10 June 2016 the European Commission released new interpretive guidelines that aims to explain more clearly a number of provisions contained in the Regulation, in particular in the light of the Court’s case law so that the current rules can be more effectively and consistently enforced. These guidelines are intended to tackle the issues most frequently raised by national enforcement bodies, passengers and their associations, the European Parliament and industry representatives. They replace previous information such as frequently asked questions and related answers, etc. published on the Commission’s website.

They do not seek to cover all provisions in an exhaustive manner, nor do they create any new legal provisions. It should also be noted that interpretative guidelinesare without prejudice to the interpretation of Union law provided by the Court. These guidelines also relate to Council Regulation (EC) No 2027/97 of 9 October 1997 on air carrier liability in the event of accidents as amended by Regulation (EC) No 889/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council and to the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air (the Montreal Convention).

Regulation (EC) No 889/2002 serves a twofold purpose: firstly, aligning EU legislation on air carriers’ liability in respect of passengers and their baggage with the provisions of the Montreal Convention, to which the EU is one of the contracting parties, and secondly, extending the application of the Convention’s rules to air services provided within the territory of a Member State. These interpretative guidelines should help to ensure better application and enforcement of the Regulation.

Full text of the guidelines

Source: European Commission

Baggage claims

The Montreal Convention - air carrier liability in the event of damage caused to passengers, baggage or goods during international journeys.

Up & down grading

Reimbursement apply if an operating air carrier places a passenger in a class lower than that for which the ticket was purchased.

New Guidelines on EC 261/2004

New interpretation guidelines to clarify existing rules. (English only)


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