Transportation watchdog must revisit air passenger obesity complaint

Canadian Transportation Agency must take new look at Gabor Lukacs’ complaint against Delta Air Lines

The Supreme Court of Canada says a federal transportation watchdog was too hasty in dismissing a consumer advocate’s complaint on behalf of obese airline passengers.

The high court’s 6-3 decision today means the Canadian Transportation Agency must take a fresh look at Gabor Lukacs’ complaint against Delta Air Lines.

Lukacs, a mathematician with an interest in the rights of Canadian air passengers, lodged the complaint in August 2014 alleging Delta’s practices discriminated against “large” people.

The agency dismissed Gabor’s complaint on the basis he lacked standing to make arguments, either as someone directly affected or in the public interest.

Lukacs successfully challenged the decision in the Federal Court of Appeal, which ruled in 2016 that the transportation agency relied on overly narrow grounds — akin to those applied by courts — to deny him standing.

The appeal court ordered the transportation agency to reconsider whether to investigate the complaint — an order that prompted Delta’s challenge in the Supreme Court.

The Canadian Press

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