A few years ago Dr. Gabor Lukacs was a math professor at the University of Manitoba. It never became really clear whether he left on his own volition or was pushed with a settlement of some kind.
It seemed, at least, he was a thorn in the side of University management and out of step with some policies or other that has never come to light, presumably due to confidentiality agreements.
According to reports he stood up against the granting of a degree to a person who had not written the final exams on the basis of fairness to all. The back and forth of these discussions are not known.
Lukacs moved to Halifax where he apparently works as a freelance researcher.
Since moving to Halifax he has become the ultimate consumer advocate on aviation and a bigger thorn in the side of every airline than anyone could ever have imagined. Clearly at the top echelons of our Canadian carriers he would likely be viewed as the ultimate bum, because of a consistent record of winning appeals to the Canadian Transportation Agency.
And it can be argued that the reason New Leaf Airlines stopped selling tickets was because he protested that that New Leaf, because they were not an airline as required by legislation, with no aircraft of their own and no legal responsibility to protect consumers should the airline fail.
Please recognize that my understanding of these legislative items is dim at best and likely legally misstated but in the end New Leaf was forced to stop selling tickets and returned all the monies collected from would be passengers. I think it is fair to assume that the top brass at our own James Armstrong Richardson International Airport, and other city and provincial big-wigs, not to mention a whole lot of travellers looking for cheaper air fares view him as a bum.
But Lukacs is on smart fellow. Smart enough to have been judged as a math prodigy and was brought in from his home country, Hungary, to enroll in York University’s PhD program in Math just after he turned 16.
Even as he almost single handedly stopped New Leaf in his tracks he has gone after Air Canada for the umpteenth time for trying to seek confidentiality on what it does with and how it settles with stranded passengers.
He and a Col. Christopher Johnson allege that Air Canada is in contravention of the Montreal Convention, an international treaty that is accepted as Canadian law as well, and provides passengers dramatically greater protection than the maximum $100 per night and $32 dollar daily food limit.
Air Canada has been shortchanging stranded passengers for years by following internal policies instead of the Montreal Convention, Col. Christopher Johnson and Halifax-based air passenger rights advocate Dr. Gabor Lukacs allege in their joint complaint to the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA). Lukacs has won a number of cases against the airlines and while choosing to done the Superman cape through an election of one, his dogged commitment to serving passengers is unparallel.
So for the time being he may not be appreciated for holding New Leaf ticket sales back, in the end we will all be protected better when the rules that are meant to protect, are followed.