Disabled await transport ruling on airline fare

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The Canadian Transportation Agency will rule whether people with severe disabilities who require additional seating for medical attendants should pay more than a single fare for domestic air travel.

The “one-person-one-fare” ruling will be handed down today at 4 p.m.

The complaint was brought against Air Canada, Air Canada Jazz, WestJet and the Gander International Airport Authority in 2002 by Joanne Neubauer, Eric Norman and the Council of Canadians with Disabilities.

Most Canadian bus, ferry and train companies have policies to accommodate disabled travellers.

People travelling with attendants or who have equipment or mobility aides that take up more than one seat do not have to pay additional fares while on board most a buses, trains or ferries.

Currently, Air Canada offers a 50-per cent discount for some attendants travelling with disabled customers on flights within North America.

The CTA’s decision could have far-reaching implications as Canada’s population ages. The case has also sparked the interest of advocates for obese travellers who are often charged extra fares for additional seating.

In December 2001, the CTA ruled that some obese passengers could be considered disabled. In its ruling, the agency said complaints issued by obese travellers should be considered on a case-by-case basis.

ctv.ca