Michel and Lynda Thibodeau awarded no money over lack of French on Air Canada flight

The Supreme Court has ruled that Air Canada does not have to compensate an Ontario couple who said they were not served in French on international flights.

Supreme Court judges rule 5-2 against monetary compensation

The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Air Canada does not have to pay any compensation to an Ottawa couple despite violating their french-language rights on a recent flight. (Brent Lewin/Bloomberg)

The Supreme Court has ruled that Air Canada does not have to compensate an Ontario couple who said they were not served in French on international flights.

The court says Lynda and Michel Thibodeau are not entitled to $12,000 the Federal Court said they could get.

That decision was subsequently overruled by the Federal Court of Appeal.

The Thibodeaus filed several complaints with the official languages commissioner over the English-only services they say they received from the airline during trips taken between January and May 2009.

Air Canada previously apologized to the couple.

In its ruling today, the high court noted that the Montreal Convention, a multilateral treaty adopted in 1999, provides for compensation only in cases of death, injury, delays or baggage-related incidents.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story said the Supreme Court of Canada had ruled in favour of Michel and Lynda Thibodeau in their complaint against Air Canada over a lack of French service. In fact, the court upheld a Federal Court of Appeal decision that said the couple were not entitled to $12,000 in compensation. The Supreme Court agreed the couple's French-language rights were violated, but said they did not qualify for damages.
    Oct 28, 2014 12:41 PM ET