Can courts award compensation under the Montreal Convention 1999 (the Montreal Convention) for non-monetary damages sustained following the late arrival of passengers' baggage? Or does article 29 of the Montreal Convention limit the liability of airlines to monetary damages caused by the delay? The Supreme Court has now resolved this topic that has been the cause of contradictory rulings in the lower courts.

On 14 June 2022, the Israeli Supreme Court affirmed the district court's ruling, awarding the plaintiffs compensation for mental anguish in addition to compensation for monetary damages resulting from the delay of the arrival of their baggage.

In its decision, the Supreme Court focused on article 19 and article 29 of the Montreal Convention. The Supreme Court held that the term "damage" in article 19 is not restricted to a certain type of damage and therefore applies to all damages, including non-monetary damages. Additionally, the Supreme Court held that the overriding purpose for compensation for mental anguish, and other non-monetary losses, is restitution. Therefore, mental anguish is not "other non-compensatory damages" that are not recoverable in accordance with article 29 of the Montreal Convention, and mental anguish can be compensated under the Montreal Convention.

However, although compensation for mental anguish can be awarded under the Montreal Convention, all compensation for monetary and non-monetary damages is bound to the limits of liability set forth in the Montreal Convention and cannot exceed the special drawing rights specified in the Montreal Convention.

For further information on this topic please contact Hanital Belinson Navon, Roy Masuri or Sivan Barasch at Yigal Arnon & Co by telephone (+972 3 608 7777) or by email ([email protected], [email protected] or [email protected]). The Yigal Arnon & Co website can be accessed at