Air Transat files response in stranded Ottawa airplane saga

Air Transat has replied to allegations that it breached its responsibilities by preventing passengers from getting off

Air Transat has replied to allegations that it breached its responsibilities by preventing passengers from getting off two planes stuck on the Ottawa airport's runway for hours — but for now, the nature of that response remains a secret.

The airline had until 5 p.m. ET today to respond to the Canadian Transportation Agency, which launched an inquiry this week into the July 31 debacle at Ottawa's Macdonald-Cartier International Airport.

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That night, passengers aboard two Air Transat planes that had been diverted from Montreal due to bad weather ended up stuck on the airport's tarmac for up to four hours and six hours, respectively.

The situation became so desperate on board the planes that at least two passengers called 911.

Response could be shared publicly

The CTA is investigating whether Air Transat properly respected its tariff — which sets out an airline's obligations to its passengers — in the case of the two delayed planes.

On Friday, CTA spokesperson Martine Maltais confirmed that Air Transat had replied to their demand for an explanation by the 5 p.m. ET deadline.

"The CTA will now review Air Transat's submission and determine the next steps of the inquiry process. We will let you know in the coming days if the submission can be shared," Maltais said in an email.

According to Air Transat's tariff, the airline promises to offer passengers the option of getting off the plane after a delay of at least 90 minutes. Both flights remained on the tarmac for much longer than that.

Depending on the results of the inquiry, Air Transat could be ordered to offer compensation to affected passengers.

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Article Air Transat files response in stranded Ottawa airplane saga compiled by www.cbc.ca

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