German Federal Court of Justice strengthens passenger rights for connecting flights
In a recent ruling, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof or BGH) has reinforced the rights of air passengers regarding delayed connecting flights. The judgment emphasizes the importance of protecting passengers and holding airlines accountable for disruptions that occur during connecting flights.
BGH ruling: Enhanced protection for passengers
The BGH ruling, issued in response to a case involving a passenger's delayed connecting flight, strengthens the rights of air travelers. The court held that if a passenger experiences a delay on a connecting flight, and both the first and second flights are part of a single booking, the passenger is entitled to compensation based on the total delay.
The BGH ruling is significant because it clarifies the responsibilities of airlines when it comes to delayed connecting flights. Previously, airlines would often argue that they were only responsible for the delay of the individual flight, rather than considering the cumulative delay for passengers traveling on a single booking with connecting flights. This ruling ensures that passengers are protected and can seek compensation for the inconvenience caused by delayed connections.
Air Passenger Rights: EU Regulation 261/2004 and missed connecting flights
The rights of air passengers are safeguarded by the European Union Regulation 261/2004. This regulation establishes the compensation and assistance that airlines must provide in the event of flight disruptions. It covers various scenarios, including delays, cancellations, and denied boarding.
Understanding the cumulative delay concept
The BGH ruling introduces the concept of cumulative delay, which recognizes that a delay on a connecting flight can have a compounding effect on passengers' overall travel experience. By considering the total delay, rather than just the delay of individual flights, the court aims to ensure that passengers are adequately compensated for the impact of disruptions on their travel plans.
According to the EU Regulation 261/2004, airlines are responsible for compensating passengers for delays on connecting flights, provided the delay meets certain criteria. The compensation amount depends on the length of the delay and the distance of the journey. In addition to compensation, airlines are also required to provide necessary assistance, such as meals, refreshments, and accommodation, depending on the length of the delay.
The BGH's ruling further strengthens the position of passenger advocacy groups and reinforces the importance of holding airlines accountable for disruptions during connecting flights. Passengers who experience delays or other flight-related issues now have a clearer legal framework to assert their rights and seek compensation when necessary.
The German Federal Court of Justice's recent ruling regarding delayed connecting flights reinforces air passengers rights and holds airlines accountable for disruptions. The judgment clarifies that passengers are entitled to compensation based on the cumulative delay, rather than just the delay of individual flights. This decision strengthens the position of passengers and underscores the significance of the EU Regulation 261/2004 in safeguarding their rights. As air travel continues to recover, the BGH ruling provides clarity and a stronger foundation for passenger protection, ensuring a more equitable and reliable travel experience for all.
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MYFLYRIGHT is a legal tech company, specialized in the support of airline passengers affected by flight delays, flight cancellations, denied boarding, delayed or lost luggage and the refund of unused airline tickets. MYFLYRIGHT was founded 2016 in Hamburg, Germany. The company operates out of 3 offices, its headquarter in Hamburg and its branches in Prague, Czech Republic and Zaporizhia, Ukraine. Currently, MYFLYRIGHT employs a team of around 25 people working in Marketing, Operations, Legal, Customer Support and IT. The organization operates across 5 markets – Germany, United Kingdom, Romania, Austria, and Switzerland.
MYFLYRIGHT’s goal is to provide access to justice for all aviation passengers who experience irregularities in their flight transportation. Notably, 75% of all compensation requests submitted by passengers get rejected. Whereas, MYFLYRIGHT is able to successfully execute the applicable customer claims in more than 98% of cases at court.
In case of a 3 hours flight delay at arrival
In case of a cancelled flight 14 days before departure
In case of overbooking / denied boarding
Delayed / Lost luggage
In case of arriving without the luggage
In case of a missed / not boarded flight