Air Canada (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Judge greenlights class action lawsuit against Air Canada over fuel surcharges

The lawsuit, approved Monday, argues the country’s largest airline ‘illegally overcharged its customers’

A Quebec Superior Court judge has authorized a class action lawsuit against Air Canada over fuel surcharges.

The lawsuit, approved Monday, argues the country’s largest airline “illegally overcharged its customers” by more than doubling the cost of fuel on some flights.

Michael Vathilakis, the petitioners’ lawyer, said Air Canada misrepresented the stated purpose of the surcharge, which was to partially offset the fluctuating price of jet fuel.

“What Air Canada did was represented to passengers that they were collecting this amount in order to offset volatility, when in fact the allegations are that they were in many cases actually reaping a real profit on it,” Vathilakis said in a phone interview.

“In multiple cases, they charged an amount that was equal to or higher than the entire cost of fuel for the flight.”

The lawsuit cites one example in which Air Canada allegedly charged business and economy passengers 105 per cent more than the fuel cost on a flight to Paris in January 2014.

Each economy passenger on that flight allegedly paid $238 in fuel surcharges alone — $163 more than they should have according to Air Canada’s contract definition of the charge. The airline took in $73,878 in fuel supplements on the flight, rather than the $23,164 it should have charged, according to the lawsuit.

ALSO READ: BC Ferries adds fuel surcharge

The suit states Air Canada’s contract with consumers allows it to charge them up to 33 per cent more than the cost of fuel.

The class action concerns customers in Quebec who bought international tickets to destinations outside the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean between April 2012 and November 2014.

Air Canada said it disagrees with the allegations.

“We intend to vigorously defend our position through the courts,” spokeswoman Angela Mah said in an email.

Christopher Reynolds, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

WorkSafeBC investigating serious incident at Trail landfill

Incident shuts down McKelvey Creek landfill Friday morning

Nelson and Rossland accepted as interveners in Supreme Court of Canada carbon pricing case

Victoria, Vancouver, Squamish, and Richmond also have intervener status

Rapping mom busts rhymes for Castlegar rec centre kid’s drop-in

Funny video with important message about importance of service

New system to keep Nakusp-area snowmobilers, caribou from meeting

GPS tracking keeps caribou safe while opening up the backcountry for sledding

Nelson police searching for missing woman

Heather Gunderson hasn’t been seen since Sunday

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

B.C. pharmaceutical company’s stocks double in value after successful lupus drug trial

More than 40 per cent of patients using voclosporin saw improvements in kidney function

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

Residents in B.C. city could face 133% tax hike in ‘worst case’ lawsuit outcome: report

An average home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

B.C. Transit finds 28 used fareboxes online, saves $300,000

‘Someone joked maybe we can buy used fareboxes on eBay,’ CEO says

Many of Canada’s working poor can’t afford lawyers, don’t qualify for legal aid

One lawyer says many people earn too much to qualify for legal aid, but not enough to really live on

Economy lost 71,200 jobs in November, unemployment rate climbs to 5.9%

Jobless rate is at its highest since August 2018, when it hit 6%

Most Read