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How much compensation under the Montreal Convention can I claim for loss or damage to my luggage?

The Montreal Convention has tight timelines to make a claim, as well as strict ceilings on compensation.

How much can I claim?

Under the Montreal Convention, an eligible passenger can claim up to 1,131 Special Drawing Rights (“SDR”) in damages for lost or damaged luggage.

Special Drawing Rights is a yardstick to compensate for differing values across the currencies of signatory countries. In real terms, the equivalents on a cap of 1000 SDR work out to be approximately:

  • €1.235,00,
  • $1,970.00AUD,
  • $1,395.00US,
  • £1,057.00,
  • 5048.00 Israeli New Shekel.

An exception to this ceiling is if the passenger made a Special Declaration of Interest with the air carrier for items exceeding the ceiling value - in which case the air carrier is generally obliged to pay the amount of the declared value.

What about sentimental items or inconvenience which don’t have a price tag?

The landmark European Court of Justice ruling of Waltz v Clickair broadened the meaning of damages to include not only material damage but also non-material damage. This means that in addition to your proven actual loss or damage, you can also claim additional “non-material” damage such as “mental anguish”. However note that your combined claim for damage resulting from the loss or damage to your luggage cannot exceed 1000 SDR.

Note also that your rights can change depending on whether your flight was domestic or not, and in accordance with the terms and conditions of your ticket.

Do you have questions relating to your rights? Contact Weclaim to learn more.

30 April 2019.

Written by Frédéric PELOUZE, Weclaim Founder and Director.

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