What does a convention in Montreal have to do with how airlines treat their passengers?
You may be asking yourself, what does a travelling convention have to do with me? Well it’s not really a traveling convention, so that’s my first correction for you, secondly it regulates liability for carriage of persons. If you are reading this you are most likely interested in travel in one shape or another. This convention governs 110 states + the EU. Chances are you live in a country that is governed by the convention, or at the very least, you have flown to a country that is governed by the convention. So it’s a pretty big deal.
In 1929, the first ever Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air was held in Warsaw, Poland. The convention regulated liability for international carriage of persons, luggage, or goods performed by aircraft for reward. Now as you can imagine, 1929, was a very different time for air travel. To give you some context, bi-planes were definitely still a thing. So the convention was updated twice, before 1999. Once in 1955, in the Netherlands, then in 1971 in Guatemala, and finally in Montreal.
Why is this important?
Damages — Under the convention air carriers are strictly liable for proven damages up to 1131 SDR or approximately $1600 USD.
Lost baggage — The convention also allows passengers up to 1131 SDR or $1600 USD per passenger for lost luggage. The convention requires airlines to fully compensate passengers whose luggage has been delayed, for any replacement items until the bags are delivered. If the bags are delivered after a 21 day period, they are still considered lost under the convention and airlines are liable for this up to the mentioned amount.
Keep your rights in mind!
So when next you are traveling remember to keep your air passenger rights in mind. It’s not necessarily in an airline’s best interest to keep them in mind for you!
Each airline has different avenues for passengers to take to file a claim, based on that airline’s contract of carriage. In cases of delayed baggage, an airline may require that you provide receipts for replacement purchases along with evidence of your reservation and additional ticketing information, within three weeks of the bags being returned to you.
In the case of lost baggage, you may have to provide evidence of your reservation, ticketing information and the additional information specified by the airline’s specific contract of carriage.
Every year 8.1 million passengers leave $3.1 billion dollars worth of compensation dollars on the table. At Airhelp we empower passengers around the world. Ensuring each access to secure compensation over delayed, cancelled or overbooked flights. We engage with airlines on behalf of millions of passengers, to ensure the claims process is completed with efficiency and expertise. Our goal is to make claiming compensation as easy and seamless as possible!
You could be one such passenger, check if you’re eligible here.