Passenger rights group suing Air Transat over tarmac delay

Passenger rights group suing Canadian Transportation Agency, airline over tarmac delay case

An airline passenger rights advocate is suing the Canadian Transportation Agency and Air Transat over an incident last summer in which hundreds of people were left stranded in planes on the tarmac at the Ottawa airport for hours.

Gabor Lukacs has filed a lawsuit in the Federal Court of Appeal over the agency’s handling of the incident.

He says the agency found that Air Transat had violated numerous regulations, but levied only a nominal fine and then waived the penalty.

His suit seeks to have the penalty overturned and sent back to the CTA for reassessment and asks the court to rule that the agency does not have the authority to waive such penalties.

Last July, two Air Transat flights were diverted to Ottawa by bad weather and passengers were kept aboard the planes for five hours without adequate water or food and, in one case, without air conditioning, to the point where one traveller called 911 for help.

The agency and the airline have yet to respond to the suit.

“The CTA applied a slap on the wrist fine, far below the level established in its own enforcement manual,” Lukacs, founder and co-ordinator of Air Passenger Rights, said in a statement.

In waiving the fine, the agency said the airline would get credit based on compensation settlements to passengers.

Lukacs said that is wrong.

“If the fines are reduced by amounts passengers receive in compensation settlements, then the fines are effectively zero and have no deterrent value.”

Air Passenger Rights is a non-profit network of volunteers which seeks to educate people about their rights while travelling. It works through education, advocacy and litigation.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Tofino Shorebird Festival ready for flight

Annual event raises awareness of tiny travellers

Snowbirds fly over Tofino and Ucluelet

“We had front row seats.”

West Coast fishers see empty seas, demand Pacific Salmon Treaty funding

“Right now, if this continues, I think most fishermen will be bankrupt in a couple of years.”

Ucluelet mayor says pipeline and spill response plan both needed

“We are a society that cannot exist without oil and gas and plastics at this point in time.”

Tofino and Ucluelet host youth soccer tournament

Teams from Port Alberni and Nanaimo travel in for one-day sporting event.

Could facial scans and fingerprints make you unhackable?

New biometrics capabilities could be a game-changer for those trying to get on your accounts

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Spot Vancouver, Victoria scenes in latest Deadpool 2 trailer

Lions Gate bridge and Vancouver skyline part of Ryan Reynolds sequel

Chilliwack doctor reprimanded for lying to College of Physicians and Surgeons

Dr. Sean Cambridge no longer allowed to practise after failing board exams five times in six years

4-20: Pot activists continue their fight beyond legalization

Cannabis activists say there is still a lot to fight for beyond legalization

Comey memos: Trump talks of jailed journalists and ‘hookers’

A 15 page document written by former FBI Director James Comey about dealings with Trump is released to press

UPDATED: Prince Charles to be next Commonwealth leader

Prince Charles to succeed his mother Queen Elizabeth II as head of the 53-nation alliance

U.S. team wins BC Hockey League championship for first time in 39 years

B.C. players help the Wenatchee Wild defeat Prince George in best-of-seven series

Robot caretakers could be in your future

If the idea of a sex robot made heads turn this week, what about a robot nurse at your bedside?

Most Read