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Porter CEO sues Air Canada for taking away his free first-class passes

Porter versus Air Canada: you and I weren't meant to fly

Porter and Air Canada just can’t seem to play nice. The former’s CEO, Robert Deluce, is suing Air Canada for not letting him and his wife fly first class on the house anymore. Deluce is looking for $100,000 in damages, plus his free passes back—well, that or $5 million. Air Canada had granted Deluce and his wife the passes for 23 years as part of its purchase of Air Ontario and Austin Airways from Deluce’s family in 1986. Then, suddenly, on September 1, days before the couple was about to go on vacation to Barbados, the privilege was revoked, citing, in a notice provided by Deluce, “the misuse of travel privileges and the breach of the terms and conditions under which they were granted, including the unauthorized use of these privileges for flights on Air Canada regional carriers.”

Most curious here is that Deluce filed a lawsuit almost a year after his perks were reneged on. Does this have anything to do with Porter still having control over most of the gates at Billy Bishop Island Airport and Air Canada taking them to court about it? We’re not sure, but Deluce claims in the Star that AC’s decision to cut him off from free first class was “just another in a series of tactical moves by Air Canada to distract and influence Porter.” The Globe has Deluce going further, saying, “It has not resulted in [Porter] being distracted.”

Air Canada has yet to formally comment on the case, but its spokesperson, Peter Fitzpatrick, couldn’t resist a bit of sarcasm. “It is completely understandable why 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. Wouldn’t you?” he said in the Star.

Sounds like this throw-down is just getting started.

Porter CEO sues Air Canada over personal privileges [Globe and Mail]
Porter’s founder sues Air Canada [Toronto Star]
• Porter’s battle with Air Canada gets personal [Business News Network]