Travelling light: Passenger wins big in court after Air Canada loses his baggage

Sep 13 2023, 5:38 pm

An Air Canada passenger sued the airline and won big after it had misplaced his baggage and caused his flight to be substantially delayed.

In a small claims case at the BC Civil Resolution Tribunal, Chik Lai went on the offensive against Air Canada, claiming a total of $2,010 for the flight delay, a baggage fee refund and a baggage delay.

In response, Air Canada said Lai isn’t entitled to compensation because the delay happened outside the airline’s control.

The tribunal did not agree.

On June 28 last year, Lai was heading to Edinburgh from Vancouver, with a connection in Toronto. His return flight was for July 12, from Manchester to Vancouver, with another connection in Toronto.

His arrival to Edinburgh was delayed by four hours and 40 minutes, and his checked bag did not arrive. He wasn’t reunited with his bag until July 22, meaning he went the entire trip without it.

There were no issues with the flight heading to Edinburgh, but the return flight was delayed and departed at 2:02 am on June 29, nearly five hours late. Air Canada claims the flight delay was caused by a “knock-on effect” due to earlier delays and was outside its control.

In August of the same year, Air Canada denied Lai’s request for compensation for the delayed flight and baggage fee refund.

Unfortunately for Air Canada, the tribunal suggested that Air Canada did not take all reasonable measures to mitigate the impact of the delays that led to Lai’s flight delay. Lai got $400 for delay-related inconvenience.

While Lai was not awarded anything for a baggage fee, he was awarded $715 for his baggage delay.

In total, Lai walked away with $1,219.68, including compensation for delays and tribunal fees.

Thankfully, Lai didn’t have to deal with puke-stained seats.

Amir AliAmir Ali

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