A Canadian airline passenger travelling from Vancouver to Orlando brought a small claims case against Air Canada after an inconvenient baggage delay before his Florida cruise.
Bruno Zunic was taking a nine-day cruise and had to purchase new items and necessities during the trip.
He did not receive his belongings until he returned home over a week later and claimed $5,000 for his purchased clothing and necessities.
In response to his baggage delay claim, Air Canada said that he had already received the maximum compensation he was entitled to under the Montreal Convention and suggested his claim was “moot.”
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Zunic’s trip began on June 26 from Vancouver to Florida, with a layover in Toronto, with flights operated by Air Canada. He only checked one bag for his journey and arrived in Orlando around 10 am on June 27. That’s when Zunic discovered that his checked bag wouldn’t arrive in Orlando until 4 pm, but his cruise departed at 3 pm, meaning he had to board without his things. He also didn’t have any access to laundry facilities.
Later that day, Zunic completed a missing baggage report. Air Canada undisputedly delivered Zunic’s bag to his home in Vancouver on July 4. The BC Civil Resolution Tribunal states that the aforementioned Montreal Convention “limits the scope and type of claim a person can make against an airline carrier like Air Canada. ”
On March 22, 2023, Air Canada e-transferred Zunic $2,220.09, citing the Montreal Convention and claiming this is the maximum Zunic was entitled to. However, Zunic never accepted the e-transfer.
The tribunal stated, ” I am satisfied from the evidence before me that Mr. Zunic reasonably spent more than the maximum allowable compensation of $2,327.04 on clothing and necessities for his trip. Mr. Zunic was undisputedly travelling without his bag for over a week and had very limited time to purchase anything between the time he learned in Orlando that his baggage was delayed until he was required to board the cruise.”
While Zunic never got the $5,000 he hoped for, he got more than Air Canada was initially prepared to give.
In total, Air Canada was ordered to pay Zunic $2,511.51, which included $2,327.04 in damages for delayed baggage, $9.47 in pre-judgement interest, and $175 in CRT fees.