FlyersRights.org has filed a lawsuit against the US Department of Transportation (DOT) in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals over its refusal to enforce the Montreal Convention mandate that airlines must clearly disclose flight delay compensation rights. See DOT-OST-2015-0256 at regulations.gov.
Under Article 19 of the Montreal Convention, the primary treaty governing international air travel, passengers can recover up to about $5,500 for flight delays on international trips on a nearly no-fault basis. And this little-known provision overrides any airline contract to the contrary. The treaty ratified by the US in 2003, explicitly requires (under Article 3) airlines to provide passengers with “written notice to the effect where [the] Convention is applicable it governs and may limit the liability of carriers for … delay.” Airlines currently only advise passengers of the airline’s liability limitations and omit any mention of delay compensation rights.
“The DOT continues to ignore express provisions of the Montreal Convention and U.S. law by allowing the airlines to engage in unfair, deceptive, anticompetitive, and predatory practices. Airlines continue to obscure with undecipherable legalese or outright deception delay compensation rights. See https://www.aa.com/i18n/customer-service/support/liability-for-international-flights.jsp vs https://flyersrights.org/delayedcanceled-flights/ and 14 CFR 221.105, 106. Congress gave the DOT the exclusive power to protect consumers against such unfair and deceptive practices. The DOT’s refusal to require airlines to follow the treaty is itself a violation of U.S. law,” remarked Paul Hudson, President of FlyersRights.org
FlyersRights.org is represented in the court proceeding by Joseph Sandler, Esq. of Sandler, Reiff, Lamb, Rosenstein &Rosenstock of Washington, D.C.