Couple Denied Compensation After Alleging Air Canada Wrongdoing
A British Columbia couple have filed a small claims lawsuit against Air Canada after claiming the carrier wrongly denied them boarding. Now a civil resolutions court has ruled they won’t be compensated for it — not entirely, anyway.
Mia and Joel Mackoff were scheduled to fly from Los Angeles to Vancouver via Air Canada on February 15, 2022. As they waited in line to board the plane, the airline checked their COVID-19 test results and, by therefore they did. not end up on the flight, and instead had to spend the night in Los Angeles at their own expense.
On February 16, they flew to British Columbia via Air Canada.
The disgruntled customers sued and demanded $5,000 from Air Canada. However, failing to provide “sufficient proof of loss or to mitigate their damages”, they ultimately only received the money they spent on one night’s accommodation in Los Angeles and some legal costs. The total amount Air Canada owes them is $774.81.
Court documents show that the Mackoffs alleged that they were both denied boarding due to Mia’s COVID-19 test, which was taken 10 days earlier.
Air Canada admitted not boarding Mia due to a positive COVID-19 test, but denied arresting Joel, who is a retired attorney who represents himself and his wife.
Tribunal member Sherelle Goodwin said the couple were not eligible for the protections sought in the case under the Air Passenger Protection Regulations (APPR). Compensation as such applies to persons denied boarding due to overbooking of tickets. The Mackoffs argued that the regulations do not use exclusionary terms such as “only” to define these limits.
“According to Air Canada’s undisputed Netline impression, the flight of February 15, 2022 left Los Angeles with 71 unoccupied seats. So, I find that there were no denied boardings for applicants, in the terms of the APPR,” Goodwin said last week.
“As such, I conclude that neither applicant is entitled to compensation for denied boarding under Article 20 of the APPR.”