He asked an Air Canada fight attendant for 7Up and he got Sprite.
“I’m a little bit disappointed with the lower amount awarded,” Thibodeau said. “But the positive note is that the court recognized our rights were violated on several occasions.”
…So, in 2009, when Thibodeau ordered a 7Up in French, and the English-speaking attendant brought him a — gasp! — different brand of lemon-lime soda, he sued.
“If I take a flight and I’m not served in the language of my choice, and I don’t do anything about it, then my right is basically dead,” Thibodeau told The Globe and Mail. “I was not asking for anything other than what I was already entitled to. I have a right to be served in French.”
It’s a right that Thibodeau — who is a federal employee and happens to speak perfect English — takes very, very seriously.
It is Thibodeau’s second successful legal action against the airline and its subsidiaries. In 2000, he was refused service in French when he tried to order a 7Up from a unilingual English flight attendant on an Air Ontario flight from Montreal to Ottawa.
Thibodeau filed suit in Federal Court for $525,000 in damages. The court upheld his complaint, ordered the airline to make a formal apology and pay him $5,375.95. Thibodeau was later honoured by the French-language rights group, Imperatif Francais.
For the pointers I thank Graham Rowe. Alex and I explain the Solow growth model — in English — here. Chinese, Spanish, and other editions are on the way.