The Canadian Press
HALIFAX—A Halifax man who advocates on behalf of airline passengers argued in Federal Court today that even though he is not overweight himself, he should have the right to file a complaint about a carrier’s “discriminatory” practice of bumping obese travellers.
Gabor Lukacs told the three-member panel that the Canadian Transportation Agency should hear his complaint about the way Delta Air Lines asks large passengers to move to another seat, take a later flight, or buy an additional seat.
“The airline is discriminating based on size,” Lukacs said in court.
“It could be eye colour. . . . It’s a slippery slope.”
The agency dismissed his initial complaint in November, 2014, finding that Lukacs had no private or public standing in the matter because he wasn’t directly affected by it.
“Because what we are protecting here are public and societal interests, not individual interests, it doesn’t matter whether the complainant is me or someone who is actually large,” Lukacs said outside court in Halifax.
“The question of who the complainant is should be utterly irrelevant because it affects everybody,” he argued.
Lukacs said dismissing his complaint simply because the issue didn’t affect him personally was akin to disregarding someone’s concerns over contaminated food just because they weren’t made sick by it.