Winnipeg man wins compensation ruling on lost, damaged luggage
A Winnipeg man has won a victory against Air Canada for all travellers who’ve felt shortchanged when the airline either lost or damaged their luggage.
Gabor Lukacs, an assistant professor of mathematics at the University of Manitoba, won a ruling from the Canadian Transport Agency earlier this week.
The CTA found Air Canada’s policy that it’s not responsible for delayed or damaged baggage violates both international conventions and Canadian law, and must be changed within 90 days.
Lukacs, 26, said he does a lot of travelling, both abroad and within Canada, and said he found Air Canada’s policy irresponsible.
"It just bothered me," he said.
"I was returning from a flight last fall and I saw that sign again and I thought, ‘I have to do something about it.’"
Once the new ruling is implemented, Air Canada passengers will be able to demand compensation for damaged luggage or for luggage that didn’t arrive when they did.
"I see this as the greatest achievement," Lukacs said of the changes Air Canada must make.
"I am very glad that I was able to do something that makes a difference for all Canadians."
The sign that bothered Lukacs states: "The following damage is considered to be normal wear and [Air Canada] will not accept a claim for: scratches, nicks, missing straps, zipper damage, scuffs, dents, soiling, damage resulting from overpacking, damage to wheels, feet, extending handles."
In a ruling issued May 13, the CTA agreed with Lukacs and gave Air Canada 90 days to remove or change the signs.
The airline also has 45 days from the ruling to argue why it should not be required to alter its own policies on the issues.
Air Canada spokeswoman Isabelle Arthur declined comment, saying the airline is still reviewing the ruling.