Dispute on Finnair’s compensations concluded: The Supreme Court did not grant the Consumer Ombudsman leave to appeal

In March 2019, the Consumer Ombudsman applied from the Supreme Court a leave to appeal the Market Court’s ruling on the standard compensations of Finnair’s flights in situations where Finnair has reported that a flight was delayed or cancelled due to a technical fault. In its ruling of 3 September 2019, the Supreme Court did not grant the Consumer Ombudsman leave to appeal. Thus, the matter remains dependent on the Market Court’s ruling, and consumer disputes concerning such situations will be resolved on a case-by-case basis as they have been this far. 

In the autumn of 2017, the Consumer Ombudsman took Finnair Plc to Market Court for breach of air passengers’ rights. The case has to do with Finnair’s procedures relating to the payment of standard compensations for delayed or cancelled flights in accordance with the EU regulation on air passenger rights. The Consumer Ombudsman considers Finnair to prevent its customers from exercising their statutory rights.

Between 2018 and 2019, the Consumer Advisory Service has been contacted with regard to well over 1,000 cases that concern Finnair, and most of the cases relate to the payment of compensations. In addition, more than 1,000 cases that concern Finnair have been filed to the Consumer Disputes Board.

The Market Court rejected the Consumer Ombudsman’s demands on 4 January 2019. The Consumer Ombudsman applied for a leave to appeal from the Supreme Court, but the leave was not granted.

“This ruling means that disputes on Finnair’s compensations will continue to be settled on a case-by-case basis. As the number of such disputes has not shown any signs of decrease, consumers complaining about the compensations will continue to congest the Consumer Advisory Service and the Consumer Disputes Board,” says Consumer Ombudsman Katri Väänänen.

Further reading:

Consumer Ombudsfman takes Finnair to Market Court for breach of air passengers’ rights (FCCA’s press release 27 September 2017)
Consumer Ombudsman to appeal Market Court’s Finnair ruling (FCCA’s press release 4 January 2019)