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

Second annual Port McNeill & District Chamber of Commerce golf tournament

Golf Holes #2 and #6 are Hole-in-One opportunities, each with a cash prize of $25,000!

No taxes paid by Neucel, Doug Bondue Arena in Port Alice closes

“Neucel owes us a million dollars and it’s pretty hard to stay status quo when you’re short a million.”

Dragonboat society requests new location for 80 square foot storage shed in McNeill

“Part of my concern for using lot B is that it could become a parking lot for them…”

Klatt a force on the field – helps Bantam A Tyee’s win provincials

David Klatt played in every game last weekend down in Nanaimo.

Port McNeill releases in-depth Beach Drive landslide report

“It’s very positive,” said the town’s Public Works Foreman Julian Allen.

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

Vehicle catches fire near Vancouver Island provincial park

Fire shut down Highway 4 in both directions

Get involved in the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count

Environmental organization develops app to help with the nationwide count

Pesticides linked to bee deaths will be phased out in Canada, sources say

Neonicotinoids, or neonics, are a class of pesticides used by farmers and hobby gardeners alike

Wildfire smoke blankets B.C. and Alberta, prompting air quality advisories

About 25 new wildfires were sparked between Monday morning and midday Tuesday

Big bucks for painting of small B.C. town

A 1965 painting of Ashcroft by E. J. Hughes exceeded its pre-auction estimate at a recent sale.

Column: Mother orca’s display of grief sends powerful message

The grief of this orca mother may not be visible anymore, but we must not forget.

Seven people with ties to Red Scorpions gang arrested in B.C. drug bust

Delta police have secured 94 charges against seven people, including drug and firearm offences

Most Read