Lawsuit of the day: airline CEO wants free flights on competitor’s planes

Robert Deluce, the CEO of Porter Airlines, is suing Air Canada for free travel passes which are allegedly owed to him and his spouse.

Deluce’s family used to own Air Ontario and Air Austin, both of which offered mainly regional service throughout Ontario.  These companies were sold to Air Canada back in the 80’s (and later became part of Air Canada Jazz in 2001). As part of the sale, Deluce and his wife were supposed to get free first class travel passes for life on Air Canada.

Deluce alleges that beginning last fall, Air Canada stopped honouring his travel passes without warning. He is seeking $5 million in compensation. One may question how many free flights would have to be missed, in less than a year, in order to rack up $5m in damages.

One may also question why the CEO of an airline would need free flights on a competitor’s planes. But hey, a deal’s a deal, right?

The background to the story is that Porter and Air Canada have been locked in a legal spat over the use of the Toronto Island airport. This lawsuit simply represents the latest broadside in the ongoing battle.

An Air Canada spokesperson (who deserves a raise) had this to say about the lawsuit: “[b]ecause this is currently before the courts we cannot comment. However, it is completely understandable that Mr. Deluce would prefer to fly Air Canada — with its Executive Class, in-flight entertainment, Maple Leaf Lounges, Concierge Service and other exclusive benefits — rather than Porter.”

About the Author

Lawrence Gridin
Lawrence Gridin is currently a law student at the University of Western Ontario, graduating in the class of 2010. He completed his Bachelor of Science at the University of Toronto, majoring in Psychology and History. Lawrence volunteers at Western's Community Legal Services and has participated in the clinic's outreach program. His diverse interests include social justice, 20th century history, photography, boxing, and politics.