BGH ruling: Air passengers are not eligible for compensation as a result of the inability to use automated border controls.
Passengers cannot claim damages against airport operators if they miss their flight because they or accompanying family members do not meet the requirements for using the automated border control (EasyPASS). This was recently decided by the German Federal Supreme Court (BGH).
The complaint was filed by a passenger who had missed a flight together with his wife and three children. He had wanted to use the automatic border control at the airport. However, since children have to be at least twelve years old to use the control, they had been referred to a staffed border control. There, a problem arose with the screening of other passengers, resulting in a delay of 20 minutes and the family missing their flight.
The decision of the German Federal Supreme Court thus shows that the responsibility for automatic border controls lies with the Federal Police, and not with the airport.
Passengers need to allow themselves enough time at passport control, Flightright, an online portal for airline passenger rights, comments on the ruling. This is especially true in times of busy flight traffic, for example during school holidays, because then there can be longer waiting times not only at the security checkpoints, but also at passport control. In addition, passengers should find out beforehand what the access requirements are for the automatic border controls. Then they can use them without any problems and reach their departure in time.