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17 Feb, 2024
1 min time to read

Air Canada has been ordered to pay compensation to a customer who was misled by the airline's chatbot into buying a full-price ticket instead of a bereavement fare.

In 2022, Jake Moffatt contacted Air Canada to determine what documentation was required to qualify for a bereavement fare and whether a refund could be processed retroactively. The chatbot provided inaccurate information to the passenger, suggesting Moffatt book a flight immediately and then request a refund within 90 days.

However, a section of Air Canada's website directly states that the bereavement fare does not apply to completed trips. Following the passenger's request, the airline promised to update the chatbot. Dissatisfied with this fact, Moffatt filed a lawsuit in a Canadian court.

Air Canada tried to shift the blame to the chatbot and argued that the online tool was "a separate legal entity that is responsible for its own actions." The judge rejected the arguments of the airline.

While a chatbot has an interactive component, it is still just a part of Air Canada’s website. It should be obvious to Air Canada that it is responsible for all the information on its website,” stated the tribunal member Christopher Rivers. “It makes no difference whether the information comes from a static page or a chatbot.

So, according to the court's ruling, Air Canada has been ordered to pay Moffatt the fare difference, along with interest and fees, totaling C$812.02.