A recent ruling from the Second Circuit of the Federal Civil and Commercial Court of Appeal of the City of Buenos Aires has ruled that passengers who execute air transportation agreements with an airline are “consumers” in the terms of the Consumer Protection Act No. 24,240 (CPA). Therefore, according to such ruling, any judicial claims related to air transportation should be carried out as summary trials.
In the case “Sequeira Wolf, Germán Ariel v. United Airlines Inc. o. Sumarísimo”, the plaintiff appealed the decision of the lower court in which it was decided that the ordinary trials were applicable to air transportation agreements.
The justices expressed that, although under section 63 of the Consumer Protection Act all air transportation agreements are subject to the Aviation Code: “such section reduces the exemption by allowing the Consumer Protection Act to be applied on a supplementary basis in all those proceedings that do not imply a deviation from the aviation specific rules".
Under this rationale, justices Alfredo Silverio Gusmán, Ricardo Víctor Guarinoni and Eduardo Daniel Gottardi ruled that "air transportation agreements are not excluded, in a total and generalized manner, from the remaining provisions of CPA".
It is worth noticing that the criterion upheld by the judicial precedents up until now was in line with the ruling "The Israel Airlines v. Tseng" of the US Supreme Court, which back in 1999 ruled that "given the integral scheme of rules in the field of liability envisaged by the standards of the Warsaw Convention and its emphasis on uniformity, we could not conclude that the intention of the Warsaw delegates was that the Air Transport Companies were subject to different liability standards with each of the signatory parties".