Skip to content

Canadian airline ordered to pay $311 for passenger's underwear, shaver

Passenger's luggage went missing for three weeks after Montreal-Vancouver flight.
B.C.'s Civil Resolution Tribunal says WestJet must pay $311 for underwear and a shaver purchase after a passenger's luggage went missing.

B.C.’s Civil Resolution Tribunal has ordered WestJet to pay $311 for underwear and a shaver after a man's luggage went missing.

John Wayne Audette told tribunal member Megan Stewart that WestJet lost his luggage while he was travelling home from Montreal to Vancouver on June 8, 2022. He claimed $1,961 for the loss.

The airline, however, said Audette’s luggage was delayed, and that he was only entitled to damages arising from the delay, not for the value of the luggage.

When Audette didn't locate his bag after arriving in Vancouver, he continued to call the airline to check its status. He was told the company was working on finding the luggage and that it would be delivered to his home once it was located.

In the meantime, Audette bought an electric shaver and underwear for $311, plus running shoes and four pairs of socks for $338.

On July 1, 2022, WestJet delivered the bag.

WestJet offered Audette $338 for his incidental purchases or $450 in WestJet travel credit, plus an additional $250 in travel credit.

“It denied Mr. Audette’s request for the maximum payable compensation on the basis that his luggage had been returned to him,” Stewart said.

Audette accepted the $338 but was “generally dissatisfied with WestJet’s response,” and filed the tribunal claim.

Audette claimed the luggage was deemed lost as it was missing for more than 21 days.

“I find that reimbursing Mr. Audette for the value of his luggage contents in these circumstances, where his luggage was returned to him shortly after the expiry of the 21-day delay window, would overcompensate him,” Stewart said.

However, she said, the $338 for his running shoes and socks did not fully compensate the airline passenger.

"I find all the items here were essential purchases reasonably made in the context of Mr. Audette’s missing luggage. The purchases were supported by receipts, and I find the items’ costs were not excessive," the tribunal ruled in awarding the $311 for the underwear and shaver.