• Sun. Dec 10th, 2023

Clearer rules in the case of loss of luggage and flight cancellations


Apr 11, 2023
Clearer rules in the case of loss of luggage and flight cancellations

This is what the judges decided in luxembourg (case C-410/11). In another case (case C-139/11), they ruled that the time limits for suing for damages for flight cancellation depend on national requirements.

If travelers share a suitcase, each is entitled to compensation, the european court of justice ruled. But he must be able to show in a national court that his own items were in someone else’s suitcases. This could be the case, for example, with a family, buying tickets together or checking in together, the judges explained.

The maximum amount of compensation each traveler can receive fluctuates over time, as the compensation entitlement in air passenger law is expressed in "special drawing rights" (SDR), an art currency created by the international monetary fund (IMF). The current limit is 1131 sdrs per traveler. According to the current exchange rate, the highest possible compensation thus corresponds to about 1350 euros.

In a specific case from 2008, a family of four had sued the airline iberia for a total of 4400 euros in compensation because their two suitcases were lost on a flight from barcelona to paris. At that time, however, a lower limit of 1000 sdrs applied, and the exchange rate of the artificial currency was different than today.

The judges also clarified the question of how long travelers can sue their airline for damages if a flight is cancelled. This would depend on national legislation, not on international air transport agreements. Which law applies is again determined by the place of the action – this can be either the country of departure or the country of arrival. This was already decided by the judges in 2009 (case C-204/08). Society does not have to pay in cases of high violence.

In germany, claims for loss of service are possible for at least three years: for the remainder of the current year and the following three years. In the current case, a man had filed a lawsuit in spain against the airline KLM in 2009 – more than three years after his connection from shanghai to barcelona had been cancelled. He demanded a compensation payment of 2990 euros as well as interest and other costs. His chances of obtaining compensation have increased with the current decision: catalan civil law provides for a ten-year limitation period.


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