Air Canada passenger wins $1,050 after seat-bumping spat
Waverley, N.S., man says he was denied a seat during a business trip to Whitehorse
A Nova Scotia man has won a $1,050 judgment against Air Canada after he was bumped off a flight and sued the country's largest passenger airline after it refused to compensate him.
In a decision released this week, an adjudicator sided with Dan Lachance in his fight with Air Canada regarding a flight from Halifax to Whitehorse in February.
The court granted Lachance $800 in compensation, an additional $100 in general damages and $150 to cover his court and travel costs.
Lachance, of Waverley, was heading from Halifax to Whitehorse to teach computer classes to corporate clients. He had booked his flights a couple of weeks in advance and Air Canada routed him through Toronto and Vancouver.
In Vancouver — the last leg of his trip — Lachance boarded the plane to Whitehorse with a valid boarding pass. But before the plane took off, he was told to get off the flight because the airline had sold the same seat to another passenger.
Air Canada rebooked Lachance on the next available flight to Whitehorse, but that delayed him by eight hours.
According to Air Canada's tariff, it must pay a passenger $800 if they are bumped for more than six hours. Lachance said the airline refused to pay.
Air Canada had denied Lachance's compensation claim, saying he wasn't denied boarding but was rebooked in the normal course of business.