Agency Decision Orders Swiss International Air Lines to Provide Compensation
OTTAWA, June 18, 2013 /CNW/ - In a decision released today, the Canadian
Transportation Agency ruled on the reasonableness and clarity of the
international tariff applied by Swiss International Air Lines (Swiss), and if
it was properly applied.
Today's decision is in response to seven complaints alleging that Swiss
improperly cancelled on-line purchased tickets. Although the passengers were
refunded for the tickets, the Agency has ordered the carrier to:
-- compensate one complainant for all expenses incurred as a
result of the cancellation, by July 18, 2013;
-- allow all other complainants to be transported on the same
conditions, at the same price as the ticket originally booked
by them, by June 18, 2014.
The Agency is of the view that passengers should be able to fully understand
their rights and the remedies available to them simply by reading the tariff,
which is the contract between the carrier and the passenger.
The applicable tariff states that Swiss reserves the right to cancel
reservations and/or tickets with an erroneously quoted fare by reason of a
technical failure prior to it being detected and corrected, and to void the
purchased ticket and refund the amount paid by the customer and/or offer the
customer the ticket at a published fare that should have been available at the
time of booking.
In this case, the Agency concluded that the tariff rule did not clearly set
out Swiss's policy with respect to the cancellation of tickets with
erroneously quoted fares. Furthermore, Swiss did not properly apply its terms
and conditions of carriage governing the cancellation of tickets as set out in
On a preliminary basis, the Agency also found the tariff rule to be unjust and
unreasonable as it was disadvantageous to consumers. The Agency is providing
Swiss with the opportunity to demonstrate, by July 9, 2013, why the tariff
rule in question should not be disallowed by the Agency.
A carrier meets its tariff obligation of clarity when, in the opinion of a
reasonable person, the rights and obligations of both the carrier and
passengers are stated in such a way as to exclude any reasonable doubt,
ambiguity or uncertain meaning.
When considering the reasonableness of a carrier's tariff, the Agency strikes
a balance between the rights of passengers to be subject to reasonable terms
and conditions of carriage and the carrier's statutory, commercial and
The Agency has the authority to address the terms and conditions of carriage
for domestic traffic on complaint and for international traffic on complaint
and its own motion. In these contexts, the Agency has the power to suspend,
disallow or substitute the terms and conditions of carriage.
About the Canadian Transportation Agency
The Canadian Transportation Agency is an independent administrative body of
the Government ofCanada. The Canadian Transportation Agency has a number of
mechanisms in place and is helping to protect consumers by:
-- resolving disputes between members of the public and air
carriers through facilitation, mediation or formal
-- working with air carriers and members of the public to ensure
that they are aware of their rights and obligations;
-- ensuring air carrier tariffs are compliant with Canadian
legislation and regulations; and
-- working with the industry to remove obstacles to transportation
to the mobility of persons with disabilities by resolving
individual complaints and by developing codes of practice,
standards and regulations for accessible transportation.
For more information on dispute resolution for air travellers, consult
theBackgrounder: Dispute Resolution for Air Travellers
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SOURCE: Canadian Transportation Agency
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CO: Government of Canada
NI: TRN LAW VERDICTS LAWVIEWS
-0- Jun/18/2013 18:54 GMT
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