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Air Canada being sued over fuel surcharges

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Will other Canadian Airlines also be sued?

 

Judge greenlights class-action lawsuit against Air Canada over fuel surcharges

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

Lawsuit argues airline charged more than double for fuel in some cases

The Canadian Press · Posted: Aug 13, 2019 3:54 PM ET | Last Updated: an hour ago
 
air-canada-ottawa-international-airport-
For one flight, the lawsuit alleges, economy customers paid $238 in fuel surcharges alone — $163 more than they should have according to Air Canada's contract definition of the charge. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

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.

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," spokesperson Angela Mah said in an email.

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11 hours ago, CanadaEH said:

Don't believe WJ does. 

Not at this time but I see the suit cites a 2004 example and of course WestJet also had fuel surchages at that time, so they may well be included in a future suit.

Quote

WestJet adds fuel surcharge to listed price

 
PUBLISHED JANUARY 12, 2004UPDATED APRIL 19, 2018
 
 0 COMMENTS
 

 

Flying in the footsteps of its larger rival, WestJet Airlines Ltd. said Monday that it will fold a charge for fuel in the advertised ticket price of its flights.

"We are pleased to be able to simplify airfares for consumers by incorporating our fuel surcharge into the advertised price," said Clive Beddoe, president and chief executive of the Calgary-based discount carrier. "Travellers can now benefit from advertised fares that are more representative of the final price, allowing for simplified fare comparisons between Canada's airlines."

Air Canada broke the ground with its decision last Wednesday, announcing that as of Jan. 21, it would incorporate a fuel surcharge of between $10 and $20 into the base ticket price for domestic flights. That applies to Air Canada, its discounter Zip Air Inc. and its regional airline Air Canada Jazz.

Critics have complained of advertised tickets that appear cheap but can double in cost once a variety of surcharges are added in.

 

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You can add a fuel charge but when your own tariff caps it at cost + 33% then you better follow it. Seems like a no-brainer. I'm only guessing that they put the 33% cap on it to appease the CTA and then just didn't follow it.

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