Geography is important to the liability
limits and scheme of compensation
When looking at the issue of an airline's liability for lost,
delayed or damaged luggage it is important to note that the relevant
limits of liability mentioned vary according to whether the journey
was international or domestic.
International Convention (the 1999 Montreal Convention) provides
rules on international journeys
Different rules may apply for Domestic Air Travel (For example
within the United States)
The US and some other countries provide a higher limit of liability
per passenger than those provided by International Convention
such as the Montreal Convention or its predecessor the Warsaw
From January 2007 the limit for completely domestic carriage within the United
States is US$3000.
This compares with a liability limit of around US$ 1500 for international journeys
governed by the Montreal Convention. (1000 Special Drawing rights)
Distinguish between what an airline volunteers to pay you and
what may be legally recoverable
Before looking at the particular rules that apply to compensation
limits it is worthwhile stressing one important aspect.
airline loses your bag or if your bag is delayed that airline
may offer you compensation.
The amount of compensation the airline offers may be less than
you could legally be entitled to on a strict legal analysis of
The full intricacies of a claim for lost
delayed or damaged luggage can be complex. The airline will
seek to maximise any
perceived doubt or vagueness in your claim or in applicable laws
to limit the airline’s exposure.
An airline will seek to argue down a passenger’s
claim but would very rarely-if ever-prompt
Or assist a passenger to maximise the passenger’s claim.
We are not suggesting that a passenger should make an illegitimate
exaggeration of a claim for compensation-merely that a passenger
can present the best arguments in support of a legitimate claim.
Flightmole.com is a resource to present
your legitimate claim in the best possible way. It is also
a resource to understand
where airline’s and their agents seek to reduce a passenger’s
legitimate claim through illegitimate methods.
YOU HAVE YOUR OWN INSURANCE-WHO SHOULD YOU CLAIM AGAINST THE
AIRLINE OR YOUR OWN INSURANCE POLICY?
Have you noticed that Airline’s typically suggest that
if you lose your baggage that you may be better placed making
a claim against your own insurers? (The inference being that
you might recover more compensation from those insurers).
Similarly that travel and other insurers insist that the insured
passenger should give notice of claim to the airline. (Is the
inference perhaps that you proceed to claim from the airline?).
An insurance policy typically has deductibles
and excesses and insurers apply “adjustments” that
the insurers will discount from the claim.
Can the passenger claim these reductions from the airline? Can
the passenger claim a higher amount from the airline than from
the insurer? Can the passenger claim from both the airline and
the insurance company?
These matters are complex. Perhaps the simple truth is that if
you don’t understand the potential complexity that you
will always be passively at the mercy of an airline and the
Airlines and insurance companies may graciously volunteer a
settlement to you. What flightmole.com readers needs to determine
is whether that settlement is a legitimate reflection of the
loss entitlement according to law. Can you legitimately claim
a higher amount and negotiate to achieve that higher amount and
failing that take enforcement action to obtain a higher amount
This may require an understanding of a number of diverse areas
of international law and domestic law and insurance practise.
Flightmole.com can not advise you on these areas but can assist
you to burrow to the right place and to frame the right questions
and marshal arguments to assist in enforcing of your rights in
the area of lost and damaged luggage.