Air Canada has been criticized for failing to offer compensation to passengers whose luggage has been lost, reports the CBC. But Gabor Lukacs, passenger advocate and Air Passenger Rights founder, states that airlines need to be forthcoming about the levels of compensation they can offer travelers.
According to passenger Scott Bissell, whose luggage was lost en-route to a trip to Orlando, the airline is “trying to get away with paying the least amount of compensation possible”. Bissell was told that he would not be offered compensation for any clothing or toiletries he purchased while awaiting the arrival of his lost bag.
Speaking of his attempts to contact the carrier over compensation, he said, “It was just a full on ‘No’. I had nothing. I was in a hot city with nothing to wear except the clothes on my back.”
Despite being initially rebuffed, Bissell persisted and was informed that he was entitled to claim “up to $300 US in expenses”, the outlet reports. After filing his receipts and a formal complaint with the carrier, he was given an additional sum of C$500 ($373).
Unfortunately, another Air Canada traveler had a similar story to share. Suzanne Hastings-James’ luggage was lost en-route to Mexico from Nova Scotia and she was informed that she would only be entitled to $50 for a maximum of five days.
Like Bissell, Hastings-James filed receipts for her claim. She was offered additional compensation plus voucher for money off of a future flight.
“I did not accept it. I want Air Canada to accept responsibility for their negligence and apologize,” she was quoted as saying.
But as passenger advocate and founder of Air Passenger Rights Gabor Lukacs explains to the outlet, most passengers aren’t aware of their compensation rights. Airlines need to be honest about what passengers can claim, he explains, adding that travelers, “…are entitled to incur reasonable interim expenses —up to $2,100 Canadian dollars ($1,567), depending on the circumstance and the purpose of their trip.”
In a statement e-mailed to the outlet, the airline’s corporate communications manager Peter Fitzpatrick was quoted as saying that, “We approve reasonable interim expenses. The limits of liability are clearly set out in the itinerary receipt each customer receives and the information is on our website.”