Dusseldorf Region Court: EW must rebook passengers on other airlines

Old Sep 6, 19, 5:10 am
  #1  
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Exclamation Dusseldorf Region Court: EW must rebook passengers on other airlines

Good news for (EW-) passengers:

In a recent judgement dated September 4, 2019, the Duesseldorf Regional Court clarified the situation: If, after cancellation, a passenger requests the next possible flight in accordance with Art. 8 Para. 1 lit. b of the Regulation 261/2004/EC, he is also entitled to a flight with another airline.
In this case, a 11 a.m. flight was cancelled and other flights in the earlier morning and for 5:xx p.m. were offered. A LH flight )9was available at 11 am. EW refused to rebook for the EW flight.

Unfortunately, this question has been answered differently in parts of the case-law, including the first instance court in this case.
More details on the case and the full text of the decision can be found in German at https://www.franz.de/kanzlei/news/lg...zbefoerderung/

Even though this decision has not legally binding effect, it will certainly have a factual influence on the further jurisdiction of the local court of Duesseldorf, the competent court for lawsuits against eurowings due to their registerered office in Duesseldorf.
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Old Sep 6, 19, 9:18 am
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If a 11AM flight is cancelled and you are offered both an earlier flight the same morning and a 5PM flight I fail to see how the pax can insist on being rebooked to another airline. Just my cents.
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Old Sep 6, 19, 9:39 am
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Originally Posted by SK AAR View Post
If a 11AM flight is cancelled and you are offered both an earlier flight the same morning and a 5PM flight I fail to see how the pax can insist on being rebooked to another airline. Just my cents.
Good point.
In my particular case, the passengers could not reach the early flights due to being on an island that morning. The late flight would have led to reaching their home quite late in the evening with their children, (4+7).

From a legal point of view, Art. 8 of the passenger rights regulatpm 261/2004/EC gives the answer:

Article 8 Right to reimbursement or re-routing

1. Where reference is made to this Article, passengers shall be offered the choice between:
[...]
(b) re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination at the earliest opportunity; or
(c) re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination at a later date at the passenger's convenience, subject to availability of seats.
The LH flight was the earliest opportunity.
Only option c, a later transport at the passenger's convenience, the wording "subject to availability of seats" implies that this only includes airline's own flights.
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Old Sep 6, 19, 10:12 am
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Art. 8
The issue is here what "under comparable transport conditions" means - airlines construe it as meaning their own flights, i.e. you need to be rebooked to their own flights at the earliest opportunity.

Originally Posted by kexbox View Post
Only option c, a later transport at the passenger's convenience, the wording "subject to availability of seats" implies that this only includes airline's own flights.
No, "subject to available seats" means that the same booking class needs to be available. If in Economy, you can't insist on being rebooked to a later day where e.g. J/C seats are available but no economy seats. In practice, airlines construe it as the same booking class needs to be available, i.e. of you are in L class, L class needs to be available for the flight you wish to rebooked to.
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Old Sep 6, 19, 10:29 am
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Originally Posted by SK AAR View Post
Art. 8
The issue is here what "under comparable transport conditions" means - airlines construe it as meaning their own flights, i.e. you need to be rebooked to their own flights at the earliest opportunity.



No, "subject to available seats" means that the same booking class needs to be available. If in Economy, you can't insist on being rebooked to a later day where e.g. J/C seats are available but no economy seats. In practice, airlines construe it as the same booking class needs to be available, i.e. of you are in L class, L class needs to be available for the flight you wish to rebooked to.
"Comparable conditions" seems to imply the same cabin (so the airline doesn't have to rebook a coach passenger into a business class seat) and the same number of connections (with similar connection times). One could argue that a full service airline couldn't force a customer to accept a rebooking onto an ULCC.
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Old Sep 6, 19, 11:41 am
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The UK CAA already gives this advice to the public and toothlessly tells Ryanair and lately BArb that they need to rebook OAL.

FR's excuse was always that they are not IATA members so they can have some real costs... but surely EW are members?
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Old Sep 6, 19, 2:28 pm
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It doesn't matter whether they are members or not. Their problem. The EU directive is clear and German law is clear, too. Not a big surprise but a very supportive court - considering the timelines.
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Old Sep 6, 19, 2:37 pm
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I know it doesn't matter, but it's a darn sight easier to rebook pax when you have even a ticket number.
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Old Sep 7, 19, 5:51 am
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EW doesn't create a proper etkt if you just book on their site.
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Old Sep 7, 19, 6:08 am
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That will be the reason why they are reluctant to seek endorsements, when they are not issuing tix. It won't be as simple as a few clicks on the legacy PC.
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Old Sep 7, 19, 8:49 am
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Originally Posted by Fabo.sk View Post
EW doesn't create a proper etkt if you just book on their site.
Apparently they do have ticket stock, though, which begins with 104. Only time Iíve ever seen it is on an American Express statement.
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