Home Luggage No additional compensation for BC man who lost luggage: CRT

No additional compensation for BC man who lost luggage: CRT

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A B.C. man who argued he should receive more than the maximum compensation for lost baggage because he never boarded the flight on which it was lost has had his claim denied by the provincial civil resolution court.

In small claims decision Published Wednesday, CRT Vice President Shelley Lopez wrote that Justin Alexandre Duguay had demanded $5,000 from Flair Airlines for his lost suitcase and its contents, despite the airline having already paid him $2,300.

“Flair admits to losing the luggage,” the decision read. “He unquestionably paid $2,300 to Mr. Duguay to settle the claim, which he says is the maximum required under the Air Passenger Protection Regulations.”

The decision does not specify where or when Duguay’s flight was to depart, or what its destination was. He only states that he provided his bag to a check-in agent, but no seat was assigned and he did not board the flight, leaving the airport in a taxi at the square. The CRT’s decision does not indicate why he left.

Duguay argued that the APPR did not apply to him because he had never checked in for the flight and was therefore not an “air passenger”.

However, he did not make this argument right away. In fact, he made no statement at all, “despite repeated reminders from CRT staff,” until a final response in response to Flair’s evidence, according to Lopez.

The vice president of the tribunal wrote that this Flair was “no doubt prejudicial” because it meant the airline had not had the opportunity to respond to Duguay’s claim.

Flair’s lack of a counter argument didn’t stop Lopez from dismissing Duguay’s claim. She wrote that he “cited no authority” to support his assertion that the APPR did not apply to him and that neither the APPR nor the Canada Transportation Act define “ passenger”.

“In the absence of any authority to the contrary, by simple common sense, I find that the APPR applies to Mr. Duguay’s lost baggage claim,” Lopez wrote. “I say this because it is undisputed that the reason Mr. Duguay released the bag into Flair’s care was because Mr. Duguay was to be a passenger on Flair’s flight.”

No evidence was presented to suggest Duguay told the Flair employee he had no intention of stealing when he handed over his bag, the vice president added.

“In short, the bag was in Flair’s custody because Mr. Duguay was scheduled as an airline passenger,” she wrote. “I find no reasonable basis to conclude that the APPR should not apply simply because Mr. Duguay unilaterally chose to leave the airport rather than board their flight.”

Having concluded that the APPR applied, Lopez concluded that Duguay had already received the maximum compensation for his lost luggage and dismissed the case.