Contract of Transport

    The Spanish Aviation Safety and Security Agency has, among others, the competence to ensure compliance with the rules relating to the protection of the air transport user. In particular, ensuring compliance with Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 11 February 2004, establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to air passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights, and upgrading and downgrading.

    AESA is the responsible body designated to process complaints relating to compliance with Regulations (EC) 261/2004 and 1107/2006. Disputes between passengers and airlines over matters not covered by these Regulations should be resolved in the courts of justice.

    In order to provide information on other user rights, various types of incidents NOT related to Regulations (EC) 261/2004 and 1107/2006 are indicated below with information relevant to the passenger concerned.

"No Show” Clause

    Some airlines incorporate into the clauses of the contract of transport the so-called NO-SHOW clause, which states that if the passenger does not show up for any of the flights on which his/her reservation consists of, all his/her subsequent flights will be automatically cancelled. This situation, according to the European Commission, is not regarded as a denied boarding in accordance with Regulation (EC) 261/2004 and should be taken into account, in each case, what is contained in the particular legislation of each Member State (see COMMUNICATION OF THE COMMISSION [2016/C 214/04] Interpretative guidelines of Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to air passengers in the event of denied boarding and cancellation or long delay of flights):

    "When a passenger who holds a reservation including an outbound and a return flight is not allowed to board on the return flight because he or she did not take the outbound flight (so-called ‘no-show’), this does not constitute denied boarding within the meaning of Article 2(j). The same is true when a passenger who holds a reservation including consecutive flights is not allowed to board a flight because he did not take the previous flight(s). These two situations are usually based on the terms and conditions linked to the ticket purchased. Such a practice might however be prohibited by national law. "

    Consequently, since it is not a denied boarding within the meaning of Regulation (EC) No 261/2004, AESA cannot process such complaints. You may settle the dispute in your local courts of justice in the commercial courts or through the mechanisms provided for in consumer legislation on the matter, in particular by the provisions of Royal Legislative Decree 1/2007, 16 November  which approves the consolidated text of the General Law for the Defense of Consumers and Users and other complementary laws, Book II, Title I, Chapters I and II, concerning the general conditions of contracting and  abusive clauses and the prescriptions in Article 54, which determines the entities entitled (legitimized)  to bring actions against conduct contrary to the rights of users.

    It is to be considered the Judgment of the Supreme Court 631/2018, of 13 November, which confirms the Judgement of Commercial Court No 12 of Madrid in case 554/2011 declaring null and void the "NO SHOW" clause of the contract of transport of the airline Iberia.

Boarding Pass Collection

    Airlines may require a charge for issuing the boarding passes at the airport. Although it is a clause that appears in the contract of transport and the passenger voluntarily accepts at the time of contracting, it can sometimes become abusive and therefore null and void. Therefore, in the event of disagreement with that clause, the solution to that dispute is to settle it in your local Commercial Courts.

Baggage Check-in Collection

    The requirements established by the airline on carry-on baggage should be included in the contract of transport. If your carried baggage does not meet these requirements, you should get subjected to the requirements of the contract of transport. It is the responsibility of the passenger to ensure that his/her baggage complies with the requirements of the airline. 

    As for checked-in baggage, airlines can set an optional charge on the price of the ticket. Although, in any case, the final price of all the services offered should be listed or indicated before the final purchase is made.

    As regards the charge for baggage check-in, the Court of Justice of the European Union (Fifth Chamber) in Judgment of 18 September 2014, Case C-487/12, ruled in that respect. The Judgment concerns the interpretation of Article 22(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 24 September 2008, on common rules for the operation of air services in the Community, on the principle of free pricing.


Personal injury/death

    In the event of bodily injury or death, the carrier is liable for damage caused by the sole reason that the accident that caused the death or injury occurred on board the aircraft or during any of the boarding or disembarkation operations (Montreal Convention, Article 17.1).

    In the event that disputes cannot be resolved with the airline, as this is a private matter, the only way to settle the dispute would be bringing it up to the courts of justice.

    The legislation applicable to personal damage or injury are set out in the Montreal Convention, ratified by Spain in 2004 (BOE No. 122 of 20 May 2004) or  Regulation No. 889/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council, 13 May 2002, amending Regulation No 2027/97 of the Council, of 9 October 1997, on air carrier liability in the event of accidents, the airline being responsible for repairing or restoring the damage caused, unless it can prove causes not attributable to its liability.

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