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

Car of missing Victoria pair found in Vernon

RCMP encourage people to call with information, not just post on social media

Families receive support from ‘Living Flag’ fundraisers

A young man and a boy who both live with limited mobility were supported by the Canada Day events

Cross-country Jeep tour to drive home donations for food bank

The Jeep Okanagan club will also raise donations at its Rally Through the Valley event in September

UPDATE: Machinery malfunctions in Lake Country sending one man to hospital

The accident was reported just before 12:30 p.m. Friday

North Okanagan artist to tackle stereotypes in Vernon workshop

Armstrong-raised artist Romi Kim to host workshop at Caetani Cultural Centre on Thursday

Osoyoos woman who threatened mom and baby with butcher knife sentenced

Sharon Constance Forner pleaded guilty to one criminal charge and was sentenced

Injured hiker rescued in Peachland

The woman fell while hiking Pincushion Mountain on Friday

‘Easy Rider’ star Peter Fonda dies at 79

Actor and writer was nominated for an Oscar for co-writing the 1969 psychedelic road trip movie

Haida artist to perform at George Ryga Festival in Summerland

Interweavings features music from Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson and Bill Henderson

Princeton hosts Western Canada’s only festival devoted exclusively to traditional music

From a Doukhobor choir to folk singers, singer songwriters, Celtic music and… Continue reading

Bob Lenarduzzi out as Vancouver Whitecaps president

MLS team is at the bottom of the Western Conference standings

Okanagan partners respond to provincial ride-hailing requirements

The Sustainable Transportation Partnership of the Central Okanagan states its position

Bag of white substance found near Summerland water park

Resident concerned crystal meth was left near children’s play area

Most Read