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COMPENSATION AND LIABILITY LIMITS

compensation and liability limits

This section summarizes the laws applied to Community air carriers in compliance with community law and the Convention of Montréal. 

compensation in case of death or bodily injury

There are no financial limits on liability in case of bodily injury to or the death of the passengers. For damages up to 113,000 Special Drawing Rights (SDR) (a mix of currency values established by the International Monetary Fund), the air carrier cannot contest compensation claims. Beyond this amount, the air carrier can contest a compensation claim only if it is able to prove that the damage is not attributable to it.

advance payments

In case of bodily injury to or the death of a passenger, the air carrier within 15 days from the identification of the person entitled to the compensation must make an advance payment  to allow said person to meet immediate economic needs. In case of death, the advance payment may not be less than 16,000 SDR (approximate equivalent in local currency).

delays in passenger carriage

In case of delay, the air carrier is liable for the damage unless it has taken all the possible measures to avoid it or it was impossible to take these measures. The extent of the liability for damages is limited to 4694 SDR (approximate equivalent in local currency).

delays in baggage carriage

In case of delay, the air carrier is liable for the damage unless it has taken all the possible measures to avoid it or it was impossible to take these measures. The extent of the liability for damages is limited to 1131 SDR (approximate equivalent in local currency).

baggage destruction, loss or damage

The air carrier is liable in the case of destruction and loss of, or damage to baggage up to 1131 SDR (approximate equivalent in local currency). In case of checked baggage, the air carrier is liable for the damage even if its conduct is without fault, except where there is an inherent defect in the baggage itself. Regarding non-checked baggage, the air carrier is liable  only if the damage is attributable to it.

higher liability limits for baggage

Passengers can also benefit from a higher liability limit by issuing a special statement, no later than the time of check-in, and paying a supplement.

claims regarding baggage

In case of loss or destruction of, damage to, or delay in arrival during the baggage carriage, the passenger can  present a written claim to the air carrier. In the case in which the checked baggage was damaged, the passenger must present a written claim within seven days, and in the case of delayed baggage within 21 days from the date in which the baggage was made available to the passenger.

liability of the contracting air carrier and the effective air carrier

If the air carrier that operates the flight is not the contracting air carrier, the passenger has the right to present a request for compensation or claim to both. If the name or code of an air carrier is on the ticket, this air carrier is the contracting carrier.

Time limits for compensation action

Legal actions must be started within two years from the arrival date or the date on which the flight should have arrived.

The above regulations are based on the Convention of Montréal of 28 May 1999, implemented in the Community by regulation (CE) no. 2027/97, as modified by regulation (CE) no. 889/2002 and national legislation of the Member States.

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