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Can an Airline limits its liability by its own Terms & Conditions ?


If you experienced a delayed, overbooked or canceled flight a while ago, you might wonder : is it too late to claim compensation?

What is a statute of limitation?

Under a legal rule known as the "statute of limitations," any claim or lawsuit must be filed within a certain time limit or the claim will be barred and claimant's right to sue will be lost forever. Every EU Member State has enacted its own statute of limitations, requiring any claim to be filed in court within a set time after the incident or injury.

What statute of limitation applies?

What matters is the statute of limitations set by the law, not by an Airline's terms and conditions.

In case C-139/11 Joan Cuadrench Moré, the Court of Justice of the EU established that the Member States may set the time limits for bringing actions to court against the airlines, as long as these time limits facilitate effective protection.

  • If you file a claim in the UK (no matter where the Airline is incorporated, eg Air France is incorporated in France not in the UK) you have 6 years. This time limit has been set at 6 years by the Supreme Court ruling of Dawson v Thomson Airways.

  • If you are a US citizen it depends where we would have to sue : if settlement discussions fail (very rare) we will sue the airline either (i) in the country where the flight departed or landed or (ii) in the Airline’s country of incorporation.

Example: You are a US citizen who experienced a cancelled flight from Paris with British Airways: we can sue in the UK (6 years) or in France (5 years).

Therefore, no airline can limit your right to claim compensation. And certainly not Ryanair! Reclaim with Weclaim.

by Frédéric PELOUZE, Weclaim Founder and Director

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