EU Court rules in favour of BEUC member vzbv in pricing of air passenger tickets case

The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that airlines must specify separately the exact price of the airfare, taxes and other charges that consumers pay when they buy an airline ticket. The German consumer organisation vzbv had filed a lawsuit against Air Berlin after discovering that the company was displaying its prices incorrectly. Taxes and charges, in case a consumer cancels their flight, must be refunded to the consumer, but Air Berlin was indicating that these were much lower than they actually were.

On top of that, the Luxembourg court confirmed that the EU rules protecting consumers against unfair contract terms apply also to air transport contracts. This interpretation greenlights a German court ruling in the initial case to pronounce a €25 fee, which Air Berlin was charging consumers if they cancelled their flight, as unfair. The airline was taking this amount out of the taxes and charges that would be returned to the consumer in case of a cancellation.

This is an important win for consumers and vzbv. BEUC supports actions to ensure that air ticket prices are transparent and that no unfair charges are added.