Last month we reported on a UK citizen trapped in Canada because his name was on a US no-fly list.
This month it’s the reverse: Canadian citizen Mohammed Khan has been trapped in Frankfurt (where he was changing planes en route home from visiting family in Bangladesh) since Tuesday after being refused boarding by Air Canada for his ticketed flight home to Montreal, apparently because he is on a US no-fly list.
Today the Montreal Gazette reports that Air Canada “still won’t let him board its plane, despite the fact Immigration Canada has said he’s clear to fly into Canada. Canadian consular officials told Khan he could buy a ticket from any airline but Air Canada to get home. Khan, who is looking for work, had to borrow money from a friend so he could buy a Frankfurt to Montreal ticket on British Airways for $1,300.”
It remains unclear, as we discussed in relation to previous incidents, whether Air Canada denied Mr. Khan transportation on its own initiative, in violation of its obligations as a licensed common carrier to transport all passengers paying the fare and complying with the terms in its published tariff, or whether the US and/or Canadian government(s) ordered Air Canada not to transport him, in violation of their treaty obligations under Article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. (Canada, the US, and Germany are all parties to the ICCPR.) It’s also unclear what basis either the US or Canada would have for a claim of extraterritorial jurisdiction over who is allowed to board flights in Germany, especially if on fact, as reported, Mr. Khan is “clear to fly into Canada.”
[Update: Mr. Kahn flew back to Canada from Frankfurt on Friday on British Airways, via London, but is out C$1300 he had to pay for a new ticket, and still has received no coherent explanation from Air Canada for its refusal to transport him.]