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Industry: Airlines       

Air Canada wants its own policy on handling stranded passengers to be kept secret

(TRAVPR.COM) CANADA - January 29th, 2016 - Lawyers for Air Canada are asking the federal regulator to keep the airline's internal policies on handling stranded passengers under wraps. Air Canada argues that public disclosure of the policies would cause it a competitive disadvantage.

The internal policies in question limit reimbursement of expenses incurred by stranded passengers to $100/night for accommodation and $32/day for meals. In sharp contrast, the Montreal Convention imposes a liability of up to approximately $9,000 per passenger in the case of delay. The Montreal Convention is an international treaty that has the force of law in Canada.

Air Canada has been shortchanging stranded passengers for years by following internal policies instead of the Montreal Convention, Col. Christopher Johnson and Halifax-based air passenger
rights advocate Dr. Gabor Lukacs allege in their joint complaint to the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA).

In 2013, Col. Johnson got stranded in London (UK) after his Air Canada flight to Toronto was cancelled due to mechanical problems. The incident cost him $500 in hotel and meals. Air Canada reimbursed him only $222, citing company policy. The response given to  Col. Johnson was not an isolated incident, documents filed with the CTA show.

"Air Canada's request is absurd." says Dr. Lukacs. "Passengers have the right to know what the airline will do if they get stranded. Airlines are required by law to publish their policies. These are not nuclear secrets."

In 2015, the Federal Court of Appeal ruled in favour of Dr. Lukacs and held that documents filed with the CTA must be available for public viewing unless the CTA grants a confidentiality request. The CTA was ordered to disclose to Dr. Lukacs complaints of passengers against Air Canada.

The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) is a federal quasi-judicial body and economic regulator of transportation by air.


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Name: Dr. Gabor Lukacs
Company: Air Passenger Rights
Phone: 647-724-1727
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