A passenger who was unable to check in online for her flight booked for the next day contacted the defendant airline. They then told her that they had rebooked her – unilaterally and without informing her in advance – on a flight the day before. Meanwhile, the airline informed her that she had been denied re-entry for more than two weeks because she was unable to board her departing flight. The passenger was legally awarded the cost of the replacement tickets and compensation for the outbound trip by the National Court. Due to the refusal to board the return flight, the passenger also demanded a fixed compensation of 250 euros from the airline.
The air carrier that has informed the passenger in advance that it will prevent him from boarding a confirmed flight, against his will, must pay compensation to the passenger, even if he does not appear at the boarding gate. This interpretation of the Air Passenger Rights System saves passengers unnecessary formalities and contributes to achieving the goal sought by this regulation, which is to grant a high level of protection.
The Air Passenger Rights Regulation (Article 5 Paragraph 1 lit. c Z i)) provides for an exception to the passenger’s right to compensation in the event of a flight cancellation if the airline informs the passenger of the cancellation at least two weeks before the scheduled date of departure. However, this provision does not regulate the situation in which the traveler is informed at least two weeks before the scheduled date of departure that the air carrier will not transport him against his will, in which case he has the right to claim compensation for being prevented from boarding the plane during the duration of the trip. Meaning of Article 4 of the Air Passenger Bill of Rights. According to the case law of the European Court of Justice, the aim of the Air Passenger Rights Regulation of ensuring a high level of protection for passengers justifies a broad interpretation of the rights granted to them. On the other hand, the exception to the provisions granting rights to passengers must be interpreted narrowly. Therefore, Article 5 Paragraph 1 lit c Z i) Regulation on the Rights of Air Passengers must be interpreted narrowly. This provision does not apply to the case of refusal to board the plane, but only to the case of cancellation of the flight.
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