On 22 November 2012, Thomas von Danwitz, Judge at the Court of Justice of the EU, pronounced his judgment in the case Espada Sánchez e.a (C-410/11) on Transport.
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.
On 1 August 2008, Mr Espada Sánchez, Ms Oviedo Gonzáles and their two children, both minors, boarded a flight from Barcelona to Paris operated by Iberia. The baggage of that family of four had been packed into two suitcases which were lost during the flight and have not been recovered. Accordingly, the four passengers seek damages from Iberia in the amount of €4,400, corresponding to 4 000 SDR (1 000 SDR per passenger).
In its judgment, the Court stated that a passenger may claim compensation from an air carrier for the loss of items belonging to him which were in baggage checked in the name of another passenger. Consequently, not only a passenger who has checked in his own baggage in person, but also a passenger whose items were placed in the baggage checked in by another passenger on the same flight, must be compensated.
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