Warsaw Convention - A Brief Explanation

1 min read    23 comments

What was the Warsaw Convention, we hear you ask? Good question! It's one of those phrases that we seem to come across all the time and yet have managed to get by in life without knowing anything about it. Time to fill that knowledge gap!

The Warsaw Convention - and you could probably guess this first bit - was a convention that took place in Warsaw, on 12th October 1929. Experts in the field of Aviation Law, from thirty one nations, arrived in the Polish capital to create a legal framework that still binds international aviation today (albeit modified, most notable at the Hague in 1955 and Montreal 1999).

The principal purpose of the Warsaw Convention was to determine the liability of air carriers in the case of an accident, both in regards to passengers and also baggage and cargo. One of the main reasons that the Warsaw Convention needed amending in Montreal was because the maximum compensation that an airline could be forced to pay in the event of an international accident was 75,000 US dollars (for the death of one person). This limit, set to protect a fledging aviation industry from bankruptcy, has now been changed, so that the minimum a bereaved family can claim - without having to prove the airline's negligence - is 135,000 dollars. And if the carrier is found at fault for the accident... Well, then the sky's the limit!


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Zakwan Ghazi

Thanks for the information, its really helpfull

Reply Jul 24th, 2017
Ronald Lee
United States

Vueling airline lost my bag two years ago. I immediately filed a lost luggage report, contacted customer service many times and CEO Alex Cruz. Provided bank routing info as requested but have not have anything. It appears that Vueling is dragging their feet to avoid paying. Is there a POC with Warsaw (Montreal) Convention that enforces the airline to comply with this law?

Reply Feb 22nd, 2016
United States

Does this mean that a single fatality in an aircraft accident of any airline company could get an almost 6 million Philippine peso?.. does it really implemented world wide?..

Reply Nov 14th, 2010

I really appreciate for this good information.Thats quite satisfied with me.Thanks a lot.

Reply Jul 1st, 2010
Abrahim Ali

please I want a list of states that ratified the Warsaw convention of 1929 on the unification of certain rules of air transport

Reply Jun 14th, 2010
rason chirinda

I used Kenyan Airways from Dubai, stop over Nairobi on my way to Harare Zimbabwe and l had checked in 3 boxes containing some cellphones.We got to Nairobi in the morning and had to spend the whole day and boarded a evening flight after 8pm.The flight went through Mozabique and had to stop there for an hour.We got to Harare after 2am only to discover that 2 of my boxes worth us7880 where missing and up to date where never recovered.The airline offered to compersate but are willing to pay only us20 per kg.Is this a fair deal?

Reply Jun 7th, 2010
roxana esmaili
United Arab Emirates

i had problem with airline please help me

Reply Apr 15th, 2010
José K.
United States

Essentially, 1929 was when the airline experts got together and cooked up laws and conditions largely beneficial to themselves, not the paying passenger. The changes at Den Haag and Montreal have only made things worse for passengers.

Reply Nov 4th, 2009

Thanks for the information, i am bit enlightened now.

Reply Jul 28th, 2009

I booked a vacation with airline "A" but the tour company had substituted airline "B" - an old cargo plane which they used regularly. And did not inform me they did not use airline "A" as shown on my vacation confirmation. Can they substitute on a continuing basis and not be required to inform me, yet tell me I was flying another airline ?

Reply May 19th, 2009
United States

information is so good

Reply May 18th, 2009
United Kingdom

could some one please tell me what my rights are for compensation for delay of a scheduled flight

Reply Feb 10th, 2009

I commend you so much for the efforts you have made so far to enunciate in details on the significant of the Warsaw Convention to the Aviation Industry. As a young and vibrant young man who have chosen to develop my career in civil aviation i am very happy for that, in fact, I commend your candid effort and I say more power to your elbow.

Reply Feb 1st, 2009
Justin Chieke

The prime motive of 1929 convention was "TOP LIMIT AWARD" THE LIMITED LIABILITY OF AN AIRLINE CARRIER ON INCIDENCE LIKE AIR MISHAP OR LOSS OF BAGGAGE.And U.S.A did not adhere to that convention because of the low amount of money involved which was initially said to be ($8,300) and later lifted to 250,000 Francs-16,600. etc.In the history of Aviation Warsaw Convention is very fundamental.

Reply Feb 1st, 2009

it's quite educative

Reply Jan 29th, 2009

well, it a nice idea to pay victim but come to think of it. answer mine question before you say anything. it's the same food you eat themyou still require at this same time. pleaselook into the issue and increase the price .we are talking about like and not chicken lifes. thansk

Reply Nov 7th, 2008

This explanation now hits the nail on the head. I feel you are speaking my language because i read the other explanations on other sites and i could not quite follow.I would like to also know how the Warsaw convention agreements help in case am offloaded from an airline connection while am in transit.

Reply Nov 6th, 2008
United States

Thanks for review. Aviation profesional thank you for the interest on it.

Reply Aug 31st, 2008

Well, I to needed to be educated about the Warsaw Convention. I agree with the freedom of speech, regardless of literacy (check my spelling during this post, it may be quite amusing!!) We travel around the globe at least twice a year and I never really understood the Warsaw Convention - time I got educated!!! I do believe, however, unlike the lovely lady from Greece, that should we perish in a flight, I would like to know that my family has been provided for in some financial way, since we will no longer be there to provide for them. No, you can't put a price tag on someone's life, but it is good to know that my children will be provided for financialy and help their caregivers moving forward. Personally, I think it's a heck of an idea, regardless of the fault (here's hoping no one ever has to live with that!!)

Reply Dec 29th, 2007

Yes and you are now one of them Bruce! Everyone has the right to free speech and opinion - regardless of their level of literacy Bruce. It is a basic human right. Maybe you dont believe in that. Probably a yank huh?

Reply Dec 26th, 2007
United States

I'm not trying to be snooty, but why do you print so many illiterate mumbling dribbling nonsensical reviews from people I have no interest in hearing of ?

Reply Sep 2nd, 2007

I was quite curious as to what the Warsaw convention 1929 was,since when i hear the name warsaw i automatically think-hitler..now that is one sick topic! but i am not thinking about dying on a flight,i am scared enough of flying,and i dont think any amount of money woudl make my family satisfied after loosing their child,why do people think money makes thinsg better,what rubbish! but anyway thanks for clearing it up..

Reply Jul 18th, 2007

mmmh interesting, i gues in the olden days people were smarter than now coz how the hell would people think of compensation that early,sweet. weird coment huh! anyway kudos warsaw it was woth it.

Reply Jun 6th, 2007