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

Edmonton man charged after threatening Prime Minister online

The man is being charged under the Criminal Code

Central Alberta Film Festival returns for second year

CAFF doubles the number of films and expands to two locations in Red Deer

Central Alberta artist explores the cycles of Alberta through sculpture

Robin Lambert’s commentary on the province’s fragility is on at the MAG until March 18th

Lion’s Club fundraising through Las Vegas themed ‘flight night’

The annual fundraiser is to send locals to Camp HeHoHa

SLIDESHOW: Fun and games had at Winterfest

Many came out for the annual winter festival on Sylvan Lake, Feb. 17

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

BC Wine Institute to take legal action against Alberta

The BC Wine Institute to seek injunction to protect B.C. wineries from Alberta wine ban

Trudeau reiterates denial of Sikh separatists in cabinet, condemns extremism

“We will always stand against violent extremism, but we understand that diversity of views is one of the great strengths of Canada.”

Canada wins gold in men’s ski cross

Leman earns redemption with ski cross gold; Homan out early

Trump says more must be done to protect children

In a tweet Tuesday night, Trump indicated he wants to strengthen the background check system, but offered no specifics.

Evangelist Billy Graham has died at 99

Graham died Wednesday morning at his home in Montreat, North Carolina.

Canadians capture bronze in women’s bobsled event

Canadians Humphries, George take bronze in women’s bobsled event at Olympics

Widow of avalanche victim sues Golden lodge operator

A woman from Alberta is suing guides, their mountain guide association and the lodge operator for negligence

Most Read