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Which court can hear my travel case?

It's important to know which court has jurisdiction over your case.
This depends upon the applicable law to your case.

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Who do I name as Defendant?

The determination of which company the written complaint is to be addressed to is extremely important but not always as straightforward as one would think. Whilst in the majority of cases, it will be the company with which you travelled or with which you were supposed to travel, a particular regime exists if you are making a luggage claim under the Montreal Convention or a claim following a missed flight (no show).

Which court is competent?

This question is equally crucial, as filing your claim before the wrong court could cause you considerable time and expense. The court with jurisdiction will depend on several factors, notably the applicable law. We've prepared a handy table below to guide you through the various options open to you.

Travel claims based on EU Regulations.

Pursuant to procedural applicable laws and court precedents, any claim filed pursuant to any of the EU travel Regulations (including EU 261, EU 1171 and EU 1371) will have to be lodged before the the court having territorial jurisdiction over the place of departure, the place of arrival, or the place where the operating carrier is incorporated. Note that you cannot file a claim before the court having territorial jurisdiction over the place where you and/or your fellow passengers are domiciled.

Departure pointEx: Paris Charles de Gaulle, competent court: Tribunal of Aulnay-sous-BoisLayoverEx: London Luton Airport, competent court: Luton County CourtArrival pointEx: Stockholm Airport, competent court: Stockholm CourtPassenger's DomicileEx: Milan, competent court, the Milan Justice of PeaceOperating carrier's HeadquartersEx: easyJet is incorporated at the Luton Airport, competent court: Luton AirportTicket Vendor's headquartersEx: Opodo is headquartered in Luxembourg
Delayed, cancelled, overbooked Flight (EU 261)YesNoYesNoYesNo
Missed flight (no show= partial ticket refund)NoNoNoYesYesYes
Disrupted ferry journey (EU 1177)YesNoYesNoYesand the contractor carrier, if applicableNo
Disrupted train journey (EU 1371)YesNoYesNoYesNo

N.B.: We make reference to only the court having territorial jurisdiction; we are unable to advise on the court with material jurisdiction via this short guide. However, in most cases, given the small amounts in play, it will usually be the inferior courts (e.g. the County Court in the UK, the Tribunal d'Instance in France, Small claim court in the US and Canada etc.) which will be competent. However, in order to be sure of the the competent court, start a claim with us today.

Travel Claims based on the Montreal Convention.

The Montreal Convention clearly states that both the operating carrier (i.e. the one that operated the disrupted flight) as well as the contracting carrier (i.e. the one which sold you the ticket) can be joined as defendants, if they are indeed separate entities. More choice for you!

Departure pointArrival pointLayoverPassenger's DomicileOperating carrier HeadquartersContractor carrier Headquarters
Disrupted flight journey (EU 261 non-applicable)NoYesNoNoYesYes
Luggage claimsNoYesNoNoYesYes

Travel claims based on US law.

US law provides that the following courts can be seized.

Departure pointArrival pointLayoverPassenger's DomicileDefendant's HeadquartersTicket Vendor's Domicile
Luggage claimsYesYesNoNoYesNo
Overbooked flightYesYesNoNoYesNo

Here is what you should also know.

How much can I claim?

It's important to know how much you can claim. This depends upon the applicable law to your case. More here

When is it too late to file a Claim?

Your rights to compensation do eventually expire, so it's important to know which Statute of Limitations applies to your claim. This varies from country to country. We have put together a handy chart for you. More here

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