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Transportation Law Case Digests | Atty.

Norianne Tan | 2016


AMERICAN AIRLINES v. CA, HON.
BERNARDO LL. SALAS and DEMOCRITO
MENDOZA,
G.R. No. 116044-45. March 9, 2000
CASE:

Mendoza purchased conjunction tickets in Manila


from SAL. In Geneva, Mendoza exchanged the unused
portion of the conjunction ticket for a one-way ticket from
Geneva to NY from petitioner. Mendoza filed an action for
damages before RTC Cebu for the alleged embarrassment
and mental anguish he suffered at the Geneva Airport when
the petitioners security officers prevented him from
boarding the plane, detained him for about an hour and
allowed him to board the plane only after all the other
passengers have boarded.
W/N Philippine courts has jurisdiction in the action for
damages filed by Mendoza in view of Art 28 (1) of the
Warsaw Convention.-YES
The Warsaw Convention to which the Philippines is a
party and which has the force and effect of law in this
country applies to all international transportation of persons,
baggage or goods performed by an aircraft gratuitously or
for hire. Art. 28 (1) enumerates the four places where an
action for damages may be brought: An action for

damages must be brought at the option of the


plaintiff, in the territory of one of the High Contracting
Parties, either before the court of the domicile of the
carrier or of his principal place of business or where he
has a place of business through which the contract has
been made, or before the court at the place of
destination. In this case, It is undisputed that
petitioner issued the ticket in Geneva which was
neither the domicile nor the principal place of business
of petitioner nor the respondents place of destination.
Art
1(3)
of
the
Warsaw
Convention:"Transportation to be performed by
several successive carriers shall be deemed, for the

purposes of this convention, to be one undivided


transportation, if it has been regarded by the parties
as a single operation, whether it has been agreed
upon under the form of a single contract or a series of
contractsxx Art. 1(3) clearly states that a contract
of air transportation is taken as a single
operation whether it is founded on a single
contract or a series of contracts. The contract of
carriage between Mendoza and SAL although
performed by different carriers under a series of airline
tickets, including that issued by petitioner, constitutes
a single operation. The third option of the plaintif
under
Art
28
(1)
of
the
Warsaw
Convention e.g., to sue in the place of business
of the carrier wherein the contract was made, is
therefore, Manila, and Philippine courts are
clothed with jurisdiction over this case.
FACTS:
Mendoza purchased from Singapore Airlines (SAL) in
Manila conjunction tickets for Manila - Singapore Athens - Larnaca - Rome - Turin - Zurich - Geneva Copenhagen - New York.
Petitioner was not a participating airline in any of the
segments in the itinerary under the conjunction
tickets.
In Geneva, Mendoza decided to forego his trip to
Copenhagen and to go straight to NY. He exchanged
the unused portion of the conjunction ticket for a
one-way ticket from Geneva to NY from petitioner.
Petitioner issued its own ticket to Mendoza in Geneva
and claimed the value of the unused portion of the
ticket from the IATA clearing house in Geneva.
Mendoza filed an action for damages before RTC
Cebu for the alleged embarrassment and mental
anguish he suffered at the Geneva Airport when the

Lim Miranda Rivera Santos Yogue

Transportation Law Case Digests | Atty. Norianne Tan | 2016

petitioners security officers prevented him from


boarding the plane, detained him for about an hour
and allowed him to board the plane only after all the
other passengers have boarded.
Petitioner filed MTD for lack of jurisdiction of
Philippine courts to entertain the said proceedings
under Art. 28 (1) of the Warsaw Convention.
Both the RTC and CA held that the suit may be
brought in the Philippines under the pool partnership
agreement among the IATA members, which include
Singapore Airlines and American Airlines, wherein the
members act as agents of each other in the issuance
of tickets to those who may need their services; that
the contract of carriage perfected in Manila between
Mendoza and SAL binds petitioner as an agent of SAL
and considering that petitioner has a place of
business in Manila, the third option of the plaintiff
under the Warsaw Convention i.e. the action may be
brought in the place where the contract was
perfected and where the airline has a place of
business, is applicable.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Philippine courts has jurisdiction in the
action for damages filed by Mendoza in view of Art 28 (1) of
the Warsaw Convention
HELD & RATIO:
1. YES.
The Warsaw Convention to which the Philippines is a
party and which has the force and effect of law in
this country applies to all international transportation
of persons, baggage or goods performed by an
aircraft gratuitously or for hire.
The contract of carriage entered into by Mendoza
with SAL, and subsequently with the petitioner, to
transport him to nine cities in different countries with
NY as the final destination is a contract of
international transportation and the provisions of the

Convention automatically apply and exclusively


govern the rights and liabilities of the airline and its
passengers. This includes section 28 (1) which
enumerates the four places where an action for
damages may be brought.
o Art (28) (1): An action for damages must

be brought at the option of the plaintiff,


in the territory of one of the High
Contracting Parties, either before the
court of the domicile of the carrier or of
his principal place of business or where
he has a place of business through which
the contract has been made, or before
the court at the place of destination.
It is undisputed that petitioner issued the ticket
in Geneva which was neither the domicile nor
the principal place of business of petitioner nor
the respondents place of destination. The
question
is
whether
the
contract
of
transportation between the petitioner and
Mendoza is a single operation and part of the
contract of transportation entered into by the
latter with SAL in Manila.
o Art
1(3)
of
the
Warsaw
Convention:"Transportation
to
be
performed by several successive carriers
shall be deemed, for the purposes of this
convention,
to
be
one
undivided
transportation, if it has been regarded by
the parties as a single operation, whether
it has been agreed upon under the form
of a single contract or a series of
contracts, and it shall not lose its
international character merely because
one contract or series of contracts is to
be performed entirely within the territory

Lim Miranda Rivera Santos Yogue

Transportation Law Case Digests | Atty. Norianne Tan | 2016

subject of the sovereignty, suzerainty,


mandate or authority of the same High
contracting Party."
The contract of carriage between Mendoza and
SAL although performed by different carriers
under a series of airline tickets, including that
issued by petitioner, constitutes a single
operation. Members of the IATA are under a
general
pool
partnership
agreement
wherein they act as agent of each other in
the issuance of tickets.
A member airline which enters into a contract of
carriage consisting of a series of trips to be
performed by different carriers is authorized to
receive the fare for the whole trip and through
the required process of interline settlement of
accounts by way of the IATA clearing house an
airline is duly compensated for the segment of
the trip serviced.
o When petitioner accepted the unused
portion of the conjunction tickets, entered
it in the IATA clearing house and
undertook to transport Mendoza over the
route covered by the unused portion of
the conjunction tickets, petitioner tacitly
recognized its commitment under the

IATA pool arrangement to act as agent


SAL as to the segment the petitioner
agreed to undertake. As such, petitioner
assumed the obligation to take the place
of the carrier originally designated in the
original conjunction ticket.
Art. 1(3) clearly states that a contract of
air transportation is taken as a single
operation whether it is founded on a single
contract or a series of contracts. The
number of tickets issued does not detract from
the oneness of the contract of carriage as long
as the parties regard the contract as a single
operation.
o Petitioners acquiescence to take the place
of the original designated carrier binds it
under the contract of carriage entered
into by Mendoza and SAL in Manila.
The third option of the plaintif under Art
28 (1) of the Warsaw Convention e.g., to
sue in the place of business of the carrier
wherein the contract was made, is
therefore, Manila, and Philippine courts
are clothed with jurisdiction over this case.

Lim Miranda Rivera Santos Yogue