The Quebec Superior Court gave its green light Monday to a class action against Air Canada, which allegedly overcharged hundreds of thousands of customers by asking for too much money on the price of fuel.
Air Canada has been charging a surcharge for years to guard against fluctuations in fuel prices. However, according to the plaintiffs, this amount "does not correspond to the fluctuation of the real cost of fuel and includes sums that should not have been required by the carrier", can be read in the request for collective action.
Anyone who booked a flight with Air Canada from April 15, 2012 to November 28, 2014 to an international destination, except the United States, including Hawaii, Mexico or the Caribbean, may join the class action.
To demonstrate their point, the applicants take as examples flights to Paris and Frankfurt, where passengers have collectively spent $ 73,678 in fuel surcharge. However, passengers to Paris should have paid $ 23,164 and those to Frankfurt $ 26,795, if Air Canada had met its definition of fuel surcharge, argue the applicants.
The plaintiffs are claiming close to $ 300 million in reimbursement for costs that have been overcharged by Air Canada, including $ 51 million in punitive damages. "These are conservative figures, based on the data released by Air Canada," said the QIM Agency attorney Karim Renno, the firm Renno Vathilakis.
The amounts claimed may be subject to change, as experts will be asked to consider the surcharges that Air Canada would have imposed.
Hundreds of thousands, if not more than a million travelers could be involved in this collective action, said Renno.
Lawyers now have 60 days to formally file the class action.