TT Talk - Rejection of claims which are not in electronic form?

A few days ago, A TT Club Member received the following (automatically generated) message from a large airline: hese conventions, airlines are in no position to bar claimants from using traditional paper means for the required 'written' notification.

'To further improve the processing time of your claims, we will discontinue the acceptance of claims submitted via mail, fax and courier drop off. Effective 01 March, 2010, claims and preliminary claims that are submitted via postal mail, fax and courier drop off will no longer be accepted. Please see the attached document for details. Thank you for your continued support!'

The use of electronic means of communication may cut costs, and TT Club Members who sue airlines could find that submitting claims electronically is cost-effective for them also.

However, airlines have no right to reject claims against them simply because such claims are not in electronic form. Readers will be aware that the international air carriage conventions require notification of claims to the air carrier in writing, see Article 26(3) of the Warsaw/ Hague Rules 1955 and Article 31(3) of the Montreal Convention 1999. Owing to the mandatory force of law of these conventions, airlines are in no position to bar claimants from using traditional paper means for the required 'written' notification.