Air Passenger Rights Advocate interview in advance of Supreme Court case with Delta Air Lines

Tuesday, 3 October, 2017

Interview Dr. Gabor Lukacs re Delta Air Lines Supreme Court case

Here is my 2017/Oct/02 Audio interview with Dr. Gabor Lukacs, Air Passenger Rights Advocate, talking about his Supreme Court of Canada case with Delta Air Lines. Here are some rough notes and timecodes (link points) in the interview.

0:00 Independent reporter Kempton [K] asked Dr. Gabor Lukacs [G], Air Passenger Rights Advocate, how is he feeling two days before he appears in front of Supreme Court of Canada Judges?
0:49 [K:] Any special preparation one day before your first Supreme Court appearance? (Yes, G is scheduled to teach a match class Tuesday morning!)
1:20 [G:] Teaching twice a week this term helps my public speaking skills.
2:13 [K:] Not a good idea to lecture the justices? G explains how is it like appearing in front of Supreme Court justices.
4:25 [K:] Briefly explain what this case with Delta is about? And your role?
5:25 G gives a great analogy using a speeding car driving 160km/h down the highway. Who can complain about it?
6:35 G explains Federal Court of Appeal sided with his reasoning and ruled against the CTA (Canadian Transportation Agency) and said it was unreasonable to dismiss the complain.
7:15 G talks about the various PDF files (see reference) filed by him, Delta and other parties. [K’s apologies here re misunderstanding of the pages of documents filed.]
8:22 G explains to K an Amicus Curiae (an impartial adviser) is hired by the Supreme Court and paid for by Attorney General of Canada. And four interveners: ATTORNEY GENERAL (ONTARIO), CANADIAN TRANSPORT AGENCY, INTERNATIONAL AIR TRANSPORT ASSOCIATION, COUNCIL OF CANADIANS WITH DISABILITIES.
9:32 [K:] So the COUNCIL OF CANADIANS WITH DISABILITIES agrees with you and Delta against you. Are there some against you and with you?
11:17 [K:] So roughly how much time have you put into preparing for the case?
13:02 [K:] Have you been to the Supreme Court as a tourist before? How will you feel when you step into the court for the first time arguing a case?
14:30 [K:] How long will it take you to argue the case in front of the Supreme Court justices? [G talks about the Supreme Court proceedings on Wednesday and the various potential outcomes and scenarios.]
17:32 [G:] “What we are dealing with here is a cat which is claiming to be a lion (which is the Canadian Transportation Agency). They have been trying to pretend they are a court.” [K:] “You are not a fan of the CTA? :)”
18:01 [K:] Do you get to reply on top of your 40 minutes presentation time [before the Supreme Court justices]?
19:36 [G:] “This is the first time I’m the respondent! I’m usually the appellant.” [K:] You are usually the underdog in front of the court!
20:05 [G:] [The Federal Court of Appeal got things right substantially.] “We are dealing here with preventive power …”
20:38 G talks about Canadian Transportation Agency recently commencing an investigation of the Air Transat case based on media report without receiving any formal complain.
21:03 [K:] Since I first interviewed you in August 2013, more than four years ago, for the Air Canada case where you helped bumped passengers get $200, $400, or $800 compensation, how does it feel with your hours of hard work getting you to the Supreme Court of Canada, the highest court of the land on Wednesday (Oct 4th, 2017)? [K: Great answers that go into some wonderful insight. I may try to transcript some of the answers when I can find some time.]
25:22 [K:] If you accidentally run into the Minister of Transport, The Honourable Marc Garneau, in the airport and get stuck with him in an elevator, what would you tell him in 30 seconds?
26:43 [K:] Taking my independent reporter hat off for a moment to speak as an air passenger and wishing G the best of luck.

References:
1) 20+ downloadable PDF files relating to SCC File No. 37276.
2) Via Air Passenger Rights’ FB page:
//The hearing is open for the public, and will be webcast live [Wednesday Oct 4th, 2017]:
http://www.scc-csc.ca/case-dossier/info/webcast-webdiffusion-eng.aspx?cas=37276
THE ISSUE
The Court is called upon to decide whether Lukacs can complain about Delta’s practice of discriminating against “large” passengers.
BACKGROUND
The Canadian Transportatoin Agency (Agency) dismissed the complaint because Lukacs is not “large.”
The Federal Court of Appeal quashed the Agency’s decision as being unreasonable: the purpose of the complaint is to prevent harm to the public, and not to seek individual benefits.
SUBMISSIONS OF THE PARTIES
Factums on appeals are available online:
http://www.scc-csc.ca/case-dossier/info/af-ma-eng.aspx?cas=37276 //

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