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DOT 61-13

DOT Fines Korean Air for Violating International Baggage Liability Rule.  The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has assessed a civil penalty of $60,000 against Korean Air for limiting its liability for mishandling checked baggage to an amount less than allowed by an international treaty.  After receiving consumer complaints, DOT’s Aviation Enforcement Office found that, in some instances, Korean Air limited reimbursement for delayed baggage to between $50 and $150, regardless of the amount of the expenses claimed, the length of the delay, or how many passengers were affected.  Also, in a few cases, Korean Air refused to pay for the loss of items that were included in the passengers’ checked baggage, although nothing in the Montreal Convention, the treaty that sets rules for international travel, allows airlines to disclaim liability for any class or category of items.  Korean Air’s actions violated the Convention and U.S. law by limiting the airline’s liability for lost, delayed, or damaged checked baggage to far less than the approximately $1,700 per-person amount set by the Convention.   The consent order is available on the Internet at www.regulations.gov, docket DOT-OST-2013-0004.  Contact: Bill Mosley (202) 366-4570.

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Friday, July 5, 2013