Back to Squawk list
  • 22

Air Canada has to pay $15,000 to a couple because the word 'lift' was not engraved on seatbelts in French

(CNN) — Despite a growing litany of complaints about air travel, passengers continue to pay for the convenience of flying. A recent complaint turned lawsuit, however, led to a windfall for two travelers -- not the airline. This week, the Federal Court ordered Air Canada to pay more than $15,000 ($21,000 CAD) and send formal apology letters to a French-speaking couple in Ottawa for repeated language equality violations. The lawsuit concerned more than 22 complaints that Michel and Lynda Thibodeau… ( More...

Sort type: [Top] [Newest]

matt jensen 27
These people are chronic complainers. Do they expect Air Creebec or First Air to also accede to their ridiculous requests?
"The couple also alleged violations of their French language rights on the airline in 2005, 2011 and 2012."
siriusloon 15
I bet they're fluently bilingual, too. Many Quebecers speak "Franglais". They use many English words mixed into their French, like "C'est le weekend", "Ou est le screwdriver", and "Je suis un shoe salesman".
serge LOTH 1
totally right with you;.. sirius
airuphere 6
You made me think of the sked from Kingston to Moosefactory.. B1900.. lol definitely not “equal language representation” on those signs and announcements
James Driskell 21
Sounds like a racket.
serge LOTH 1
there is no other world , and the airlines are "fragiles" on that side...
Chris B 19
Air Canada have no obligation to accept them as paying customers....
matt jensen 4
Dubslow -6
they do have an obligation to follow the laws of the country tho
serge LOTH 0
When ...ejection seat during the flights for these passengers... preference from FL270..
Highflyer1950 13
I wonder what a “blind” french person would do? Demand french braille on the buckle as well. This couple is
so stubborn and a pain in the ass I’ll bet they would just sit there and burn if the cockpit ever gave an “evacuation” command and they waited for “ d’evacuation d’urgence”.......such crap!
And then let natural species selection take place.
30west 11
I'm devasted after reading the article...I found out that I'm a Anglophone!
bentwing60 -4
I guess I'd rather be an Iphone, better breeding. LOL
And all this time I thought I was Human...
Stefan Sobol 9
Since one of their claims was that the safety briefing in French was less detailed than the one in English, the couple suing was clearly bilingual.
airuphere 9
The seat belts were not bilingual?!? I’m sure Aircanada gets them with “lift” engraved their not gonna put a sticker on everyone.. We should all know how to operate a belt.. the safety card has that in both languages.. maybe a pictorial now “hand with arrow”..

I love how in our country every where but Quebec has to be Eng and French, yet Quebec is all French.. one province has so much power..

Also - this is third time this couple has filed complaints.. last two times rejected.. must of got a sympathetic judge this time.. bs
matt jensen 6
I wish they had seceded, then life could go on in English
isacarale 2
C'est a cause de cons comme vous et vos semblables que le monde va si mal.
Passez une bonne journée.
Peter McGrath -1
C'est à cause de libéraux comme vous et vos semblables que le monde est tellement en désordre!
Bonne journée.
isacarale 0
Vous avez raison sur ce point "le monde va mal" mais n'oubliez pas que c'est un monde anglophone qui le gouverne. Je ne suis pas xénophobe contrairement a certains anglophones. Et je ne suis pas non plus libéral mais ouvert d'esprit ce qui est différent.
"And I always thought you had to squeeze, twist, then push to release !" If they are not intelligent enough to figure out how to operate an aircraft seat belt buckle in 2019, then perhaps they should stay on the ground. Speaks volumes about their intelligence and the intelligence of the court!
Max Perry 7
Mon Dieu, Ils sont enfentes !!!!
My God, they are children.
Excuse my ffrench... sue me !!!!
Jim Heslop 1
Lol! So what’s next? Lavatories being identified with ‘Oui-Oui’ signs so they don’t use the cockpit door?
siriusloon 18
This has far more to do with pain-in-the-ass Quebecers than it does with aviation. Many of them specialise in having a woe-is-me persecution complex and if they don't get 1000% of everything *exactly* the way they want it, they head to the Human Rights Commission and the courts.

Quebec, by the way, is the same province that bans signs in English and has recently banned religious symbols in the workplace -- except for Roman catholic ones, that is.

Air Canada should send the cheque in a letter banning them from flying with the airline until the end of time. It would be worth the 21 grand.
Charles Szabo 3
It's called a perpetual inferiority complex.
sicamore 1
"Quebec, by the way, is the same province that bans signs in English and has recently banned religious symbols in the workplace"

I live in Quebec. Are you sure of your statement?
Viv Pike 6
This is hilarious ... could be somewhat "problematic" in our country. We have 11 (yes, eleven) official languages. Can you just imagine the word "LIFT" engraved in 11 languages on the seat-belt buckle? I wonder what is engraved on the buckle on Air France aircraft?
linbb 3
Well the new decorations on cabin walls soon will be solved by all of the require writing and symbols so anyone can read it.
hal pushpak 1
Ha! Good one! I had to look this up. Apparently AF's Airbus and Boeings have this:
And 777 buckle if you scroll through this article:
There's also a photo of an AF Concorde buckle. It just says "Concorde" -- possibly the same on BOAC
Mark Kortum 11
Reminds me of the recorded pre-flight video on Virgin America when they were still a thing. Before demonstrating the seat belt operation the flight attendant in the video prefaced his instructions with something like: "For the one hundredth of one percent of you who do not know how to operate a seat belt"
Kobe Hunte 5
Where oh where is the common sense?
Tom Bruce 9
dumb and dumber
Good point re the buckles on AF a/c Viv!
Oh boy I can see a business model. Being from southern Germany I will insist on seat belt buckle engravings in Bavarian dialect.
Chris Muncy 3
The only positive in this article from the "professional complainers" is that some of their monetary awards were stripped from them.
Bernie20910 3
The simple solution would be to put a sticker on the buckle showing how to open it in pictures only. I'm sure they could look to IKEA instruction booklets for examples of how to do this and on new buckles in the future have no engraving at all.
Mark Kortum 4
They could put similar pictures in their airplane bathrooms instructing people how to go. I want to design those!
This is probably the same dope that wants to bring his minature pet service horse on board...
ToddBaldwin3 3
Oh good grief.
I was always told,even by airline people themselves and of course atc personnel, that the universal language of flight is English..this proves Canadians also file "frivolous" lawsuits..back in the "olden days", when pan am was still flying, they used to require flight attendants to be bi- lingual in at least one other language than English...flight attendants,however, have always given a "visual" presentation of seat belt use,emergency exits,oxygen masks etcetera,and that doenst require language!
People are finally waking up to PC with stuff like this...
siriusloon 3
I think you mean PPC. They have a professional persecution complex, but are the most racist pricks in Canada.
Mark Kortum 2
Methinks they doth protest too much.
Lee Dwyer 5
Disgraceful. It is all about money. How much can we get.
isardriver 5
for the court to side on this is just as bad as the idiots complaining - unreal
Reminds me of the movie “Canadian Bacon” truck scene.
It was not their first flight.They knew full well how to open the safety belt.
Jack May 2
Has anyone not used seat belts in a car? They're just pricks.
Jack May 2
Are these people also confused by a seat belt in a car?
ferminbf 2
There´s always people trying to sue any company as long as it can get some money. Any reason is worthy. If you don’t have any, just invent it. That’s it.
Ron Lorenz 2
Yah find these Pro's, every where!
linbb 4
You have to be kidding what an idiot court decision should be taken to a higher court as that can spell real trouble.
What is next having to add other dialects to satisfy other people? Soon they will have to divide aircraft cabins into sections with proper wording and signs so they can be read by anyone...………………… wow is about the best I can do...………..DUMB
Lee Withers 4
Did you note the name of the Justice? That may say something.
Charles Szabo 3
My question is where the flight originated and to where it was going? More than likely somewhere non French speaking. It disgusts me how the court even allowed this joke of a claim, but wait what was the name of the judge?
WhiteKnight77 1
Dave Nosek 1
Pretty sure they will be on Air Canada's no fly list if there not already.
Jim Heslop 1
Better yet, post ‘Oui-Oui’ signs on the lavatory door so they dont get confused with the cockpit door!
Jim Heslop 1
Let me guess....they were offended! If its not a logically and instinctive action to undo the seatbelt when you NEED it, if you did not PAY ATTENTION during the safety briefing, please...stay strapped in while the rest of us get out!
Whats next...braille...en french?
Full text of the court documents.
Oops. My bad. This is the current case file.
It is’nt a reason to be a hater...


Don't have an account? Register now (free) for customized features, flight alerts, and more!
Did you know that FlightAware flight tracking is supported by advertising?
You can help us keep FlightAware free by allowing ads from We work hard to keep our advertising relevant and unobtrusive to create a great experience. It's quick and easy to whitelist ads on FlightAware or please consider our premium accounts.