The Luftfahrt-Bundesamt is the National Enforcement Body inter alia for the Regulations (EC) No 261/2004 and No 1107/2006 informing about the important aspects of the national conciliation process in air traffic.
Which advantages do I have as a passenger due to the introduction of the conciliation process in air traffic?
Due to the introduction of conciliation in air traffic, the passenger has the possibility of enforcing his claims under civil law quickly, efficiently and free of charges.
The passenger still can employ a lawyer or a collection agency to enforce his claims under civil law. However, in this case, it is the passenger's risk of costs, whereas the conciliation process is regularly free of charges.
On 1 November 2013, the Law on Conciliation in Air Traffic entered into force. This amendment of the law means a considerable improvement for passengers enforcing their claims:
Which is the competence of the Luftfahrt-Bundesamt related to the Regulations (EC) No 261/2004 and No 1107/2006?
The Luftfahrt-Bundesamt is the National Enforcement Body for the Regulations (EC) No 261/2004 and No 1107/2006 monitoring as such, in terms of a supervision based on trade law, that the provisions of the a.m. regulations are complied with by the air carriers.
In this function, the Luftfahrt-Bundesamt is not responsible for enforcing the passenger claims under civil law towards the air carriers. These claims must be enforced by the passenger himself. The introduction of the conciliation in air traffic offers him - in addition to the customary complaint proceedings or summary proceedings for debt - an option to pursue his claims that is free of charges with the same effect.
Which is the legal basis and where is it laid down?
The legal basis for the conciliation are §§ 57 to 57 c LuftVG (Law on Conciliaton in Air Traffic) as well as the Luftverkehrsschlichtungsverordnung - LuftSchlichtV (Regulation pursuant to § 57c of the Air Navigation Act on Conciliation in Air Traffic).
Which claims are included?
A conciliation for consumers is possible up to an amount of € 5,000 arising as of 1 November (§ 57 c para 4 LuftVG). A conciliation for claims of less than € 10 is not considered.
Claims of business travellers are not conciliated.
Who do I address to?
The regulations of the LuftVG (Air Navigation Act) provide a conciliation organized under private law and the official conciliation process.
The conciliation organized under private law is at present carried out by the söp Schlichtungsstelle für den öffentlichen Personenverkehr e.V. (The German Conciliation Body for Public Transport). Please find the companies belonging to the supporting association of the söp on its website.
As far as an air carrier does not participate in a conciliation organized under private law, the Official Conciliation Body with the Federal Office of Justice is responsible (§ 57 a LuftVG).
The conciliation organized under private law should always be taken into account first. The official conciliation process only takes place, if an air carrier refuses the conciliation organized under private law.
Which costs do I have to pay when I apply to the Conciliation Body?
The conciliation is regularly free of charges for the passenger. The passenger only has to pay his own costs, e.g. postage, copies or, if any, lawyer's charges. As far as the claim is enforced abusively in the conciliation process, charges can be levied.
The conciliation process
Provided that the passenger has already addressed directly to the air carrier without success, he can make use of the conciliation. The söp is at present charged with the conciliation the process of which is carried out according to the procedural rules determined for the Conciliation Body. For further information please see a general scheduling of a conciliation (only in German).
Do I, as a passenger, have to accept a conciliatory proposal?
The conciliatory proposal serves the purpose of a mutual out-of-court settlement of a dispute. It is not binding for any of the parties involved and can also be refused by them. Once the conciliatory proposal is accepted by the parties involved, the agreement is binding and the conciliation process is terminated.
How long does the conciliation process take?
The conciliatory proposal must be submitted to the parties involved within a delay of 90 days on receipt of the conciliation request or the presentation of the complete documentation on the conciliation request, respectively, by the Conciliation Body.
How can I contact the Conciliation Body?
The conciliation organized under private law is at present carried out by the söp Schlichtungsstelle für den öffentlichen Personenverkehr e.V. (The German Conciliation Body for Public Transport). The contact details are:
söp Schlichtungsstelle für den öffentlichen Personenverkehr e.V.
As far as an air carrier is not organized within the scope of the conciliation under private law, the Official Conciliation Body must be applied to. The contact details are:
Bundesamt für Justiz
phone: +49 228 99 -6120
fax:+49 228 99 -6121