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G.R. No. L-31150 July 22, 1975 KLM ROYAL DUTCH AIRLINES,petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, respondents.


Spouses Mendoza inquired Mr. Reyes, the branch manager of Philippine Travel Bureau, for consultation about a world tour which they were intending to make with their daughter and niece. Three segments of the trip, the longest, was via KLM. Respondents decided that one of the routes they will take was a Barcelona-Lourdes route with knowledge that only one airline, Aer Lingus, served it. Reyes made the necessary reservations. To this, KLM secured seat reservations for the Mendozas and their companions from the carriers which would ferry them throughout their trip, which the exception of Aer Lingus. When the Mendozas left the Philippines, they were issued KLM tickets for the entire trip. However, their coupon for Aer Lingus was marked on request. When they were in Germany, they went to the KLM office and obtained a confirmation from Aer Lingus. At the airport in Barcelona, the Mendozas and their companions checked in for their flight to Lourdes. However, although their daughter and niece were allowed to take the flight, the spouses Mendozas were off loaded on orders of the Aer Lingus manager, who brusquely shoved them aside and shouted at them. So the spouses Mendozas took a train ride to Lourdes instead.

Thus, they filed a complaint for damages against KLM for breach of contract of carriage. The trial court decided in favor of the Mendozas. On appeal, the CA affirmed the decision. Hence, KLM brings this petition to the Supreme Court. KLM cites Art 30 of the Warsaw Convention, which states: the passenger or his representatives can take action only against the carrier who performed the transportation during which the accident or delay occurred. Also, KLM avers that the front cover of each ticket reads: that liability of the carrier for damages shall be limited to occurrences on its own line.


Whether or not KLM is liable for breach of contract of carriage?

HELD: The applicability of Art. 30 of the Warsaw Convention cannot be sustained. The article presupposes the occurrence of delay or accident. What is manifest here is that the Aer Lingus refused to transport the spouses Mendozas to their planned and contracted destination. As the airline which issued the tickets, KLM was chargeable with the duty and responsibility of specifically informing the spouses of the conditions prescribed in their tickets or to ascertain that the spouses read them before they accepted their passage tickets. The Supreme Court held that KLM cannot be merely assumed as a ticket-issuing agent for other airlines and limit its liability to untoward occurrences on its own line. The court found, that the passage tickets provide that the carriage to be performed therein by several successive carriers is to be regarded as a single operation.
The breach of that guarantee was aggravated by the discourteous and highly arbitrary conduct of an official of the Aer Lingus which the KLM had engaged to transport the respondents on the Barcelona-Lourdes segment of their itinerary. It is but just and in full accord with the policy expressly embodied in our civil law which enjoins courts to be more vigilant for the protection of a contracting party who occupies an inferior position with respect to the other contracting party, that the KLM should be held responsible for the abuse, injury and embarrassment suffered by the respondents at the hands of a supercilious boor of the Aer Lingus.

G.R. No. L-40597 June 29, 1979

Ong Yui vs. Court of Appeals

FACTS: Sometime on August 26, 1967, Ong Yiu passenger of respondent PAL from Mactan, Cebu to Butuan City wherein he was scheduled to attend a trial. As a passenger, he checked in one piece of luggae, blue maleta for which he was issued a claim ticket. Upon arrival at Butuan City, petitioner claimed his luggage but it could not be found. PAL Butuan sent a message to PAL Cebu which in turn sent a message to PAL Manila that same afternoon. PAL Manila advised PAL Cebu that the luggage has been overcarried to Manila and that it would be forwarded to PAL Cebu that same day. PAL Cebu then advised PAL Butuan that the luggage will be forwarded the following day, on scheduled morning flight. This message was not received by PAL Butuan as all the personnel had already gone for the day. Meanwhile, Ong Yiu was worried about the missing luggage because it contained vital documents needed for the trial the next day so he wired PAL Cebu demanding delivery of his luggage before noon that next day or he would hold PAL liable for damages based on gross negligence. Early morning, petitioner went to the Butuan Airport to inquire about the luggage but did not wait for the arrival of the morning flight at 10:00am. which carried his luggage. A certain Dagorro, a driver of a colorum car, who also used to drive the petitioner volunteered to take the luggage to the petitioner. He revelaed that the documents were lost. Ong Yiu demanded from PAL Cebu actual and compensatory damages as an incident of breach of contract of carriage.

ISSUE: Whether or not PAL is guilty of only simple negligence and not gross negligence? Whether the doctrine of limited liability doctrine applies in the instant case?

HELD: No. PAL had not acted in bad faith. It exercised due diligence in looking for petitioners luggage which had been miscarried. Had petitioner waited or caused someone to wait at the airport for the arrival of the morning flight which carried his luggage, he would have been able to retrieve his luggage sooner. In the absence of a wrongful act or omission or fraud, the petitioner is not entitled to moral damages.

Neither is he entitled to exemplary damages absent any proof that the defendant acted in a wanton, fraudulent, reckless manner. The limited liability applies in this case. On the presumed negligence of PAL, its liability for the loss however, is limited on the stipulation written on the back of the plane Ticket which is P100 per baggage. The petitioner not having declared a greater value and not having called the attention of PAL on its true value and paid the tariff therefore. The stipulation is printed in reasonably and fairly big letters and is easily readable. Moreso, petitioner had been a frequent passenger of PAL from Cebu to Butuan City and back and he being a lawyer and a businessman, must be fully aware of these conditions.