B.C.’s Civil Resolution Tribunal Sept. 12 ordered Air Canada to pay a B.C. man $1,150 for delays of his flight and baggage.
Chik Lai told tribunal member Micah Carmody that Air Canada delayed his and his family members’ international flight by more than four hours and misplaced his baggage.
Lai claimed $1,200 for the flight delay under the Air Passenger Protection Regulations (APPR), $95 for a refund of his baggage fee, and $715 for expenses related to the baggage delay — a total of 2,010.
Air Canada, however, said Lai was not entitled to any compensation for flight delay because the delay was for reasons outside of Air Canada’s control.
On May 8, 2022, Lai purchased tickets for himself and two family members through a travel agency, Carmody said in the decision.
His outbound flight was scheduled for June 28, 2022, from Vancouver to Edinburgh with a connection in Toronto.
His return flight was scheduled for July 12, 2022, from Manchester to Vancouver with a connection in Toronto.
Carmody said Lai’s arrival in Edinburgh was undisputedly delayed by four hours and 40 minutes and his checked bag did not arrive.
He was reunited with his baggage on July 22, 2022.
The next month, Air Canada denied Lai’s requests for compensation for the delayed flight and a baggage fee refund.
Air Canada said the flight delay was caused by the “knock-on effect” of earlier delays outside of its control. The airline said flight AC806 was operated on aircraft fin number 834. Fin 834’s previous flight before AC806 was AC790 from Los Angeles to Toronto, and, before that, AC787 from Toronto to Los Angeles.
Air Canada said timing and cause of the delays are supported by data in software used to track and manage flights.
Lai asserted because the tracker is maintained by the airline, it is unreliable.
“I disagree,” Carmody said.
Still, Carmody said, the airline had to prove it made effort to mitigate delays and found it had made no such submissions. Therefore, Carmody found the company had not taken reasonable measures to mitigate the delay.
“I find that the delay Chik Lai experienced was within Air Canada’s control because it did not mitigate the earlier delay,” Carmody said. “I therefore find Chik Lai is entitled to $400 in compensation for delay-related inconvenience as provided in APPR section.”
Carmody also found that, while Lai may have received baggage insurance, that fact has no impact on Air Canada’s civil liability or the damages it is required to pay.
“ Although Chik Lai concedes he received a partial reimbursement from his insurer, I make no deduction from the damages,” Carmody said. “I find Chik Lai is entitled to $715 in compensation as claimed.”