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WestJet can no longer pass the buck on baggage-related claims

November 21, 2014

Halifax, November 21, 2014 – WestJet must address baggage-related claims made by passengers and cannot pass the buck to other airlines that also transported the baggage, the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) ruled.

The CTA held thatWestJet’s longstanding practice of redirecting claimants to the airline operating the last leg of their itinerary was contrary to the Montreal Convention. The convention, which has the force of law in Canada, provides that baggage-related claims can also be made against the first airline or the airline that performed the leg of the itinerary during which the incident happened.

“WestJet must live up to its responsibility for loss, damage, or delay of checked baggage, and can no longer send passengers on a wild goose chase by redirecting them to other airlines.” says Halifax air passenger rights advocate Gábor Lukács, who initiated the complaint against WestJet.

Lukács has a successful track record when it comes to fighting for passenger rights. In 2010, the CTA upheld his complaint and ordered WestJet to increase its baggage liability on domestic itineraries from $250 to $1,800. In 2013, Lukács’s campaign resulted in Air Canada being ordered to pay $200/$400/$800 in cash to bumped passengers on domestic flights, depending on the length of the delay.

The Canadian Transportation Agency is a quasi-judicial body that is empowered to regulate the airline industry.

A copy of the decision is available online:
http://www.otc-cta.gc.ca/eng/ruling/420-c-a-2014

For further information, please contact:

Dr. Gábor Lukács

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Twitter: @AirPassRightsCA
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