Kagan McLeod
Credit: Kagan McLeod

Lawsuit seeks fines for airline that kept travellers trapped aboard for hours

Air Passenger Rights, a Canadian advocacy organization based in Halifax, has filed a lawsuit against Montreal-based Air Transat and the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA). In July 2017, passengers were kept aboard two Air Transat flights that had been diverted due to bad weather for five hours. At least one passenger called 911, and emergency crews responded to provide aid, according to Air Passenger rights founder Gábor Lukács in a release.

Lukács claims that the CTA found that Air Transat committed 590 violations of the Air Transportation Regulations but levied only a nominal fine, which it then waived. Instead the airline will get credit based on compensation settlements to passengers. Lukács is asking the court to order the CTA to levy fines in addition to any compensation offered to or won by passengers.

The mission of Air Passenger Rights is to turn helpless passengers into empowered travellers through education, advocacy, investigation and litigation, according to the release. BCBusiness columnist Steve Burgess, who has written about the travails of air travel, might want to get on board.