New ruling on consumer protection when flight delays Hamburg, 14.02.2011 – the Darmstadt regional court has sentenced the airline Condor to pay a compensation of 600 euros according to Regulation (EC) No 261 / 2004 on a passenger as a result of a delayed flight. The passenger had booked a flight from Halifax/Canada to Frankfurt/Main with the airline Condor. Reaching Frankfurt but not at the scheduled arrival time, but 17 hours late the next day. Therefore, he asked the compensation provided for by the EC regulation of EUR 600, which will be paid by a cancelled flight of Condor. Condor refused the payment. The airline said the flight was only delayed, not cancelled.
The delay have also relies on an unpredictable technical defect; This exceptional circumstance would be against the payment obligation. The Landgericht Darmstadt (AZ. 7 S 29/09) decided on the 03.11.2010 in favour of the passenger. A long delay is a cancellation of a flight within the meaning the regulation right. This concludes the Court from the case-law of the European Court of Justice (judgment of November 19, 2009, AZ.) (C-402/07 and C-432/07) as well as the Federal Court of Justice (judgment of February 18, 2010, AZ.) XA ZR 95/06). A technical malfunction was basically no exceptional circumstance, which accounts for the payment of compensation would allow even if it would be a very unusual and rarely occurring fault.
For defects on the aircraft, the airline is responsible, especially since it’s manageable defects, which are caused by not acting by external event (E.g. bird strike). Lawyer Henning Stoffregen, who has represented the passenger against Condor, explains this: Delays and cancellations of flights mean a major annoyance for passengers. The EC Regulation wants to secure their rights and oblige the airline to comply with the flight plans. The judgment makes it clear that is the airlines generally not with technical defects for a delayed or cancelled flight can apologize. Although the District Court expressly approved the revision to the Federal Supreme Court, the opposing party thereof has not made use, to avoid a negative impact through a hochstrichterliches judgment. Passengers are strongly recommended to request the rights against the airline cancelled or delayed flights due to the case-law. The compensation is often substantial, especially in comparison to the actual airfare.” The plaintiff was represented in the proceedings before the Landgericht Darmstadt by the Hamburg-based law firm lawyers DIEKMANN. The reasons for judgment have published under. DIEKMANN lawyers DIEKMANN is a Hamburg-based law firm of five lawyers, focused on all areas of national and international business law in particular of capital market law, company law, attorneys at law of intellectual property law, European law and of the related tax issues. Contact: Henning Stoffregen DIEKMANN lawyers Ballindamm 35 20095 Hamburg phone 040/33 44 36 90 fax 040/33 44 36 99 E-Mail: