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Air Canada challenges decision on wheelchairs

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Tim Rose was unable to catch a flight to Cleveland in 2016 because of the size of his electric wheelchair.


Air Canada is appealing a decision by the country's transportation regulator, which seeks to improve accessibility for travelers with disabilities.

The action before the Federal Court of Appeal seeks to overturn an order from the Canadian Transportation Agency that requires the airline to accommodate passengers whose seats electric wheels do not pass through the cargo door of a common airliner.

The organization asked Air Canada either to find similar flights on a comparable route, or to swap the planes to have one on the route that can transport electric wheelchairs, provided that the customer requests it three weeks in advance.

Air Canada's appeal against the plane replacement order continues a case that has dragged on for more than seven years after passenger Tim Rose accused the company of discrimination when she told him his electric wheelchair wouldn't fit on the plane in 2016, which prevented him from getting on a flight to Ohio.

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Mr. Rose was told he couldn't book a flight from Toronto to Cleveland, where, ironically, he was scheduled to give a presentation on disability awareness in large corporations.

When I told the representative at the medical counter that this was discriminatory, she replied: “No, your wheelchair is like luggage. If it doesn't fit, it doesn't fit.

A quote from Tim Rose, plaintiff

Mr. Rose finds Air Canada's decision to appeal disappointing, particularly after the carrier welcomed new measures in November to improve the travel experience for passengers with disabilities.

I have the impression that Air Canada is having double talk at the moment, he said. It is hypocritical to suggest, on the one hand, that they are trying to improve and, on the other hand, to continue to fight the decision that ensures dignity and accessibility to all Canadians in wheelchairs rolling.

Air Canada says it has agreed to most of the ruling's orders to remove obstacles, including the requirement to find a plane that takes off within one day of the desired departure date, if the customer makes the request three weeks in advance.

What we are contesting is the obligation to change the #x27;plane scheduled for a route on short notice, for a special purpose, said spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick.

In the notice appeal filed on December 21, Air Canada maintains that the obligation to change the plane for one with larger cargo doors constitutes a constraint and a competitive disadvantage.

Some loading doors are as short as 2.5 feet (76 cm), while many power wheelchairs, when folded, are 3 feet high (91 cm).

With information from The Canadian Press

By admin

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