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B.C. woman's delayed baggage claim against Air Canada tossed out on technicalities

The passenger did not file a claim within 21 days of the delayed baggage arrival.
Air passengers who have their luggage lost must make a claim within 21 days, a B.C. civil tribunal has noted.

A B.C. resident has had a $3,000 claim against Air Canada denied by the Civil Resolution Tribunal on technical grounds.

While Tatiana Laber will not be compensated for her delayed flight and baggage delivery, the tribunal decision against her highlights matters passengers need to address should they seek damages of their own from flight and baggage delays.

On Jan. 10, 2022, Laber flew with family members from Vancouver to Rio de Janiero, Brazil, via transfers in Toronto and Sao Paulo, Brazil, the tribunal heard.

The flight to Brazil was delayed by more than two hours and the family’s seven bags were subsequently lost in transfer but arrived in Sao Paulo on Jan. 12, 2022.

Laber claimed damages of $3,000, including $2,000 for “moral damages,” or inconvenience.

Air Canada responded to Laber’s claim noting she did not file a claim for delayed baggage within 21 days from when the baggage arrived, as required by the Montreal Convention, which dictates federal air passenger rights.

Air Canada employees provided Laber with a delayed baggage ticket that stipulates the 21-day provision to make a claim online. Laber claimed Air Canada employees didn’t make clear the provision. She further argued she had no access to a computer to file within 21 days (she filed in March).

The tribunal did not accept Laber’s evidence and also noted that the Montreal Convention does not permit claims for inconvenience.

Laber also filed a claim on behalf of family members. However, because she never made them applicants, their claim could not have been accepted even if the application was made within 21 days, the tribunal stated.

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