a possible longer-term effect if this makes it possible for people to contract for a cheap product but use a more expensive product with impunity.
NYLON Boy and etiene like this.
Globaliser is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 18, 4:48 pm
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 38,553
Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Thes are phyrric victories. When the German courts determined that tickets sold in Germany could not categorically require that segments be flown in the order issued, the result was that for those tickets, carriers offer the opportunity to purchase a ticket which need not be flown in order issues. It is imply much more expensive.
How on earth is this a phyrric (sic) victory. The airline wanted to charge the passenger for not taking the last segment - the court ruled that it cannout

it may mean that the airline changes its terms to allow for it or , maybe it will decide to actually appeal ( and maybe even win ) - but the case itself is a victory for the passenger in that by taking it to court and not paying up, he has voided a charge from Lufthansa for €2,100

If winning a case for €2,100 is a pyrrhic victory , what is needed for a real victory?
the810 likes this.
Dave Noble is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 18, 4:49 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 50
Originally Posted by mario View Post
This repricing malarkey does not apply to British airways in any way shape or form. According to BA's own conditions of carriage, if you miss a sector in your journey British airways is allowed to reprice the ticket and if you don't pay up they can refuse to carry you.

Nowhere does it say that you have to pay BA the repriced journey. You can just accept the consequence of having your ticket voided which won't be a problem if it's the last sector anyway. It's all there in writing, black and white.

I sometimes wonder where do flyertalkers get these hallucinated fantasies of the airline coming after you trying to collect your money...
​​​​​​
That’s the relevant section:

“Where you change your travel without our agreement and the price for the resulting transportation you intend to undertake is greater than the price originally paid, you will be requested to pay the difference in price.”
creflo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 18, 4:51 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: London, UK
Programs: Starbucks Rewards GOLD
Posts: 1,398
Originally Posted by creflo View Post


That’s the relevant section:

“Where you change your travel without our agreement and the price for the resulting transportation you intend to undertake is greater than the price originally paid, you will be requested to pay the difference in price.”
You "forgot" to post the excerpt that explains what happens if you don't pay. This exact paragraph continues like this:

Failure to pay the price applicable to your revised transportation will result in refusal of carriage.
Stewie Mac and Ldnn1 like this.

Last edited by mario; Dec 12, 18 at 5:00 pm
mario is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 18, 4:55 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 50
Originally Posted by mario View Post
You "forgot" to post the excerpt that explains what happens if you don't pay.
Cancelling the ticket is just one of the remedies. Collecting the difference is another. It’s a statutory remedy. I did not “forget” it.

Damages would be another.
creflo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 18, 5:01 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 7,114
Originally Posted by creflo View Post


Cancelling the ticket is just one of the remedies. Collecting the difference is another. It’s a statutory remedy. I did not “forget” it.

Damages would be another.
How is it a statutory remedy?!?
Ldnn1 is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: