Baggage

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IATA AGM passes five resolutions

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that five resolutions have been passed by the 75th Annual General Meeting. These are:

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Austrian Supreme Court: railway company not liable for stolen luggage

The plaintiff traveled by train with the Austrian national railway company ÖBB. She carried a large travel bag which she put on the floor of the aisle. The conductor orderd her to place her bag to the baggage compartment of the wagon which could not be observed from her seat. When she reached her destination she realized that her bag was stolen.

The claim for compensation was dismissed: the Supreme Court (OGH) held that the conductor's instruction to store tha bag in the baggage compartment did not constitute any obligation of custody on the part of the railway company .

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USA: DOT reminds airlines on their obligations regarding damaged baggage

Following a routine airport inspection at 16 airports nationwide in a two week period in September 2015, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued a notice reminding airlines that they are required to compensate passengers for damage to wheels, straps, zippers, handles, and other protruding parts of checked baggage beyond normal wear and tear.  The notice also reminds airlines of their obligation to accept all reports of mishandled baggage from consumers even if an airline’s agent believes the airline is not liable.

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CJEU Advocate General: EU law allows air carriers pricing freedom - including services such as checking in baggage

In August 2010, the air carrier Vueling added a surcharge of €40 to the base price of airline tickets (€241.48) purchased by Ms Arias Villegas when she checked in two pieces of baggage online. Ms Villegas therefore lodged a complaint against Vueling, claiming that the contract of carriage by air concluded with that undertaking contained an unfair term.

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Austrian Supreme Court decides on air carrier liability for checked baggage and exclusivity of the Montreal liability regime

The plaintiff's father was booked on a flight from Vienna to Istanbul, operated by the defendant. He intended to check two suitcases and keep a smaller bag as cabin luggage. Upon check-in the passenger was told that with regard to its size and weight the bag did not meet the requirements for cabin luggage. He was asked to open the bag and the airline staff at the check-in desk could see that it contained variuos documents, some jewellery, antiques and several spectacles.

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ECJ decides on airlines' liability for checked baggage pursuant to the Montreal Convention

The Montreal Convention provides that an air carrier must pay compensation to each passenger, limited to 1 000 Special Drawing Rights (‘SDRs’) per passenger, in the event of the loss of his baggage during a flight operated by the carrier or while the baggage was in the carrier’s charge. The carrier must provide passengers with an identification tag for each piece of checked baggage.

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EU Commission announces "Better Airports" package

On Dec. 1, 2011, the European Commission announced a comprehensive package of measures to help increase the capacity of Europe's airports, reduce delays and improve the quality of services offered to passengers.

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USA: airlines ask DOT for another delay in new rules

The airline industry is again asking the U.S. Transportation Department (DOT) or more time — now a full year — to comply with portions of the DOT’s new rules on the disclosure and implementation of baggage fees on multi-carrier routings. When the DOT adopted the rules in April, it set an August effective date, then changed that to January when carriers claimed they needed more time to reprogram their systems. Now the airlines are saying the five-month delay was not nearly enough.

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USA: Court of Appeals overturns jury verdict in favour of skycaps

In 2005, American Ailrines started to charge passengers who checked their luggage at curbside stations using skycaps a USD 2 fee per bag. Some skycaps filed a law suit against AA’s retention of the fee, alleging that it was a “service charge” under the Massachusetts Tips Statute – and thus had to be distributed to them because customers reasonably expected that.

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