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Can an airline, by its Contract of Carriage, restrict cash compensation owed on lost, damaged or destroyed luggage according to the type of item?


No

If you packed something special (jewelry, laptop, camera) and it has been destroyed you can claim the cost from the airline, no matter what it is.

This is because an airline cannot, by its Contract of Carriage, exclude items from which compensation for lost, damaged or destroyed luggage is owed.

Following a pattern of systemic breached by Emirates, in 2012, the Department of Transport (US) imposed a $100,000.00 fine on Emirates for limiting and in some instances avoiding, its obligations to pay compensation to passengers for lost, damaged or destroyed luggage.

This fine reinforces the strength of Montreal Convention relating to passengers’ rights. It means that your ability to recover material and non-material damage up to the value permitted (with supporting documents) cannot be contracted out of by an airline. This right applies no matter the items packed - for example: jewelry, heirloom, laptop, novel item, etc.

This is different to an airline’s ability to prohibit checked or carry on items for reasons relating to safety (for example, combustible items).

Where you do intend on packing a special or expensive item, it is worth completing a Special Declaration of Interest prior to your flight.

If this has happened to you - contact Weclaim today for assistance.

1 May 2019

Written by Frédéric Pelouze, Weclaim Founder and CEO

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