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

Fatal crash west of Nelson

Police have not released the name of the 70-year-old accident victim

UPDATED: Nelson gas prices skyrocket in just one day

The cost went from $1.29 to $1.45 at one station on Wednesday

COLUMN: Six questions to ask about Kinder Morgan

How did we get into this quagmire?

Selkirk students pay it forward with pizza

The adult special education program is buying slices for those in need

Canadian musician duets with ancestral Indigenous voices on debut album

Toronto’s Jeremy Dutcher has mixed his operatic tenor with his Wolastoq First Nation roots

COLUMN: Stanley Cup playoff second-round predictions

Sidney Crosby and the Penguins continue their quest for their third straight Stanley Cup

B.C. seeks court ruling on new pipeline regulations

Province wants to require permits for any new bitumen transport

LIVE: TSB findings on plane crash that killed former Alberta Premier Jim Prentice

The TSB will announce its findings and the Capital News will follow.

Former child watchdog to head UBC centre on residential schools

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond to lead university’s Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre

Toronto sports fans come together in wake of van attack

Police probe Toronto van attack as details emerge

Prince William to be Harry’s best man

Prince William will be Prince Harry’s best man at May wedding

Humboldt arena memorial ring to be removed

Arena ring of tribute to Saskatchewan hockey team to be removed as summer nears

Most Read