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EU court confirms baggage value cap

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Airline passengers with valuable luggage will now see the value of taking out travel insurance after a European court ruled the maximum claim for lost baggage in Europe was 1,134.66 euro (£961.66).

EU judges rejected a man's claim for extra "non-material" losses on goods that had an emotional rather than a cash value, and for personal upset. Axel Walz, flying from Barcelona to Porto with Spanish budget carrier Clickair, claimed 3,200 euro (£2,711) when his luggage went missing.

He claimed 2,700 euro (£2,288) for his luggage's value and an additional 500 euro (£423) for "immaterial harm", or the emotional loss he felt for items that had little cash value. However, the EU rules limiting airline liability for loss, damage or delay of luggage is set to £961.66, unless the passengers declares the baggage is valuable and pays a supplement.

The Spanish judge hearing the case asked the European Court of Justice whether the limit fixed by the Montreal Convention covers both material and immaterial damage or whether it was possible to claim more "immaterial" loss.

The EU judges confirmed that the damages limit of 1134.66 euro "is absolute and includes both material and non-material damage".

© Press Association 2010