Dlougach wrote:As I've been taught in my PPL theory, the operator-passenger liability limits, which are mentioned in the Montreal Convention, only apply if there is a contract of carriage made before the flight.
The final paragraph of Article 3 (Passengers and Baggage) is quite clear that although the documentation is the responsibility of the carrier absence of it does not change any of the applicability of the invention:
5. Non-compliance with the provisions of the foregoing paragraphs shall not affect the existence or the validity of the contract of carriage, which shall, nonetheless, be subject to the rules of this Convention including those relating to limitation of liability.
(Article 9 repeats the same wrt cargo)
So a contract of Carriage doesn't need to be 'made before each flight', it is in existence regardless of any documentation provided at or after the flight.
If it is the liability limit which is of concern, then the MC limit is 128,821 (2019 update - originally 100,000) SDR per person for loss of life or 22 (original 17) SDR per kg of cargo (capped at 1,288 SDR , original 1,000). An SDR is around 1 GBP, so the actual amounts should be well under the Liability insurance cover of a typical GA aircraft.
Those liability limits apply in a strict sense i.e. regardless of cause, negligence etc. Or, as the convention says (note the word 'only'):
The carrier is liable for damage sustained in case of death or bodily injury of a passenger upon condition only that the accident which caused the death or injury took place on board the aircraft or in the course of any of the operations of embarking or disembarking.
Of course, in real life, the claims which are made against pilots, manufactures, carriers etc are all based on the assertion that they acted negligently, in which case those limits above do not apply. :
The carrier shall not be liable for damages arising under paragraph 1 of Article 17 to the extent that they exceed for each passenger 100 000 Special Drawing Rights if the carrier proves that:
(a) such damage was not due to the negligence or other wrongful act or omission of the carrier or its servants or agents; or
(b) such damage was solely due to the negligence or other wrongful act or omission of a third party.
This firmly puts the onus on the carrier to demonstrate his innocence and explains why it is very rare in the 'western' world that payouts following accidents are linked to the limits of the Montreal Convention.
As an aside, the MC only applies to international flights, so it may be more relevant in Switzerland than for the average UK PPL.
I am not sure I see, based on the MC alone, what purpose a 'ticketing' system serves at the OPs club. It seems more than likely that the need for it arises under a Swiss law, not under the MC.
We all live under the same sky, but we don't all have the same horizon.