Air Canada & Jet Airways Fined $70,000 By Indian Court For Deboarding Family

Indian court has fined Air Canada and Jet Airways $70,000 for Air Canada deboarding a family and rebooking them on a flight three days later.

Air Canada

Air Canada had deemed one of the children unfit to fly after she had vomited on the floor after waiting to use one of the lavatories (door had been locked).

Here’s an excerpt from City News (access their piece here):

Air Canada has been ordered to pay an Oakville woman and her family nearly $70,000 after a consumer complaint body in India found the airline violated the passengers’ rights when they kicked them off a flight last September.

In documents filed by the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Mittal says her daughter was waiting to use the restroom before takeoff, which appeared to be locked for maintenance.

She said young girl threw up in the aisle after becoming nauseated due to a “foul smell” escaping the lavatory. That’s when Mittal claims Air Canada staff began berating and humiliating her daughter, then forced the three passengers off the plane.

And here from NDTV (access their piece here):

“Crew staff of Air Canada screamed at minor complainant and wrongly termed it as sickness of complainant No.2 (Teesha), minor, and on that grounds they misbehaved and forced the complainants (mother and her two children) to deboard the plane, taking the plea of safety of other passengers,” the Commission said in its order.

“The act of opposite parties No 4-6 (Air Canada) in deboarding  complainants at Delhi airport without any sufficient, cogent, effective and valid reason, in the night hours on 03.09.2017… amounts to grave deficiency in service and adoption of unfair trade practice on  part of all opposite parties, as Jet Airways was having Code Sharing Arrangement with Air Canada,” the order said.

The Code Sharing arrangement is a commercial agreement between two airlines that allows passengers to use a ticket from one airline to travel on another.

“In the present case, the complainants were forcibly deboarded from the aircraft on flimsy grounds and were left at the airport, without any luggage, eatables or even without a bottle of water…

“Admittedly, when the complainants were deboarded at Delhi airport, their luggage was not offloaded at Delhi, rather it was taken to Toronto in the flight of Air Canada. Thus, the complainants have every right to take action against both carriers, being contracting parties, due to their illegal and forcible deboarding from the flight at New Delhi.

“Thus, both carriers, Jet Airways and Air Canada, are jointly and severally liable for the deficiency in service faced by the complainants,” the Commission held while describing the acts of deficiency of service as also violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Conclusion

Interesting verdict from the Indian court ($$$$$) and I am sure that both Jet Airways and Air Canada will contest it.

Nobody wants to have sick passengers on a flight that may end up resulting in an unnecessary diversion and, in a worst case scenario, overnight or two in an unwanted destination if the crew ends up timing out.

Only the crew and the passengers in question really know what was going on inside the plane but I am glad that the courts are starting to take passenger rights more seriously.

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