Almost every airline utilizes conditions of carriage clauses to penalize passengers in case of an insequential use of flight coupons. Usually, those clauses lead to an immediate expiration of the whole ticket. Instances of insequential use of flight coupons can happen in various ways. In most cases, the customer is either involved in a cross-ticketing or a cross-border-ticketing scenario.
In Germany, clauses used in the conditions of carriage are subject to a review according to the rules of review for general terms and conditions as per the German Civil Code (sections 305 to 310). With its final instance rulings, the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) declared such expiration clauses illegal for most cases.
The Federal Court of Justice declared his rulings binding for both cross-ticketing and cross-border-ticketing scenarios. Given the importance of the decisions and the consequences for airlines and consumers alike, it is necessary to discuss the ruling in detail and present options to adapt to the new legal conditions.Air and Space Law