A court ruled that airline passengers cannot be compensated for two Aperol Spritz cocktails since alcohol is not a refreshment.
A court ruled that airline passengers cannot be compensated for two Aperol Spritz cocktails since alcohol is not a refreshment.© Images AGN
  • A couple was not compensated for the two Aperol Spritz beverages that they purchased while waiting for their delayed aircraft.
  • In the event that their flights are either delayed or cancelled entirely, travellers in Europe may be eligible for compensation in the form of refreshments.
  • A court in Germany decided that because the beverages contained alcohol, they did not qualify as being refreshments.

The claim of a couple who were delayed on a flight and tried to seek compensation for two Aperol Spritz cocktails during the wait was turned down by a German court because the judge determined that alcohol does not qualify as a refreshment.

The Amtsgericht Hannover, which is the district court for Hanover, issued the decision after the couple filed a complaint with it when an airline, which shall remain nameless, failed to refund them for the drinks they had purchased.

The pair had their outbound flight planned to take them from Hanover to Miami through London, and their return flight planned to take them from Miami to New York via London.

According to the press statement issued by the court, the plaintiffs’ return trip was cancelled, and they were forced to take an alternate flight that took them to Hamburg via Madrid. Their initial flight had been delayed by more than three hours.

They were then compelled to board a train to Madrid, and although they eventually made it to their goal, they did so with a delay of four and a half hours, according to the report.

According to the announcement, the pair had the right to reimbursement for “meals and refreshments in proportion to the waiting time” in accordance with the air passenger rights legislation of the European Union.

Because the unnamed airline didn’t provide the couple with anything, they had the right to buy their own refreshments and submit a claim for reimbursement of the money spent on them afterwards.

As a part of that compensation, the couple spent 20.80 euros, which is about $23.10, on meals and beverages during stopovers in Madrid, and then spent 88 euros, which is approximately $97.70, in London. This particular transaction included the cost of two Aperol Spritz cocktails, which came to a total of £15 (about $18.60).

However, the airline disputed the price of such drinks on the grounds that alcoholic beverages were not considered to be refreshments and hence should not be included in that category. The district court in Hanover decided in favour of the airline.

“The court held that because alcohol had a tendency to cause customers to become dehydrated, it could not be classified as a refreshment because the term “refreshment” does not allow for its inclusion. The court reasoned that the phrase “refreshment” cannot include alcoholic beverages because their effect is often the reverse.

Additionally, two cans of Camden Hells beer were included on the couple’s receipt; however, the court was not required to investigate these items because the pair had not sought compensation for them. If they were taken into account, it is possible that a more nuanced argument may have been constructed as a result.

According to a press release, the following statement was made: “If they were ‘craft beer,’ it is also possible that they were non-alcoholic, which the court could consider to be a’refreshment.'”

Camden Hells is a lager that is produced in the United Kingdom. It has an alcohol-by-volume percentage of 4.6%, which indicates that it is unlikely to pass the standard that the court has established for what constitutes a “refreshment.”

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