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

Fort Street bike lanes officially open in Victoria

Latest stretch of Biketoria a designated two-way, protected downtown lane for all abilities

Fundraising campaign set up for teen involved in Malahat crash

Kayla-Marie Gibson, 19, is the breadwinner of the family, says GoFundMe campaign

National paddleboard races continue today in Sidney

Races on today until 2pm; distance, prone and relay events on tap

Intruder breaks into Langford couple’s home

The intruder was high and thought the house was his

Visiting Vimy Ridge: Saanich teen set for historic summer tour

Mount Douglas student John Evans will tour historic war sites

VIDEO: 75th Swiftsure International Yacht Race

‘A happy boat is a fast boat’

B.C. to spend $181M to create 200 general practitioner jobs

Jobs will go to new medical school graduates

Federal leaders trade barbs about India trip at press gallery dinner

Justin Trudeau’s infamous trip to India earlier this year was the focus of many of the jabs

B.C. VIEWS: Our poverty reduction plan is already in place

NDP has another promise it needs to appear to keep

WestJet pilot strike averted as parties agree to mediation

Pilots had warned they could go on strike starting May 19

Most Read