Air Canada Bills Passenger for Delaying Flight

Gus Fuentes is being billed $1,350 (Canadian) for being an ass onboard an Air Canada jet, before it took off from London for Toronto. His antics caused him to be kicked off the plane, and the airline sent him a bill for causing the flight to be delayed. While he vows to fight the Man and not pay, the Canadian Transportation Agency has already ruled that the airline was within its rights when it sent Gus the bill.

We’ve got mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, the putz who causes a ruckus should be held responsible, and delays do cost airlines money. But Air Canada isn’t a state trooper doling out speeding tickets. Some passengers are idiots, and you have to deal with them. It’s part of doing business. Can the airline send any and all passengers a bill for whatever behavior it deems unseemly?

Turn it around: When airlines delay your flight, causing you to miss a connection, a meeting, or anything else you scheduled, try sending them a bill. If they pay it, let us know, and Paypal us a cut.

So what do readers think? Should airlines bill disruptive passengers for the delay, or is that taking things a bit too far?

Air Canada bills unruly flyer $1,350 [Toronto Star]


Edit Your Comment

  1. GenXCub says:

    I think it would be more palatable if they advertised it. Like touting how on-time they are because the make people pay when they delay flights. I would have expected this from a US flight but not Canada.

  2. B says:

    I don’t think the fine is steep enough. He should be required to send $100 to every other passanger on that plane for delaying thier flight.

  3. RandomHookup says:

    No problem. Don’t want to pay for the ticket? How about a civil suit with fully loaded charges for the delay?

  4. Arturis says:

    This is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise chicken-shit cycle of trying to please even the dumbest and worst-deserving of customers. I hope more places start doing this. I don’t care if you’re an asshole who’s deliberately causing trouble or an idiot who’s ruining other people’s live by accident, either way you deserver to pay for your self-obsessed actions.

    But you’re right, companies have no authority over anyone and they shouldn’t. And who’s to trust their judgement that it was the fault of the customer and not of the company itself. I think every time anything goes wrong with any business anywhere, both parties to the dispute should sue eachother for damages and they should battle it out in court. Wait that’s terrible.

    The assholes and the idiots of this world need to be treated more firmly, but I know if I got a bill from a company for something like that I’d fight it all the way to the end. I’d pay lawyers MORE than the bill just to win.

  5. Hawkins says:

    I am not any sort of lawyer, but this sure sounds like a tort to me. If Air Canada can prove that they incurred a loss as a result of the behavior of the putz, then they should be entitled to collect.

    If I missed my connection because Mr. Putz was yelling at the flight attendant, and I incurred a loss as a result, then I should have my own case against Mr. Putz, in addition to the airline’s case.

    But this sure begs the question of why I can’t sue the airline when delays are caused by sheer idiocy on their part. Last week I missed a connection, and had to spend the night in I can’t even remember what city, when United couldn’t scrounge up a crew for my flight.

    So I’m a little confused about this.

  6. Brianron says:

    I believe (yes, I am a lawyer), that you could except that, by purchasing the ticket, you are agreeing to all of the airline’s conditions (Just like agreeing to a EULA when downloading a computer software program). One of those conditions is that you will not hold them responsible for any damages arising out of the flight.

    Just like the EULA, it is something you can freely reject, except that means not flying, as all airlines have this condition of purchase.

  7. Brianron says:

    Now that I’ve taken care of that question, I can return to my real job as an RIAA attorney suing little children.

  8. I have issues with the one-sided nature of such an agreement. They can charge a passenger for being a pain in the ass, but as passengers we have no recourse if they screw up. A bill doesn’t seem right. On the other hand, banning this clown from future flights seems like perfect justice.

  9. mechanismatic says:

    If the airline collects on a passenger causing a delay, then the passenger’s whose flight was delayed should get a cut. It’s like in school when the teacher would erroniously calculate how much time you wasted by multiplying how late you were with the number of people in the class.

  10. Roadgeek says:

    Perhaps if more asholes were penalized financially when their behavior impacts others then perhaps their beahvior would change. Good for Air Canada.

  11. amazon says:

    B: you beat me to it. :(

  12. AppTechie says:

    I’m with roadgeek…

    I have travelled a bit in my life and have learned how to get ready and be easygoing long ago. I hate it when putzes like this guy from AC are anywhere near me…be it on my flight or even in the same airport. Go Air Canada!

  13. exkon says:

    This makes perfect sense, people make you late, the airline fines them.

    But of course, if the airlate delays you can’t do jack squat…

    Hey atleast some of the jacks in the world are getting what’s coming to them.

  14. SteveFromYellowstone says:

    I don’t have time to comment right now… I’m too busy creating bills for the dozens of idiots I’ve dealt with at Best Buy, CompUSA, Comcast, GE, Ameritech…

  15. aka Cat says:

    When they kicked Gus off the flight, did they just let him on the next one, or did they make him purchase another ticket (possibly at another airline) at the last-minute fare?

    If it’s the latter, then I’d say Gus already paid his ‘fine’.

  16. felicopter says:

    Clearly Air Canada isn’t going after the guy for their actual incurred costs, which I’m sure are much more than $1350. And their legal costs in pursuing this would be more than $1350. So: they have an objective other than money, and I expect it’s deterrence through publicity. Thank you, Air Canada.

  17. adamondi says:

    I think that Air Canada should have both charged this jerk and banned him from future flights. I have a zero tolerance policy for a-holes. If someone decides to be an a-hole, especially while screwing over all the other passengers on the plane, he deserves to pay through the sphincter for it. I think that every person on that plane should have been allowed to punch him square in the face. Some people are incapable of learning without pain.

  18. homerjay says:

    I think its pretty widely known that airlines make no money when planes are not moving. Delaying a flight causes money loss.
    The airline delaying you may seem asshole-ish but still incurs a loss for the airline.
    I like this idea. Maybe there’ll be fewer assholes in the air. I just can’t wait to see Southwest try it on that TV show of theirs.

  19. Rick Dobbs says:

    This is obviously not about the money they actually lost, it’s a “Don’t fuck with us” policy that they want to get out as a message.

    Air Canada *has* been hurting though, maybe it is about the money.

  20. Kat says:

    It depends on how the flight was delayed. If it was like that guy who didn’t notice he’d dropped his iPod in the toilet, then no. But if it’s some idiot cracking bomb jokes or being belligerent, yes.

  21. homerjay says:

    Its always about the money.

  22. madderhatter says:

    What next, you’re going to get a bill because you took too long getting on/off the city bus ?

  23. saveit. says:

    It is obvious most people here have not travel with Air Canada. I can personally say that it is the worst service and I would never subject myself to their unprofessional, indifferent service to customer service.
    Mr Fuentes was concerned because there was a miscommunication between the ground crew members and on-flight crew and at the end Mr Fuentes was yelled at for not seating in the correct seat.
    Air Canada is using such bill to scare passengers from taking their concers regarding their horrible service to the ministry of transportation.
    Air Canad is billing Mr Fuentes for delaying the flight? are they full of shit or what. Can I bill Air Canada for not arriving on time to my destination last time I traveled with them and for the disguisting service I received.
    Air Canada has the most complaints regarding customer service in North America and it does not take a lot to notice why>
    I personally will never fly with such garbage.

  24. paycurt says:

    On the one hand, a disruptive passenger who causes everyone else to be delayed should be punished in some way, I can attest to the fact that Air Canada’s service is deplorable, both in-flight and post-flight (although they aren’t so bad during bookings, as they have yet to receive your money).
    To be treated like living garbage for something that is a major outlay of cash (i.e. an intercontinental flight), is an extremely unpleasant experience, and I wonder if the airling shouldn’t share some of the responsibility.