Terry and Vicki Lynn Black awarded total compensation of approximately $1,500 by a Nova Scotia Small Claims Court arbitrator following a canceled Air Canada flight in 2022 .
Even though Mr. and Mrs. Black didn't pay anything extra for this alternate flight, they did requested the compensation provided for by the Air Passenger Protection Regulations in the event of a delay of six to nine hours.
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Air Canada initially refused, saying that the cancellation of this flight was beyond its control or was caused by security reasons, which exempted it from paying the compensation. The carrier offered the couple two e-coupons for $300 each. The couple refused, and took their case to small claims court in November 2022.
In his decision, arbitrator J. Scott Barnett criticizes Air Canada for linking the cancellation of the flight to the COVID-19 pandemic. He points out that the pandemic was no longer a novelty in July 2022 and that the carrier could have planned appropriate alternatives.
Mr. Barnett indicated that Air Canada did not present any evidence at the hearing on September 26, 2023.
The decision is satisfactory for the couple who defended themselves in front of a large company.
I just thought that those who wouldn't bother doing it because it' #x27;is intimidating, here's some information and here's what probably sets a precedent that could give them the confidence to do it, says Vicki Lynn Black.
Air Canada says for its part that it is studying the arbitrator's decision.
The day before the last day of the hearing, Air Canada's lawyer offered the couple the full amount to which they were entitled on the condition of signing a confidentiality agreement, which is a common practice, but the complainants refused.
Gábor Lukács is a defender of the rights of passengers in Canada. (Archive photo)
Gábor Lukács, president of the Travelers' Rights organization, congratulates the couple.
We always encourage passengers not to agree to any type of non-disclosure agreement. This is money the passenger is owed under the law and the airline should not be allowed to cover up its wrongdoing by simply compensating some victims, says Gábor Lukács.
He says he hopes all Canadian travelers will notice this decision.
Based on a report by Angela MacIvor , from CBC