A judge in India has ruled that a family was so badly mistreated by Air Canada, that the airline must now pay $70,000 in restitution to the disgruntled passengers. The judgement stems from a September 2017 incident in which a mother and her two young children were booted from their flight home from India to Canada after the eleven-year-old child became nauseated and vomited, allegedly as a result of a “foul smell in the lavatory.”
A consumer complaint board in India has ordered Air Canada to pay a family $70,000 in compensation as a result of a September 3, 2017 incident in which a family was removed from their flight home from Chandigarh Airport (IXC) to Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) following a layover at Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL). According to the complaint filed with the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), the family’s eleven-year-old daughter became nauseated and vomited in the aisle of the plane as an involuntary response to a foul odor emanating from a locked, out-of-order lavatory.
As a result of the child getting sick, cabin crew members reportedly began “berating and humiliating” the young girl before ordering Minali Mittal, her daughter and three-year-old son off of the aircraft. The family claims they were then simply left in an empty terminal in the dead of night with no promise of accommodations or confirmation that they would be placed on a later flight.
Mittal and her two children were eventually re-booked on a flight to YYZ three days later. In the meantime, Mittal says she was forced to pay for a return flight to IXC so the family could stay with relatives until they could secure seats on a later flight back to Canada.
In a 71-page decision obtained by the Toronto City News, the judge ruled that the large settlement was warranted because Air Canada had demonstrated a “grave deficiency in service, unfair trade practice and violation of human rights and child rights, due to which the complainants suffered great mental tension, agony, harassment, humiliation and hardships.”
Air Canada had argued that it would have been irresponsible, a risk to the child and unfair to other passengers to allow the family to remain on the flight. The judge dismissed the airline’s argument, noting that the girl “was never questioned about how she was feeling or what had caused her to vomit and was never offered any medical assistance.”
An Air Canada spokesperson told the newspaper that the airline intends to contest the ruling.