Finnair Should Pay Passengers for Delays: EU Court Aide

Finnair Oyj (FIA1S) should compensate passengers whose flights were rescheduled due to an airport strike, a European Union court aide said.

Yves Bot, an advocate general to the EU’s Court of Justice, said a carrier should only be exempted from paying compensation for refusing a passenger from boarding if the passenger is to blame for reasons such as drunkenness, violence or presenting invalid travel documents.

Timy Lassooy is seeking 400 euros ($525) from Finnair in compensation for being bumped off a morning flight from Barcelona to Helsinki in July 2006. Finnair put him on an evening flight the same day after using the morning flight to accommodate passengers delayed by a Barcelona airport strike two days earlier.

“The denial of boarding to passengers may be justified solely on grounds relating to the personal situation of those passengers,” according to a statement from the court. Refusing Lassooy compensation for a rescheduled flight would leave him “abandoned to his fate, which would be totally contrary to the objective of European legislation which is to ensure a high- level of protection for air passengers.”

Although the advocate general’s opinion isn’t binding, it is followed by the court in the majority of cases.

To contact the reporter on this story: Aoife White in Brussels at awhite62@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net.

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