Airfares do not always have to be given in euros

In which currency does a flight price within the EU have to be stated? The European Court of Justice has now set limits to the airlines.

In which currency must a flight price within the EU be indicated?

BFor flights within the EU, the prices do not have to be given in euros only, even if a destination in Germany is being flown to. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on Thursday that prices can also be given in British pounds for a flight from London, for example. The Luxembourg judges made it clear, however, that the currency cannot be chosen completely freely, but must be linked to the flight connection. (Ref. C-330/17)

In the specific case, the airline Germanwings offered a flight from London to Stuttgart on its website in 2014, but listed the price for it exclusively in British pounds. The consumer advice center Baden-Württemberg was of the opinion that this constituted unfair behavior and that the prices had to be shown in euros. The consumer advocates therefore filed an injunction.

The proceedings went as far as the Federal Court of Justice, which finally submitted the case to the ECJ. The Karlsruhe federal judges wanted to know from the Court of Justice in Luxembourg whether, according to the relevant EU regulation, airfares must be quoted in a certain currency.

The ECJ then made it clear that airlines could in principle choose to quote prices for flights within the EU in euros or in another national currency such as British pounds. However, there must be limits to this freedom of choice, declared the court. Airlines that do not quote prices in euros would therefore have to choose a currency associated with the flight.

According to the ECJ, this is the case if the selected national currency is valid at the place of departure or destination. In this specific case, the flight price could be given in British pounds. On the basis of this ECJ ruling, the Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe must now decide on the complaint by the consumer advocates.