Consumer protections and limited liability: Global order for air transport?

Truxal, S. (2014). Consumer protections and limited liability: Global order for air transport?. Journal of International and Comparative Law, 1(1), pp. 133-140.

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Abstract

The proliferation of air passenger rights regimes around the globe, at least half of which were introduced in the past seven years, presents a real challenge for many stakeholders in air transport. On the one hand, national rules often vary from state to state; they overlap and are often complex or conflicting, which can be seen as creating rather ambiguous liability for the air transport sector, in particular for airlines and airports. On the other hand, the inherent nature of air transport is that it is international. A passenger holding a common itinerary may have rights under one or more air passenger rights regimes during his or her journey. If the travel does not go exactly as planned, attempts by the affected passenger to acquire information about, understand and enforce his or her consumer rights may prove onerous. National authorities could also fail to provide adequate complaint handling and compliance checking procedures. What results ultimately flies in the face of the purported aims of national and regional regimes, which surely is to provide consumer protection.

This comment identifies recent developments at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a UN specialized agency, within the sphere of consumer protection for air transport. The current state of affairs is considered alongside discussion on certain aspects of the current air passenger rights in the European Union (EU) and the limited air carrier liability regime of the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air (‘Montreal Convention’) 1999, and the issues that arise with respect to interpretation and application of the law. The following reveals the significance of the intersection of consumer protection for passengers at national and regional levels, and limited liability for airlines at international law, that has given rise to a recent call for global order vis-à-vis core principles on air passenger rights at international law.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Journal of International and Comparative Law following peer review. The definitive published version Truxal, S., CONSUMER PROTECTIONS AND LIMITED LIABILTY: GLOBAL ORDER FOR AIR TRANSPORT?, 1 (1), pp.133-140 is available in the Journal of International and Comparative Law.
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: The City Law School
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/4613

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