Decision No. 112-C-A-2017
APPLICATION by Oswin Paes, Cynthia Fernandes, Nathan Paes and Nigel Paes (applicants) against Qatar Airways (Q.C.S.C.) carrying on business as Qatar Airways, as Qatar Airways Cargo and as Qatar Executive (Qatar).
 The applicants filed an application with the Canadian Transportation Agency (Agency) alleging that Qatar wrongfully refused them transportation on the return portion of their round-trip travel on January 1, 2017.
 The applicants seek compensation for damages and expenses incurred as a result of Qatar’s refusal to transport them as follows:
- 78,800 Indian rupees (INR) for hotel, food, incidental, and transportation costs;
- CAN$2,875 for lost salary;
- a refund; and,
- an unspecified amount for the inconvenience that they experienced as a result of Qatar’s refusal to transport them.
 Qatar maintains that it is not liable for any losses incurred by the applicants as the delay that they encountered was not caused by its failure to apply its International Passenger Rules and Fares Tariff, NTA(A) No. 524 D.O.T. No. 823 (Tariff). Qatar further argues that by rebooking the applicants on the next available flight at no extra cost, it took reasonable measures to mitigate the damage suffered by the applicants.
 The Agency will address the following issue:
- Did Qatar properly apply the terms and conditions set out in Rule 65(C) of its Tariff regarding flight coupon usage, as required by subsection 110(4) of the Air Transportation Regulations, SOR/88‑58, as amended (ATR)? If not, what remedy, if any, is available to the applicants?
 For the reasons set out below, the Agency finds that Qatar did not properly apply its Tariff regarding flight coupon usage.
 The applicants purchased tickets through Voyages Saini Inc. for travel from Toronto, Ontario, Canada to Goa, India, via Boston, United States of America and Doha, Qatar, departing on December 17, 2016 and returning on January 1, 2017. Air Canada was the operating carrier for the Toronto-Boston segment of both the outbound and the return portions of the itinerary, while Qatar operated all other legs of the itinerary.
 Upon checking in for the Toronto-Boston segment of their outgoing itinerary on December 17, 2016, Air Canada advised the applicants that that flight was canceled due to weather conditions in Boston. Air Canada then rerouted the applicants to Goa.
 On January 1, 2017, the applicants arrived at the Goa International Airport to check-in for their return travel. Qatar Airways did not allow them to travel, as it was unable to locate the applicants’ reservation in its reservation system. The applicants then contacted their travel agent from Voyages Saini Inc., who rebooked them on the flight departing from Goa on January 4, 2017, at no extra cost.
Agency jurisdiction over compensation for inconvenience, distress and frustration
 The applicants submit that there were reasons why they booked their return travel for the date of January 1, 2017, and that the rescheduling of their itinerary was inconvenient for many reasons.
 The Agency does not have the jurisdiction to order payment of compensation for pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment, as consistently stated in previous decisions, such as Decision No. 329-C-A-2015 and Decision No. 18-C-A-2015.
110(4) Where a tariff is filed containing the date of publication and the effective date and is consistent with these Regulations and any orders of the Agency, the tolls and terms and conditions of carriage in the tariff shall, unless they are rejected, disallowed or suspended by the Agency or unless they are replaced by a new tariff, take effect on the date stated in the tariff, and the air carrier shall on and after that date charge the tolls and apply the terms and conditions of carriage specified in the tariff.
113.1 If an air carrier that offers an international service fails to apply the fares, rates, charges or terms and conditions of carriage set out in the tariff that applies to that service, the Agency may direct it to
- take the corrective measures that the Agency considers appropriate; and
- pay compensation for any expense incurred by a person adversely affected by its failure to apply the fares, rates, charges or terms and conditions set out in the tariff.
Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air – Montreal Convention (Montreal Convention)
Article 19 - Delay
The carrier is liable for damage occasioned by delay in the carriage by air of passengers, baggage or cargo. Nevertheless, the carrier shall not be liable for damage occasioned by delay if it proves that it and its servants and agents took all measures that could reasonably be required to avoid the damage or that it was impossible for it or them to take such measures.
Rule 55(B) LIABILITY OF CARRIER
LAWS AND PROVISIONS APPLICABLE
- Subject to (2) and (3) below, carriage hereunder is subject to the rules and limitations relating to liability established by the applicable Warsaw Convention or the Montreal Convention unless such carriage is not carriage by air and/or is not international carriage to which the conventions apply.
Rule 60 RESERVATIONS, CONFIRMATIONS, INFORMATION DISCLOSURE
B. Once a passenger obtains a ticket indicating confirmed reserved space for a specific flight and date either from QR or its authorized agent, the reservation is confirmed even if there is no subsequent record thereof in Qatar's reservation system.
Rule 65 TICKETS
C. Flight Coupon Sequence
- QR will honour Flight Coupons only in sequence from the place of departure as shown on the Ticket.
- The Ticket may not be valid and QR may not honour passenger Ticket if the first Flight Coupon for international travel has not been used and Passenger commences his/her journey at any stopover or Agreed Stopping Place.
POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES AND FINDINGS OF FACT
The applicants’ position
 The applicants submit that upon checking in to the Toronto Pearson International Airport on December 17, 2016, their flight from Toronto to Boston was suddenly cancelled, and that Air Canada rerouted them from Toronto to Goa via Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
 According to the applicants, upon their arrival at the Goa International Airport on January 1, 2017, they were told that their booking did not exist in the system and were refused transportation. The applicants state that they were informed that Air Canada “did not update the system when they routed us on their own aircraft.”
 The applicants submit that they then spent several hours speaking with Air Canada, and had Qatar’s representative speak with Air Canada in efforts to fix the issue. The applicants allege that they were told by the Qatar representative that Air Canada needed to complete an update so that Qatar could board the applicants. According to the applicants, Air Canada however stated that it “can’t do anything in the system” and that Qatar should board them since they had paid the full fare to Qatar. According to the applicants, Qatar refused to do so.
 The applicants argue that Qatar is responsible for managing their internal system issues with their partners, and that they cannot bump a family of four who paid full fare and had confirmed seats and tickets. Therefore, they ask the Agency to order Qatar to compensate them for the lost salary, hotel, incidental and transportation costs, as well as the inconvenience that they experienced. They also request a refund.
 To support their claim, the applicants provide a receipt for the cost of the hotel accommodations in the amount of INR 60,000, and a receipt for taxi costs from the Goa International Airport to their hotel in the amount of INR 1,400. They state that they are unable to provide a receipt for the taxi cost for their return travel to the airport, as local taxis in Goa do not provide receipts. They however submit that the return fare should be INR 1,400 as well.
 Qatar submits that when the applicants arrived at the Goa International Airport for check-in, its ground staff could not locate the applicants’ booking, and no details on the passenger name record (PNR) were available. Qatar states that its airport services supervisor and other staff investigated and discovered that Qatar’s reservation system had no record of the applicants having flown any segments of their outbound itinerary. Qatar explains that in speaking with Air Canada’s agents, Qatar’s staff learned that Air Canada had not amended the applicants’ outbound journey to reflect that Air Canada had issued a flight interruption manifest. This meant that the applicants’ outbound flights remained open in Qatar’s reservation system.
 Qatar states that between the time that it learned of the problem and the close of boarding, its staff spoke with at least three Air Canada personnel to request that Air Canada amend the applicants’ outbound itinerary; however, Air Canada refused to do so. Qatar states that it held its counters open late in efforts to accommodate the applicants, but as the error was not corrected in time, boarding passes were not issued to the passengers for travel. Qatar states that it nevertheless provided the applicants with the contact information for its ticket counter to assist them with rebooking, and that the applicants’ travel agent subsequently rebooked the family on the next available return flights departing from Goa on January 4th, 2017, at no extra cost.
 Qatar Airways refers the Agency to Rule 65(C) of its Tariff, which amongst other things, requires that passengers travel on their flight coupons in sequence. According to Qatar, the Tariff provision provides that if passengers do not check in and travel on (i.e. “use”) one flight in their itinerary, they may not travel on the subsequent legs of their journey. Qatar states that Rule 55(B) of its Tariff incorporates the Montreal Convention and that in accordance with Article 19 of the Montreal Convention, by booking the applicants on the next available flights at no extra cost, it took all measures that could reasonably be required to avoid any damage experienced by the applicants.
 Qatar adds that if the Agency finds it to be liable for expenses incurred by the applicants, the applicants are not entitled to compensation for which they have not provided evidence: for lost salary, for inconvenience, or for any sort of refund for their ticket purchase.
Other submissions – Air Canada
 In Decision No. LET-C-A-69-2017, the Agency sought comments from Air Canada regarding the circumstances surrounding Air Canada’s rerouting of the applicants’ outgoing itinerary on December 17, 2017.
 Air Canada submits that the rerouting of the Toronto-Boston segment of the applicants' outgoing itinerary was due to bad weather and that it rerouted the applicants to their final destination, leaving their return travel untouched. Air Canada further states that it exchanged the applicants’ affected flight coupons for new flight coupons using the “Amadeus Ticket Changer Tool” as per industry standard.
 According to Air Canada, since the applicants’ booking was made through a travel agency on Qatar ticket stock, it needed to send a particular cancellation message to ensure that Qatar was advised of the changes, and to ensure that the passengers did not appear as “NOSHO” on the remaining flights for their outgoing itinerary. Air Canada states that it is unable to retrieve the line entry of its PNR that would confirm that it sent out the correct cancellation message. Air Canada however refers the Agency to Qatar’s PNR, which indicates that a message was received entitled “Airport Changes”. Air Canada states that this message refers to the changes made on Air Canada’s PNR.
 Air Canada submits that according to Qatar’s PNR, immediately following the “NOSHO” messages, Qatar sent a message to the applicants’ travel agency to request proof of ticket in order to avoid the cancellation of the applicants’ return flight segments. According to Air Canada, since no message was received from the travel agency, the applicants’ return flight segments were cancelled.
 Air Canada maintains that it was never made “properly” aware that any action was needed after it sent the Airport Change message to Qatar, and that its Airport Help Desk would have confirmed that the applicants were not “NOSHO” on the outbound portion of their itinerary; rather, the applicants were affected by an irregular operation and were rerouted to their original destination. Air Canada submits that Qatar did not contact the Air Canada Airport Help Desk, but instead directed the applicants to Air Canada reservations.
 According to Air Canada, cancelling the return portion of a passenger’s itinerary due to “NOSHO” messages is not an industry standard, but rather carrier practice to optimize revenue, which comes with associated risks. Air Canada maintains that Qatar should have been able to choose to allow the applicants to travel, notwithstanding the flight coupon status.
 In response to Air Canada’s submissions, Qatar states that the problem encountered on January 1, 2017 would not have occurred if Air Canada had sent the required cancellation message to ensure that Qatar was advised of the changes to the applicants’ outbound itinerary, and if the applicants’ travel agency had responded to Qatar’s request for proof of ticket. According to Qatar, this would have avoided the cancellation of the applicants’ return segment.
 Qatar reiterates that its ground staff in Goa learned of the issue only two hours before the close of boarding for the applicants’ return flight from Goa, and that it took several measures to rectify the situation during that time period. Qatar maintains that had there been more time, a solution may have been reached where the applicants could have boarded the flight that they originally booked.
 Qatar requests that if the Agency determines that the applicants should be compensated in some way that any liability should, at a minimum, be shared between Qatar and Air Canada.
Findings of facts
 Qatar does not contest Air Canada’s submission that the Toronto-Boston segment of the applicants’ itinerary was canceled due to weather conditions, and that Air Canada rerouted the applicants to Goa. The Agency further notes that Qatar does not dispute Air Canada’s submission that Air Canada exchanged the applicants’ affected flight coupons for new flight coupons to reflect Air Canada’s rerouting of the applicants on December 17, 2016.
 While Air Canada cannot confirm that it sent a cancellation message advising Qatar that it rerouted the applicants, Air Canada notes that Qatar received a message from Air Canada confirming that there was a change of airport to the applicants’ itinerary. Air Canada refers to Qatar’s PNR to support its submission in this regard. Qatar however maintains that it only learned of the issues concerning the applicants’ itinerary change, two hours prior to the close of boarding for the applicants’ return flight from Goa to Doha on January 1, 2017. In any event, the Agency notes Qatar's acknowledgement that prior to refusing transportation to the applicants, it was aware that Air Canada had rerouted the outgoing segment of the applicants’ itinerary.
 Based on the above, the Agency finds that due to inclement weather, Air Canada rerouted the applicants on their outbound itinerary to their destination, and that it issued the applicants new flight coupons to reflect this rerouting. The Agency also finds that Qatar was advised, via its PNR, that there was an airport change associated with the applicants’ outbound itinerary. Furthermore, the Agency finds that prior to refusing to transport the applicants on January 1, 2017, Qatar was aware that the applicants had traveled on a revised routing to their destination on December 17, 2016.
ANALYSIS AND DETERMINATIONS
 In accordance with a well-established principle on which the Agency relies when considering such applications, the onus is on the applicant to prove, on a balance of probabilities, that the carrier has failed to properly apply, or has inconsistently applied, the terms and conditions of carriage set out in its Tariff.
 Rule 65(C)(1) of Qatar’s Tariff states that Qatar Airways will only honour flight coupons in sequence from the place of departure as shown on the ticket. Qatar submits that this requirement is built into its reservation system, meaning that it could not issue boarding passes to the applicants for their inbound journey until an amendment to their coupon status for their outbound journey was made. Qatar maintains that it held its counters open late in efforts to accommodate the applicants, but because the error (caused by Air Canada) was not corrected in time, boarding passes were not issued to the applicants.
 Qatar does not debate that, at the time it refused transportation to the applicants, it was aware that the applicants had indeed traveled to their destination, albeit on new flight coupons issued by Air Canada, as industry standard would suggest. The Agency notes that an “industry standard” for conducting such a transaction would indicate that issuing new flights coupons in this manner is not an unusual transaction. Additionally, Qatar acknowledges that the miscommunication between itself and Air Canada was not reflective of any error or negligence on the applicants’ part.
 Qatar’s position indicates that it would have honoured the applicants’ tickets had Air Canada sent the required cancellation message to ensure that Qatar was advised of the changes to the applicants’ outbound itinerary. However, Qatar acknowledges that it knew, before the flight was to occur, that the applicant’s itinerary had changed due to a weather event. Therefore, Qatar’s refusal to allow the applicants to board the flight was not the result of the change in itinerary as contemplated in Tariff Rule 65(C)(1), but rather, the manner in which Qatar reacted to the event.
 Qatar did not attempt to contact Air Canada’s Airport Help Desk when it became aware of the problem. Furthermore, Qatar does not indicate what factors, if any, prevented it from opening the applicants’ flight coupon for the return portion of their itinerary, and returning it to a usable state.
 In addition, the Agency notes that Rule 60(B) of Qatar’s Tariff states that once a passenger obtains a ticket indicating confirmed reserved space for a specific flight and date, either from Qatar Airways or its authorized agent, the reservation is confirmed even if there is no subsequent record thereof in Qatar’s reservation system. Qatar was aware on January 1st, 2017 (and ought to have been aware prior to that date as a result of the "NOSHO" prompt generated by its reservation system) that the applicants had traveled on a revised itinerary issued by Air Canada. Consequently, even though Qatar was unable to locate the applicants’ reservation in its system, Rule 60(B) would have compelled Qatar to allow the applicants to travel.
 In light of the above, the Agency finds that, on a balance of probabilities, by refusing the applicants transportation on January 1, 2017, Qatar did not properly apply Rule 65(C)(1) of its Tariff.
 The applicants state that they incurred expenses in the amount INR 78,800 for hotel, food, incidental, and transportation costs. They provided a receipt for accommodation costs in the amount of INR 60,000. The applicants also provided a receipt for travel from the Goa International Airport in the amount of INR 1,400, and claim that the return trip would be the same amount, for a total of INR 2,800. The Agency finds that this constitutes adequate proof of expenses incurred.
 While the applicants provide no proof of expenses for food and other incidentals for the claimed INR 16,000, the Agency finds that this amount is reasonable in light of the circumstances.
 While the applicants request a refund, the Agency notes that they were able to travel on the return segment of their itinerary on January 4, 2017 at no additional cost. Regarding the applicants claim for compensation for lost salary in the amount of CAN$2,875, the Agency notes that the applicants provide no proof of such loss. The applicants are therefore not entitled to a refund of their tickets, nor have they qualified their claim for compensation for lost salary.
 The Agency finds that the applicants are entitled to compensation in the amount of CAN$1548.42 (INR 78,800) for hotel, food, incidental and transportation costs.
 Based on the above findings, and pursuant to section 113.1 of the ATR, the Agency orders Qatar Airways to compensate the applicants by no later than February 7, 2018 in the amount of CAN$1548.42 (INR 78,800).