German woman sues airport security for missing flight to Mallorca

An airline passenger is suing police after missing her flight to Mallorca in Spain due to having to wait in a lengthy cue at airport security, German media reports.

German woman sues airport security for missing flight to Mallorca
Airport security controls. Photo: DPA

The 32-year-old businesswoman from Bochum, near Dortmund in western Germany, was travelling to Palma de Mallorca from Cologne-Bonn airport on May 19th last year, the Bonn newspaper General Anzeiger reports.

The woman reportedly arrived at the airport to check-in two hours before her flight departure time. After having to wait more than an hour at the security control area, despite raising concerns with staff that she was running out of time, the woman raced to the gate to catch her flight but she was too late – boarding was already completed.

At the Bonn district court, the woman is suing the Federal Republic of Germany – as the employer of the Bundespolizei, the Federal Police – for more than €738 in damages.

After missing her flight she was forced to take a plane from Düsseldorf to her destination the next morning, which had cost €540, according to the General Anzeiger.

The passenger is accusing the Federal Police, which is responsible for airport security controls, of a 'breach of duty': she says not enough control facilities were open when she was due to fly, and too few staff were working.

She believes a lack of organization led to her missing the flight.

However, the defendant disagrees. Police argue that there were enough controls open on that day, and that the number of staff depends on the amount of passengers passing through the airport. The police received this information from the airport operator.

The court must now clarify whether the queue was actually caused by a lack of staff or by other causes which the police are not responsible for.

A settlement offer of more than €150 was rejected by the plaintiff, the newspaper reports.

The case will be reviewed and a decision will be made by judges in Bonn.

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French court hands Amazon €90,000-per-day fine over contracts

French authorities on Wednesday slapped a €90,000-per-day fine on e-commerce giant Amazon until it removes abusive clauses in its contracts with businesses using its platform to sell their goods.

French court hands Amazon €90,000-per-day fine over contracts

The anti-fraud Direction générale de la concurrence, de la consommation et de la répression des fraudes (DGCCRF) service said the online sales giant’s contracts with third-party sellers who use its website contain “unbalanced” clauses.

“The company Amazon Services Europe did not comply completely with an injunction it was served and it is now subject to a fine of €90,000 per day of delay” in applying the changes, the DGCCRF said in a statement.

It also urged the platform to conform with European rules on equity and transparency for firms using online platforms.

Amazon said the order would harm consumers.

“The changes imposed by the DGCCRF will stop us from effectively protecting consumers and permit bad actors to set excessive prices or spam our clients with commercial offers,” the e-commerce giant said in a statement.

“We will comply with the DGCCRF’s decision but we absolutely do not understand it and we are challenging it in court,” responded the e-commerce giant in a statement.

Amazon said the clauses that the DGCCRF has ordered removed had, for example “prevented the appearance of exorbitant prices for mask and hydroalcoholic gel during the pandemic”.

In 2019, Amazon was fined €4 million for “manifestly unbalanced” contract clauses with third-party sellers on its site in a case brought by the DGCCRF.