Regulation (EC) No 2027/97 on air carrier liability in respect of the carriage of passengers and their baggage by air (as amended by Regulation (EC) No 889/2002)
10. the following Annex shall be added:
Air carrier liability for passengers and their baggage. This information notice summarises the liability rules applied by Community air carriers as required by Community legislation and the Montreal Convention.
Compensation in the case of death or injury
There are no financial limits to the liability for passenger injury or death. For damages up to 113'100 SDRs (approximate amount in local currency) the air carrier cannot contest claims for compensation. Above that amount, the air carrier can defend itself against a claim by proving that it was not negligent or otherwise at fault.
If a passenger is killed or injured, the air carrier must make an advance payment, to cover immediate economic needs, within 15 days from the identification of the person entitled to compensation. In the event of death, this advance payment shall not be less than 16'000 SDRs (approximate amount in local currency).
In case of passenger delay, the air carrier is liable for damage unless it took all reasonable measures to avoid the damage or it was impossible to take such measures. The liability for passenger delay is limited to 4'694 SDRs (approximate amount in local currency).
In case of baggage delay, the air carrier is liable for damage unless it took all reasonable measures to avoid the damage or it was impossible to take such measures. The liability for baggage delay is limited to 1'131 SDRs (approximate amount in local currency).
Destruction, loss or damage to baggage
The air carrier is liable for destruction, loss or damage to baggage up to 1'131 SDRs (approximate amount in local currency). In the case of checked baggage, it is liable even if not at fault, unless the baggage was defective. In the case of unchecked baggage, the carrier is liable only if at fault.
Higher limits for baggage
A passenger can benefit from a higher liability limit by making a special declaration at the latest at check-in and by paying a supplementary fee.
Complaints on baggage
If the baggage is damaged, delayed, lost or destroyed, the passenger must write and complain to the air carrier as soon as possible. In the case of damage to checked baggage, the passenger must write and complain within seven days, and in the case of delay within 21 days, in both cases from the date on which the baggage was placed at the passenger's disposal.
Liability of contracting and actual carriers
If the air carrier actually performing the flight is not the same as the contracting air carrier, the passenger has the right to address a complaint or to make a claim for damages against either. If the name or code of an air carrier is indicated on the ticket, that air carrier is the contracting air carrier.
Time limit for action
Any action in court to claim damages must be brought within two years from the date of arrival of the aircraft, or from the date on which the aircraft ought to have arrived.
Basis for the information
The basis for the rules described above is the Montreal Convention of 28 May 1999, which is implemented in the Community by Regulation (EC) No 2027/97 (as amended by Regulation (EC) No 889/2002) and national legislation of the Member States."
This Regulation shall enter into force on the day of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Communities. It shall apply from the date of its entry into force or from the date of the entry into force of the Montreal Convention for the Community, whichever is the later. This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.
Done at Brussels, 13 May 2002.
For the European Parliament: The President P. Cox
For the Council: The President J. Piqué I Camps
(1) OJ C 337 E, 28.11.2000, p. 68 and OJ C 213 E, 31.7.2001, p. 298.
(2) OJ C 123, 25.4.2001, p. 47.
(3) Opinion of the European Parliament of 5 April 2001 (OJ C 21, 24.1.2002, p. 256) Council
Common Position of 19 December 2001 (OJ C 58 E, 5.3.2002, p. 8) and Decision of the European Parliament of 12 March 2002.
(4) OJ L 194, 18.7.2001, p. 38.
(5) OJ L 285, 17.10.1997, p. 1.
(6) OJ L 240, 24.8.1992, p. 1.
(7) OJ L 140, 30.5.2002, p. 2.