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ECJ rules on EU261 claims statute of limitation


The first step when claiming compensation is making sure that your your claim is not time-barred, i.e. that it is not too late to claim.

The ECJ ruled on this question on November 22, 2012.

On November 22, 2012 the European Court of Justice ruled in Joan Cuadrench Moré v Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij NV on the EU261 statute of limitation.

The Court said: “Regulation No 261/2004 contains no provision fixing a time-limit for bringing actions to enforce the rights guaranteed by that regulation.

And added: “It follows that the time-limits for bringing actions for compensation under Articles 5 and 7 of Regulation No 261/2004 are determined by the national law of each Member State, provided that those rules observe the principles of equivalence and effectiveness”.

Read the entire decision here.

What is the time-limit in the United Kingdom?

In the United Kingdom, you have 6 years to start a claim based on the European Regulation 261/2004.

Therefore, you have 6 years starting from the cancellation, delay or overbooking of your flight to take the case to court.

In the United Kingdom, the applicable time-limit of 6 years was confirmed in Dawson v. Thomson Airways in 2014. Read the entire case here.

What is the time-limit in other Member States?

There is no harmonisation of time-limits in Europe. Each Member State applies its own statute of limitation, ranging from 2 years to 10 years.

In Germany for instance, the time-limit is set up at 3 years.

In France, it is 5 years.

How does Weclaim deal with claims against airlines incorporated in all European Member States?

Our automatised process takes into consideration the fact that the airline is based in another Member State. No worries, we take care of everything.

If the European Regulation 261/2004 is not applicable, you may be eligible to compensation under of the Montreal Convention. The time-limit set up in the Montreal Convention is 2 years. This applies to any claim made under the Montreal Convention, irrespective of the country in which you bring your claim.

Article 35 of the Convention provides that: "the right to damages shall be extinguished if an action is not brought within a period of two years, reckoned from the date of arrival at the destination, or from the date on which the aircraft ought to have arrived, or from the date on which the carriage stopped".

by Frédéric PELOUZE, Weclaim Founder & Director

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