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The air carrier's responsibility for passengers and their baggage

This information summarises the rules of responsibility applied by the European Community's carriers in compliance with the provisions of the European Community and the Montreal Convention.

 

Indemnity in the case of death or bodily injury.

Indemnity for passengers' bodily injury or death is not subject to limitations. The air carrier may not question indemnity claims for damages up to 113.100 SDR. The air carrier may defend against claims for sums larger than the abovementioned amount by proving the lack of negligence or other fault on his part.

Advances towards indemnity

In the case of a passenger's death or bodily injury, the air carrier is obliged to make advance payments to cover essential needs within 15 days of identifying the person entitled to receiving the indemnification. In the case of death, the advance payment may not be lower than 16,000 SDR (approximately 20,000 EUR).

Delays in carriage of passengers

In case of delays in carriage of passengers the air carrier bears responsibility for damage, if he has not used all possible preventative measures to avoid the delay or if the use of such measures was impossible. The responsibility for delays in passengers' carriage is limited up to the sum of 4.694 SDR.

Delays in baggage delivery

In case of delays in baggage carriage the air carrier bears responsibility for damage, if he has not used all possible preventative measures to avoid the delay or if the use of such measures was impossible. The responsibility for delays in baggage carriage is limited to the sum of 1.131 SDR.

Destruction of, loss of or damage to baggage

The air carrier bears responsibility for destruction of, loss of, damage to baggage up to the sum of 1.131 SDR. In the case of checked baggage the air carrier bears responsibility even if he is not at fault for the damage to the baggage, unless the baggage was defective. In case of non-checked baggage the air carrier is responsible only if the damage occurred at the carrier's fault.

Increase of the level of responsibility for baggage.

The passenger may take advantage of the increased level of responsibility through submitting appropriate declarations and making an additional fee, within three days of ticket and baggage check-in.

Baggage claim

In the case of the damage, loss or destruction of the baggage, the passenger is obliged to submit a written complaint as soon as possible. In the case of the damage to checked baggage, the written complaint must be submitted within 7 days of the delivery of the baggage to the passenger, and in the case of delays in baggage carriage – within 21 days from this date.

Responsibility of the carriage entering into contract and the flight operator If the carrier performing the carriage is not the carrier with whom the passenger entered into the contract – the passenger has the right to lodge a complaint or demand an indemnification from either of them. If the name or the code of an air carrier is shown in the ticket – he is the carrier with whom the contract was entered into.

Time limits for filing the action

Indemnity action must be filed within two years from the date of the plane's arrival or from the day on which the plane should have landed.

Grounds for this information

The grounds for above regulations is the Montreal Convention of 28 May 1999, whose provisions are approved for using in the European Community by Decree of the European Council (EC) No. 2027/97 and supplemented by Decree (EC) No. 889/2002 and the legislation of the Member States of the European Union.