Airplane Accidents – Understanding your rights under Article 17(1) and 21(1) of the Montreal Convention

October 29, 2018. Flight 610, Lion Air smashes into the Java Sea off Indonesia, killing all 189 souls aboard. This is swiftly followed by Flight 302, Ethiopian Airlines, which crashes in Bishoftu, Ethiopia. Again, no survivors are left. Preliminary investigations reveal that the auto-pilot systems in both cases forced the plane into a death dive, giving its crew little time to react. Claims for compensation are still pending, with families apparently pressured into signing away their legal rights.[5] This article therefore seeks to inform the public of their rights in such cases. It sets out the legal regime that governs aircraft accidents, and the type of losses compensable, whether in the event of death or a serious injury to a loved one.