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Airline provided a fair and reasonable response to complaint regarding access to personal information

Discontinued Case Summary #2014-003

May 27, 2014

Lessons Learned

  • Where an organization provides a fair and reasonable response to a complaint, an investigation can be discontinued pursuant to paragraph 12.2(1)(c) of PIPEDA.


In a complaint to our Office, an individual alleged that an airline failed to fully reply to access requests that he had sent to it.

Discontinuance of Investigation

An employee of the airline intervened when he noticed that the complainant had breached security by mistakenly entering a restricted area at the airport.  A verbal exchange followed between the airline employee and the complainant.  The complainant then left the area.  

When the complainant later presented himself at the airline counter for his domestic flight, he was not allowed to board.  He then wrote to the airline and requested access to his personal information pertaining to the incident, including a description of his physical appearance that he claimed an airline employee had recorded on the day of the incident.

The airline provided the complainant with access to his personal information but he still alleged that the description of his physical appearance had been withheld.  The airline responded to him three times and advised him that this information did not exist.  The complainant was not satisfied with the airline’s response and he complained to our Office that PIPEDA had been contravened.  

Upon consideration of the facts, our Office discontinued the investigation into the complaint pursuant to subparagraph 12.2(1)(c).  After reviewing all the records relating to the complainant, our Office was satisfied that the organization did not have a physical description of the complainant and, therefore, it had provided the complainant with access and a fair and reasonable response.

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