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Lone Canadian battles airlines for travellers in Canada - Part 2

Lone Canadian battled airlines for travellers in Canada - Part 2
Lone Canadian battled airlines for travellers in Canada - Part 2
Kempton Lam

This article/commentary is an exclusive followup of the Jan 21, 2014 report "Lone Canadian battled British Airways and won for all travellers in Canada" featuring Dr. Gábor (Gabi) Lukács. In this latest update, Dr. Lukács gives details of his ongoing cases against British Airways and Porter Airlines.

Exclusive to, Lukács highlights seven of his upcoming actions and then his long term action plan. Given Lukács' previous successful actions against various airlines in front of the Canadian Transportation Agency (Agency), one wonders why do the various Canadian and international airlines choose not to comply with clearly established Agency decisions/directives? Are the airlines playing games of delay to save money despite the negative shaming effects that airlines will undoubtedly face when yet another negative ruling/decision comes down.

*** Ongoing cases:

1. British Airways -- liability and denied boarding compensation amounts (filed in 2013)

Note: Lukács is classifying this case as ongoing "because British Airways will be making submissions on February 17, 2014, and then I will have 10 days to file a reply."

2. Porter Airlines -- ``Flight Rights,'' cancellations and denied boarding compensation on international itineraries (filed in 2013),_Cancellations,_and_Denied_Boarding_Compensation_-_International/

*** Upcoming actions to be launched by Dr. Lukács:

(a) Alitalia -- this complaint is similar to the British Airways case.

Lukács has been trying to get Alitalia to change voluntarily for over a year. Alitalia seems to have the "typical corporate attitude" and not moving much.

(b) Pascan Aviation

Lukács sees Pascan having serious problems throughout their domestic tariffs, so he plans to pick a few for starters.

(c) Air Canada

Lukács is working on Air Canada's baggage liability as he sees Air Canada's domestic liability cap should be updated, and also some of their practices posted on their website as "problematic".

(d) Sunwing Airlines

Lukács sees their domestic baggage liability policy needs further changes.

(e) Copa Air

Lukács sees denied boarding compensation, and possibly other issues to be improved. Lukács was told that they are working with the CTA to amend their tariffs, so he will wait and see whether a complaint is necessary.

(f) Porter Airlines

Lukács sees denied boarding compensation on domestic flights as an area to be improved. According to Lukács, "This has shown to be a serious issue over Christmas, because it flies small aircrafts that cannot fly to sufficiently long distances in bad weather, and thus it had to bump passengers."

(g) US Airways

Lukács sees US Airways' compensation re: flight delays, cancellation, denied boarding as areas that need to be improved. One time Lukács was told that US Airways passengers whose flight was cancelled due to mechanical reasons were not entitled to meal vouchers even "mechanical reasons" are things well within the airline's control. This incident has lead Lukács to make "a mental note to carefully review their tariffs"!

(h) Long term project to investigate and to gather evidence re airlines' practice of leaving passengers' baggage behind "deliberately"!

The airlines "do it to reduce weight, sometimes to not bump passengers, sometimes in addition to bumping passengers.

The point is that a number of airlines seem to be using too small aircrafts for too long distances. So, if the weather is less than perfect, they need to take much more fuel--so much that they cannot carry all the passengers and baggage.

To my mind, this shows that they are using the wrong type of aircraft. Some of these aircrafts are pefrect for a few hundred kilometers, but airlines use them to on longer flights such as between Philadelphia and Halifax, or between Halifax and Montreal/Ottawa.

I am calling it a longer term project, because I would like to gather evidence on this before I formally launch a complaint."

If the practice of leaving passengers' baggage behind is indeed "deliberate" & "systemic" then Lukács wants to see these deliberate actions be aligned somehow with the denied boarding compensation system, etc.

****** Previous cases and links provided by Dr. Lukács

1. Air Canada's International baggage policy (filed in 2008):

2. WestJet's domestic baggage liability cap (filed in 2009):

Remark: The Federal Court of Appeal refused to hear WestJet's appeal from this decision.

2/a. Follow up complaint about WestJet failing to comply (filed in 2011):

3. WestJet's international baggage liability policy with respect to electronics and valuables (filed in 2009):

Remark: The Federal Court of Appeal refused to hear WestJet's appeal from this decision.

4. Air Canada's international baggage liability policy with respect to electronics and valuables (filed in 2009):

5. Rights of passengers for reprotection in the case denied boarding and flight cancellation (filed in 2009)

5/a. Air Transat

5/b. Air Canada international

5/c. WestJet international

5/d. Air Canada domestic

5/e. WestJet domestic

6. United Airlines providing misleading information to passengers on its websites and at its check-in counters about baggage liability (three complaints filed in 2011 and 2012):

7. United Airlines policy on liability for delay and damage, and misleading information on its website (filed in 2012):

8. Porter Airlines' International liability policy for delay of passenger and baggage (filed in 2012)

9. WestJet's international denied boarding compensation policy:

10. Sunwing's domestic baggage liability policy:

11. United's ban on photography and audio/video recording on board:

12. Sunwing international policy on denied boarding and flight cancellation (filed in 2013)

Remark: In this case, their lawyer and I discussed the matter, and reached an agreement on the new tariff provisions.

13. Air Transat's policy in the case of missed connections (delay) and advanced flight departure (filed in 2013)

14. Porter Airlines domestic liability policy on delay of passengers and baggage:

15. Air Canada's domestic denied boarding compensation policy

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