Can passengers claim compensation for flight delays?


The reader wants to know the rights of air travelers in case of flight delays of more than 10 hours due to technical problems.

Ask: I traveled from Dubai to Maldives by local carrier for a vacation with my family. There was a huge delay of more than 10 hours in flights. When I asked the staff, they said it was due to technical problems. Can I claim compensation from the airline in this case? What are my rights in this case?

Answer: According to your queries, the provisions of Federal Decree Law No. 50 of 2022 are applicable, which dictates the Commercial Transactions Law and the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Air Transport of 1999, signed in Montreal.

A traveler in the United Arab Emirates should check the terms and conditions related to travel, baggage and other general matters on the air ticket. Once an air ticket is booked, it is implied that the air traveler is bound by the terms and conditions mentioned in an air ticket.

Additionally, an airline may be liable if there is a delay to scheduled flights. This is in accordance with article 357 of the Commercial Transactions LawWhat states,

“The air carrier will be responsible for damages resulting from the delay in the arrival of the passenger, checked baggage or cargo.”

The United Arab Emirates is a signatory to the Montreal Convention of 1999, so the provisions of the aforementioned agreement are applicable. This is in accordance with article 354 of the Commercial Transactions LawWhat states,

“Without prejudice to international conventions to which the State is a party, the provisions of this section shall apply to air transport, subject to the provisions of the following articles.”

The aforementioned Montreal Convention of 1999 mentions that the airline may be responsible for flight delays except for reasons beyond the airline’s control. This is in accordance with article 19 of the 1999 Montreal Convention, which states,

“The carrier is responsible for damage caused by delay in the air transportation of passengers, baggage or cargo. However, the carrier will not be liable for damage caused by delay if he proves that he and his dependents and agents took all necessary precautions. measures reasonably necessary to avoid the damage or that it was impossible for him to take such measures.”

Additionally, in case of delay, the airline may have to compensate passengers. This is in accordance with Article 22(1) of the Montreal Convention of 1999, What states,

“In the case of damage caused by delay specified in Article 19 in the transportation of persons, the carrier’s liability for each passenger is limited to 4,150 special drawing rights.”

According to the website of the International Monetary Fund, What the aforementioned Special Drawing Rights (SDR) mean, is an international reserve asset. The SDR is not a currency, but its value is based on a basket of five currencies: the US dollar, the euro, the Chinese renminbi, the Japanese yen and the pound sterling.

The aforementioned SDR of 4,150 SDR related to compensation for delayed flights was revised to 5,346 SDR in 2019 related to the liability limit of airlines regarding compensation.

Based on the above-mentioned legal and conventional provisions, you can contact the airline based on the terms and conditions related to compensation for delayed flights mentioned in your air ticket. You can also contact the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in the United Arab Emirates and the Dubai Aviation Authority for further clarification on this matter.

News Source: Khaleej Times


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