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Lusa - Business News - Portugal: TAP exempt from compensating passenger delayed by unruly fellow

Luxembourg, Feb.27,2020 (Lusa)–An Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on Thursday ruled that Portugal’s flag carrier TAP is exempt from compensating a passenger €600 for a flight delayed by the disorderly behaviour of another passenger on board.
In this preliminary ruling an Advocate General proposes that the CJEU should consider this case as an extraordinary circumstance, which under the European air passenger rights regulation exempts carriers from any compensation.
According to the information published on Thursday, what happened was that in the course of a flight, a passenger bit other passengers and assaulted the cabin crew who tried to calm him down, in such a way as to justify, according to the pilot, a diversion to the nearest airport to disembark the passenger and his baggage for safety reasons, causing the delay of that flight in arriving at its destination.
The case dates to August 2017 and concerns a TAP flight between Fortaleza in Brazil and Lisbon.
The plaintiff booked this flight to board another TAP flight as soon as he arrived in Lisbon for Oslo, Norway, using Lisbon as a stopover.
As far as the flight between Fortaleza and Lisbon was concerned, take-off was scheduled for 11.05 p.m. on 21 August 2017 and landing at Lisbon airport for 10.15 a.m. on 22 August 2017, but the latter only took place that day at 1.33 p.m., as the aircraft was diverted halfway to Las Palmas, in Spain, to disembark the troublesome passenger.
The connection from Lisbon to Oslo should have ended with the landing at the destination airport at 6.10 p.m. on 22 August 2017, but with the delays and as TAP only has one flight a day to the Norwegian capital, the passenger had to wait until the next day to board, thus arriving more than 24 hours later than planned.
This passenger demanded compensation from TAP of €600, but the airline rejected this because the delay was due to an extraordinary circumstance under EU law.
The Advocate General noted that the CJEU attaches particular importance to safety in passenger air transport, while union law and international law classify as a serious risk to aviation safety the violent behaviour of a passenger towards other passengers and crew, such as that at issue in this case.
Nevertheless, the expert points out that not all cases of misbehaviour are extraordinary circumstances, pointing out that in this situation it has weighed heavily on the fact that this escapes the normal exercise of the airline's activity.


Agency : LUSA

Date : 2020-02-28 09:02:00


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