Thursday, May 06, 2010

European Court of Justice Sets Absolute €1134.71 Liability Limit on Lost Baggage of Airline Passengers

Stephanie Bodoni at BusinessWeek.com writes that EU Airline Passengers Can’t Get More Than $1,450 for Lost Bags.

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg has issued press release 43/10, dated 6 May 2010, in the case C-63/09, Axel Walz v Clickair SA, writing at the outset:
"The Court confirms that the liability of air carriers for loss of baggage is limited to €1134.71

That limit is absolute and includes both material and non-material damage

Under European Union law1, the liability of a Community air carrier in respect of passengers and their baggage is governed by the Montreal Convention2. Thus, that convention provides that the liability of a carrier in the case of destruction, loss, damage or delay of baggage is limited to the sum of 1000 Special Drawing Rights (SDR) for each passenger (a sum equivalent to approximately €1134.71)3, unless a passenger has made, at the time when the checked baggage was handed over to the carrier, a special declaration of interest in delivery at destination and has paid a supplementary sum if the case so requires. In that case, as a rule a carrier is liable to pay a sum not exceeding the declared sum."
...
__________
1 Council Regulation (EC) No 2027/97 of 9 October 1997 on air carrier liability in respect of the carriage of passengers and their baggage by air (OJ 1997 L 285, p.1), as amended by Regulation (EC) No 889/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 May 2002 (OJ 2002 L 140, p. 2).
2 Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air, concluded in Montreal on 28 May 1999, signed by the European Community on 9 December 1999 and approved on its behalf by Council Decision 2001/539/EC of 5 April 2001 (OJ 2001 L 194, p. 39).
3 The Special Drawing Rights in the Montreal Convention are deemed to refer to the Special Drawing Right as defined by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Therefore, those sums are to be converted into national currencies. The amount of €1134.71 corresponds to 1000 SDR as at 21 April 2010.
Read the full press release here.

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