06 April 2013

Air France fined for being sensible

This short article tells of Air France being fined for kicking a "flytilla" (remember that ill-fated non-protest?) activist off a plane in France. The fine is not from the aviation authorities, who might be expected to act to ensure the public's freedom to fly (having bought a ticket, of course). That would be understandable (unless you're an Israeli Passport Control official, etc, of course. Nope. It was a civil court that delivered the verdict.

The airline was ordered to pay a fine of $12,800, damages of close to $3000 and her legal expenses to the "nursing student", Horia Ankour, aged 30 (what is it with these "students", of an age when most of us are safely tucked up in jobs, with all sorts of other responsibilities? Remember the 30+ Cairo "student" I noted a couple of weeks ago?).

Air France was being sensible, of course, as the Israelis would just have ordered the airline to fly her back again, at their own expense, possibly including any additional expenses - hotel stays, etc. As the airline said "...the company was acting in compliance with the Convention on International Civil Aviation, also known as the Chicago Convention, which requires airlines to refuse to fly passengers who are “declared inadmissible in the country of destination.”

Nothing new there about acceptability at the other end. Although it might have been cheaper just to take her, inform the Israeli authorities of their suspicions as to her bona fides, and take her back.

Ah well, live and learn!

By: Brian Goldfarb