EU261 and connecting flights

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  • Tom Otley

    Interesting point for those who have thought of claiming EU compensation for a delayed flight which the caused a missed connection.

    Reported in the Malta Independent

    In this case 3 passengers made a single booking with Lufthansa for a flight from Warsaw (Poland) to Malé (Maldives) with a connection in Frankfurt (Germany). 

    The first leg of the flight, from Warsaw to Frankfurt, was operated by LOT. Due to delayed departure, the Passengers landed late in Frankfurt and consequently missed their connecting flight to Malé, operated by Lufthansa.

    The question was, where should they (or could they) claim compensation. In Warsaw, where the flight originated, in Frankfurt, where the delay and the missed flight occurred, or Male, where they arrived four hours late.

    The passengers claimed in Frankfurt. The legal bit follows, but if you want to know the result (of the ruling, not the case, which has yet to be decided), skip to the end….

    So the 3 passengers claimed compensation article 7 of Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 against LOT in the local court in Frankfurt . 

    The local court rejected the claim saying it did not have jurisdiction to hear the dispute, since neither the place of departure nor the place of arrival of the flight provided for in the contract of carriage concerned was located within its jurisdiction as required under the Brussels Recast Regulation.

    The Passengers then appealed to the regional court in Frankfurt on the basis that the local court may base its jurisdiction on Article 7(1)(b) of the Brussels Recast Regulation. 

    According to the Passengers, the fact that Warsaw and Malé both constitute places of performance of the obligation arising from that contract of carriage does not necessarily preclude the existence of other places which may also be classified as places of performance of that obligation within the meaning of that article.

    The regional court in Frankfurt (the “Referring Court”), decided to stay the proceedings and to refer the matter to the European Court for a preliminary ruling, to decide whether Article 7(1)(b) of the Brussels Recast Regulation can be interpreted as meaning that the place of performance of the obligation arising from one contract of carriage consisting of two legs operated by two separate air carriers can be considered to be the place of arrival of the first leg of the journey concerned, in this case being Frankfurt.

    The Court had previously held that the ‘place of performance’, within the meaning of Article 7(1)(b), can be both the place of departure of the first leg of the journey and the place of arrival of the last leg of the journey. This is regardless of whether the claim for compensation brought on the basis of the Air Passenger Rights Regulation is brought against the air carrier operating the leg in question (in this case being LOT Polish Airlines) or against the air carrier with which the passenger concerned has a contractual relationship, but which is not the air carrier operating that leg (in this case being Lufthansa AG).

    Since in the present case, the claim for compensation was brought solely on account of the delayed departure from the place of departure for the first leg of the journey concerned (being Warsaw), the Court held that the place of arrival for that first leg may not be classified as a ‘place of performance’ within the meaning of that provision.

    So at this point, I suppose the passengers must now start proceedings in the Warsaw court. 


    This is a WAW-MLE ticket. So I don’t really see how Germany could be a place of jurisdiction…

    Tom Otley

    Yes, that’s how the court saw it as well.

    The judgement is here

    I wonder why the travellers decided to
    (a) go to court and
    (b) go to court in Frankfurt rather than Warsaw.

    1 user thanked author for this post.


    oh come on…. it is very simple they had hoped to cash some money and more through a court in Frankfurt than Warsaw

    Tom Otley

    But would they have got more? I thought the maximum was 600 Euros?

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