Qantas Airways Limited v. Cameron

Mrs. Cameron, an airline passenger representing herself and other airline passengers, claimed that she and others suffered losses or damages because of Qantas Airlines' actions when the airline assigned them smoking seats on international flights after they had specifically requested non-smoking seats. Mrs. Cameron claimed that she suffered bronchitis and that Qantas’ policy of permitting smoking on its aircraft constituted unconscionable conduct in violation of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Act). The Court granted Mrs. Cameron liberty to re-plead her claim with more precision, but she ultimately failed on her unconscionable conduct claim, as well as on her claims of negligence, and, with the exception of one member of the group, misleading and deceptive conduct in violation of the Act. In the present proceeding, the court only required Mrs. Cameron to pay for 75 percent of Qantas’ costs because the proceeding did serve the public interest insofar as it established that Qantas owed its passengers a duty of care that included providing a warning to travelers with medical conditions of the risks of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke on its international flights.