ECJ in EU Air Passenger Rights Regulation – Possible Compensation for Air Delays Outside the EU!

If a flight starts in the EU and ends late outside the EU, passengers can claim compensation under Union law – even if the flight was operated by a non-EU airline. That was decided by the ECJ.

Passengers on a delayed flight can claim compensation if the flight is operated by a non-EU airline and ends outside the EU. European Court of Justice (ECJ) On Thursday, Ur. April 7, 2022, Case C-561/20.

I. The decision of the ECJ was made on the basis of the following case

With the same booking with Lufthansa, three passengers booked a flight from Brussels (Belgium) to San Jose (USA) with a stop at Newark (United States). The entire flight was operated by United States-based United Airlines. All three passengers reached the final destination 223 minutes late.

They did not want to rest on it and initially assigned their request to Happy Flights. Happy Flight, which now owns their claim, has filed a lawsuit against United Airlines, citing the applicability of the EU Air Passenger Rights Regulation.

However, the ECJ needs to clarify whether this applies to transfers and flights with the ultimate destination of non-EU countries.

II. ECJ concluded:

Judges at the ECJ initially indicated that the flight, with one transfer, was subject to a single reservation and that any claim for compensation should be viewed as a whole.

The applicability of the EU Air Passenger Rights Regulation follows from this as it depends on the place of first departure and the final destination of the aircraft.

In this particular case, it is Brussels and San Jose. The court noted that flights with transfers also fall within the scope of the regulation, since passengers begin their journey at an airport in a member country.

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Even non-EU airlines such as United Airlines and Turkish Airlines are obliged to pay compensation / payments to passengers under the EU Air Passenger Rights Regulation, as is currently the case with those who operated the aircraft but were not contracted. .

An airline such as United Airlines acts as a pilot when making decisions about a particular aircraft and route. Thereafter, the airline acts on behalf of the air carrier who has concluded the passenger air transport contract. According to the ECJ, this will be Lufthansa.

According to the ECJ, United Airlines can receive a refund under the Lufthansa National Act.

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