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 legislation of the European Community and the Montreal Convention.

Indemnity in the case of death or bodily injury

Responsibility for a passenger's bodily injury or death is not subject to limitations. The air carrier may not question indemnity claims for damages up to 128,821 SDR. The air carrier may defend against claims for sums larger than the above-mentioned amount by proving the lack of negligence or any other fault on its 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 from the identification of the person entitled to receive the indemnity. In the case of death, the advance payment may not be lower than 16,000 SDR (approximately 20,000 EUR).

Delays in the carriage of passengers

In case of delays in the carriage of passengers, the air carrier bears responsibility for damage if it 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 5,346 SDR.

Delays in baggage delivery

In case of delays in baggage carriage, the air carrier bears responsibility for damage if it 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 1,288 SDR.

Destruction of, loss of or damage to baggage

The air carrier bears responsibility for the destruction of, loss of, damage to baggage up to the sum of 1,288 SDR. In the case of checked baggage, the air carrier bears responsibility even if it 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 through the carrier’s fault.

Increase of the limit of responsibility for baggage

The passenger may take advantage of the increased limit of responsibility by submitting appropriate declarations and paying an additional fee, not later than during the ticket and baggage check-in.

Baggage claims

In the case of any damage, loss or destruction of baggage, the passenger is obliged to submit a written complaint as soon as possible. In the case of any 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 carrier entering into the 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 indemnity from either of them. If the name or the code of an air carrier is shown in the ticket, it is the carrier with whom the contract was entered into.

Time limits for filing an action

An 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 the above regulations is the Montreal Convention of 28 May 1999, the provisions of which are approved for use 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.


The responsibility of air carriers is governed by international regulations of the Montreal Convention and the Warsaw Convention, national law, and the carrier’s rules.

In the scope of matters not governed by regulations of this department, the General Conditions of Carriage are in effect.

The carrier is responsible for damages incurred in the case of destruction, loss, or damage to checked baggage if the event which caused the damage took place during air transport, that is, during the period when the baggage is under the care of the carrier, except in situations where the baggage was defective.

In the case of hand baggage, the carrier is responsible only if the damage occurs through the carrier's fault.

In the case of the passenger’s fault in the causing of damage, provisions concerning the mitigation or reduction of the carrier’s responsibility apply.

According to the Montreal Convention, responsibility is limited to 1,288 SDR per passenger from 1 October 2010.

In the case of the application of the Warsaw Convention, the limit is 250 Poincare Francs per kilogram of checked baggage and 5,000 Poincare Francs per passenger for unchecked baggage.

The above limits of responsibility are the upper limits of responsibility for the carrier.

This means that within the scope of these limitations the passenger must prove in detail the existence and the amount of the incurred damage. Indemnity may not exceed the proved value of damage.

Air travel is subject to the Montreal Convention when the following conditions are met:

  • in case of a round trip – the departure takes place in a country which ratified the Montreal Convention.
  • in case of a one-way trip – if both the departure and arrival take place in countries that ratified the Montreal Convention.

In other cases, the provisions of the Warsaw Convention apply.

We assume no responsibility for:

  • any damage caused by actions taken in compliance with the law, decree, recommendation or requirement of the national authorities or the passenger’s non-compliance with them
  • consequential and indirect damages, as well as damages that cannot be precisely determined and redressed,
  • damages suffered by the passenger or in the passenger’s luggage caused by items put in the passenger’s luggage,
  • items that must not be carried in checked baggage, including fragile, brittle, breakable, delicate or easily perishable items, money, jewellery, precious metals, computers, electronic devices, mobile phones, cameras, optical devices – glasses, bills of exchange, securities and other valuable objects such as paintings, manuscripts, publications as well as documents, including business documents and trade samples, passports or other identification documents, medicine and keys as well as damages resulting from the placement of the above-mentioned objects in the baggage. (Such items should be transported under the personal care and at the responsibility of the passenger).
  • damages because of which the checked baggage received a "limited release" tag
  • items confiscated during a security check.

All damages must be reported to the protocol at the airport immediately upon arrival.

If the owner of a passenger ticket does not lodge a complaint at the moment of baggage reception, it is assumed (unless there is counter-evidence) that the baggage was collected in a good state and in accordance with the transportation contract. Even if, in spite of this, the passenger lodges a complaint within the time limits provided in the provisions, it remains the passenger’s responsibility to prove that the damage took place while the baggage was in the care of the carrier.

In the case of late delivery of the baggage, the carrier is responsible for damage unless all the reasonable efforts were made by the carrier in order to avoid the damage or the use of such endeavours was impossible.

A refund in respect of delay in baggage carriage is applicable to the purchase cost of essential personal items at the level of 100% of the price of toiletries as documented by receipts and 50% for clothing articles if the delay time exceeds 24 hours and the persons concerned were left without any of their baggage outside the country of their residence.

The date of the postage stamp or the date of automatic confirmation of acceptance in case of a facsimile or a message sent electronically is sufficient proof for compliance with the obligatory time limits for lodging a complaint.


The above information shall not serve as grounds for indemnity claims or be the basis for the interpretation of the law in effect. Its purpose is to remind the passengers of certain important rights and the rules of the carrier’s responsibility.

If the transport involves other carriers, information regarding the limitations of responsibility used by them is available in their offices.