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Supreme Court turns down appeal in Finnair compensation dispute

The Court decided not to hear a case involving Finnair's failure to pay a standard compensation to delayed passengers.

Airbus A321
Finnair tends to offer delayed customers a voucher or smaller cash settlement. Image: Amos Dor / AOP

Finland’s Supreme Court has rejected an application to appeal the decision of the Market Court not to fine national carrier Finnair over its failure to offer financial compensation to consumers whose flights have been delayed.

In January, the Consumer Ombudsman argued in the Market Court that passengers have a right to so-called standard compensation in cases where they were delayed by a plane’s technical malfunction or a manufacturing or design flaw. However the Market Court rejected the Ombudsman’s case.

In such instances, Finnair has denied paying out a standard compensation or has offered customers a smaller settlement or a gift card. The Consumer Ombudsman called on the Court to impose a fine on Finnair.

In 2017, the Ombudsman said that instead of paying passengers a standard compensation of 600 euros, Finnair usually offers them a voucher or cash that is lower in value. In addition, Finnair gives consumers a misleading picture of current legal practice, its obligations and passenger rights, the Consumer Disputes Board commented in 2018.

In its January ruling, the Market Court said that the Ombudsman’s request for a fine had no formal grounds in European Court of Justice case law.

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