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Consequential landmark ruling for air travelers: 15 minutes that cost 1600 euros


Highlights: Munich District Court dismisses lawsuit against tour operator for 1648 euros. Travelers missed flight because of too slow passenger and hand luggage checks. Tour operators are not responsible for delays in the security check, the court rules. In other words, they are out of liability for the delays in security checks.. Status: 21.09.2023, 20:30 p.m. (GMT-8:30) New: Munich District Court rules that airport security checks are a sovereign state task.

Status: 21.09.2023, 20:30 p.m.

By: Hans Moritz


Bottleneck security check: For delays here, the tour operator cannot be taken into recourse, judges the Munich District Court. © FMG

The Munich District Court has now issued a groundbreaking ruling: If travelers are late for the flight due to a delay in the security check, the tour operator does not have to be liable.

Munich/Airport - According to a statement from the judiciary, the Munich District Court in Bavaria has dismissed the lawsuit against a tour operator for reimbursement of the travel price for a package tour in the amount of 1648 euros. The travelers had missed boarding because of too slow passenger and hand luggage checks. The tenor of the judgement: Tour operators are not responsible for delays in the security check. In other words, they are out of liability.

Slow security check: lawsuit against tour operator for missed flight

According to a spokesman for the court, the plaintiff had booked a package tour to Madeira for himself and his wife with the defendant tour operator in October 2022. During online check-in, the plaintiff was instructed to be at the gate at 12.50 p.m. In fact, however, the plaintiff and his wife did not reach it until 13:05 p.m. Although the aircraft was still in a parking position, the ground staff denied passengers access to the aircraft.

The plaintiff wanted to prove that he had not been able to do anything about the delay and stated that he and his wife had gone to the airport hall at 10:15 a.m. on the day of departure, three hours and 20 minutes before departure. However, the baggage drop-off counter for the booked flight was not opened until 11 a.m. The plaintiff and his wife had handed over their luggage and immediately afterwards went to the security check at around 11.20 a.m.

Airport opens one instead of 20 counters for security checks: tour operators not liable

However, the passenger and hand luggage check then lasted until about 13 p.m., as instead of the approximately 20 counters for an entire departure area, only a single counter was open. Therefore, the traveler demanded that the price be reimbursed. Because the tour operator should have known about the lack of staff at the airport. Accordingly, the organiser should have worked towards an earlier opening of the baggage drop-off counters and made travellers aware of excessively long waiting times.

The provider, on the other hand, argued that neither he nor the airline was responsible for the delay. A security check at the airport that was too slow was not attributable to the defendant. The spokesman cites the court's reasoning: "The implementation of security checks is not a contractual obligation of the defendant, but a sovereign state task, the implementation and organization of which cannot be influenced by the defendant." The defendant was also not required to open the counter more than 2.5 hours before the scheduled departure, it said.

With a few tricks, holidaymakers can save money when booking package tours – without having to pay extra afterwards.

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-09-21

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