Decision No. 10-C-A-2018

February 7, 2018

APPLICATION by Karima Aous Baiou against Air Canada also carrying on business as Air Canada rouge and Air Canada Cargo (Air Canada).

Case number: 


[1] Karima Aous Baiou filed an application with the Canadian Transportation Agency (Agency) against Air Canada regarding its refusal to transport her from Montréal, Quebec, Canada to Frankfurt, Germany, on August 3, 2016.

[2] Mrs. Aous Baiou is requesting a reimbursement of $2,075.48: $1,767.65 for the cost of the one‑way ticket to Munich, Germany with Lufthansa, and $307.83 for the communication fees to set up her subsequent flight connections.

[3] The Agency will address the following issues:

  1. Did Air Canada properly apply the terms and conditions set out in Rule 75 of its International Passenger Rules and Fares Tariff, NTA(A) No. 458 (Tariff), which incorporates by reference the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air – Montreal Convention (Montreal Convention), with regard to liability of carriers respecting travel documents, as required by subsection 110(4) of the Air Transportation Regulations, SOR/88-58, as amended (ATR)?
  2. If Air Canada did not properly apply the terms and conditions set out in its Tariff, what remedy, if any, is available to Mrs. Aous Baiou?

[4] For the reasons set out below, the Agency finds that Air Canada properly applied the conditions set out in Rule 75 of its Tariff.


[5] On August 3, 2016, Air Canada denied boarding to Mrs. Aous Baiou for Flight AC0874 from Montréal to Frankfurt. From Frankfurt, Mrs. Aous Baiou was to continue on to Vienna, Austria with Austrian Airlines, and then to Bratislava, Slovakia by bus.

[6] Air Canada states that the name printed on Mrs. Aous Baiou’s ticket did not match the name on her passport, which is the reason why she was denied boarding.


[7] Subsection 110(4) of the ATR states:

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.

[8] Subsection 113.1 of the ATR provides:

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

  1. take the corrective measures that the Agency considers appropriate; and
  2. 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.

[9] Rule 65 of Air Canada’s Tariff provides, in part, as follows:

C. Administrative formalities - Passports, visas and tourist cards

B. Passports and visas

  1. Each passenger desiring transportation across any international boundary will be responsible for obtaining all necessary travel documents and for complying with all government travel requirements. The passenger must present all exit, entry and other documents required by the laws, and unless applicable laws provide otherwise, shall indemnify the carrier for any loss, damage, or expense suffered or incurred by such carrier by reason of such passenger’s failure to do so. Carrier is not liable to the passenger for loss or expense due to the passenger’s failure to comply with this provision. Carrier reserves the right to refuse carriage to any passenger who has not complied with applicable laws, regulations, orders, demands, or requirements or whose documents are not complete. […]

[10] Rule 75 of Air Canada’s tariff provides, in part, as follows:

I. Refusal to Transport - Removal of Passenger

Carrier will refuse to transport, or will remove any passenger at any point for any of the following reasons:

C. When the passenger refuses on request to produce government-issued identification and show his/her entire face or when the name on the identification does not match the name on the ticket.


III. Recourse of the passenger/limitation of liability

Carrier’s liability in case of refusal to carry a passenger for a specific flight or removal of a passenger en route for any reason specified in the foregoing paragraphs or in Rule 40 or 75 shall be limited to the recovery of the refund value of the unused portion of passenger’s ticket from the carrier so refusing or removing, if any and subject to applicable fare rule, as provided in the General Refund section or rule 100 (Refunds).

[11] Rule 100 of Air Canada’s tariff provides, in part, as follows:

E. General refunds

  1. The term “General Refund” (sometimes referred to as “Voluntary Refund”) for the purpose of this paragraph, shall mean any refund of a ticket or portion thereof other than Carrier‑Caused refund as defined above which includes but is not limited to circumstances that are not within the airline’s control, such as situations described in (…) rule 75 (refusal to transport), passenger chooses to no longer travel, and schedule irregularities outside carrier’s control.
  2. Amount of General Refund

The amount of general refunds will be as follows:

  1. when ticket is fully unused, the amount of refund will be the fare, fees, charges, and surcharges paid less any applicable cancellation/change fee or penalty set out in the applicable fare rules.


Position of Mrs. Aous Baiou

[12] Mrs. Aous Baiou states that when she was at the Air Canada counter, the agent told her that she would correct her name in the computer system so that she would be able to travel. Mrs. Aous Baiou adds that after a 45-minute wait, the agent told her that she would not be able to board the flight as planned. Consequently, Mrs. Aous Baiou bought a one-way ticket to Munich with Lufthansa.

[13] Mrs. Aous Baiou submits that her travel documents were in order and that the overzealousness of Air Canada’s employees resulted in her being denied boarding. Mrs. Aous Baiou considers that a minimum of discernment was needed to resolve the situation. She adds that Rule 75 of the Tariff does not apply to her situation, as the name appearing on her electronic ticket matched the name on her passport. In this regard, Mrs. Aous Baiou states that the reimbursement offered by Air Canada, i.e., the unused portion of her ticket from Montréal to Frankfurt, is unacceptable.

Position of Air Canada

[14] Air Canada states that Mrs. Aous Baiou’s reservation was made by Hamtravel and that the ticket was issued by Air Conso. Air Canada explains that a change to the name field on a ticket issued by a travel agency and for which a segment is operated or marketed by another airline, as in Mrs. Aous Baiou’s case, generates an itinerary or segment cancellation for the next airline on the ticket. Air Canada explains that, in accordance with this procedure, the check-in agent informed Mrs. Aous Baiou that there was a compliance issue with the name as it appeared on her ticket, and that her travel agency had to reissue the ticket in the correct name in order for her to be allowed to travel.

[15] More specifically, Air Canada indicates that the first name appearing on the ticket was “Karima Aous” and the last name was “Baiou,” while the first name appearing on the passport was “Karima” and the last name was “Aous Baiou.” To support its position, Air Canada submitted an electronic copy of Mrs. Aous Baiou’s ticket and a copy of its passenger records, which show her name as “BAIOU/KARIMAAOUSMRS.” Air Canada states that Hamtravel made this error at the time of reservation and that, as a result, it was impossible for Air Canada to discover the error before Mrs. Aous Baiou checked in.

[16] Air Canada submits that the Agency has already established the principle that passengers are responsible for ensuring that the name appearing on their travel documents matches the name indicated on their boarding pass. To this effect, Air Canada refers to the Agency’s Fly Smart publication.

[17] Air Canada states that Rule 75, as well as Rule 100 regarding reimbursements, apply to Mrs. Aous Baiou’s case. Air Canada considers that its responsibility is limited to reimbursing the unused portion of Mrs. Aous Baiou’s ticket, as set out in its Tariff. Air Canada indicates that it reimbursed Mrs. Aous Baiou in the amount of €308.13 (basic cost of €115 plus €193.13 in taxes and other fees) for the unused portion of her ticket from Montréal to Frankfurt proportionate to the distance travelled.


[18] 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.

[19] The name appearing on the ticket issued by the Hamtravel travel agency is “Karima Aous Baiou.” This identification appears to match the name indicated on Mrs. Aous Baiou’s passport. However, Mrs. Aous Baiou’s first and last names in Air Canada’s records are incorrect. The electronic copy of Mrs. Aous Baiou’s ticket, as well as the copy of the passenger records provided by Air Canada, show her name as “BAIOU/KARIMAAOUSMRS.” It appears that Mrs. Aous Baiou’s first name was entered as “Karima Aous” and her last name as “Baiou.”

[20] Although the evidence does not establish which of Hamtravel, Air Conso or Air Canada is responsible for the error in Mrs. Aous Baiou’s name, the fact remains that, according to the documents provided by Air Canada, there was an error in the first and last names indicated on her ticket.

[21] Under Rule 65(B)(1) of Air Canada’s Tariff, each passenger who wish to travel across any international boundary is responsible for obtaining all necessary travel documents and for complying with all travel requirements of the country in question. This same rule provides that the carrier can refuse to transport passengers who do not have the necessary documents. As the travel documents for Mrs. Aous Baiou’s flight to Frankfurt were not in order, Air Canada properly applied the conditions set out in its Tariff in this respect. Furthermore, in accordance with its Tariff, Air Canada provided a reimbursement to Mrs. Aous Baiou for the unused portion of her ticket from Montréal to Frankfurt, which Mrs. Aous Baiou did not oppose.

[22] The Agency therefore concludes that Mrs. Aous Baiou failed to demonstrate that Air Canada did not properly apply the conditions set out in its Tariff.


[23] The Agency dismisses the application.


William G. McMurray
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