OTTAWA, June 14, 2012 /CNW/ - The Canadian Transportation Agency today
issued its final decision (Decision No. 227-AT-A-2012) addressing Air Canada's, Air Canada Jazz's and West Jet's accommodation
of persons with a cat allergy disability.
In a preliminary decision (Decision No. 66-AT-A-2010), the Agency ruled that the three complainants were people with
disabilities due to their allergy to cats in the context of air travel.
The Agency then examined whether Air Canada's, Air Canada Jazz's and
West Jet's policies of accepting cats in aircraft cabins constituted an
obstacle to the mobility of the complainants when travelling by air.
In a subsequent decision (Decision No. 430-AT-A-2011), the Agency found that the respondents' current pet policies, as they
relate to the carriage of cats in the aircraft cabin in which a person
with a disability as a result of their allergy to cats is travelling,
constitute an obstacle to the mobility of the applicants and persons
whose allergy to cats results in a disability.
After assessing pleadings from the parties and various organizations,
the Agency found that an undue obstacle exists and has now determined
corrective measures for the complainants and persons with a cat
When at least 48 hours advance notification is provided by persons with
a cat allergy disability, Air Canada, Air Canada Jazz and West Jet must
provide a five row minimum seating separation at all times between a
person with a cat allergy disability and cats carried as pets in the
cabin, with best efforts to do so with less than 48 hours notification.
This includes during boarding and deplaning and between their seat and
a washroom. All three air carriers must also develop and implement
policies and procedures as well as provide necessary training to their
staff to ensure the provision of the appropriate accommodation. The
carriers have 45 business days from the date of the decision to comply
with the Agency's order.
Furthermore, Air Canada Jazz must provide the following corrective
measures on its Dash 8-100/300 aircraft:
When a notification of at least 48 hours is given: ban cats carried as
pets in the aircraft cabin when a person with a cat allergy disability
is travelling; and,
When less than 48 hours notification is given: ban cats carried as pets
in the aircraft cabin when no person travelling with a pet cat has
already booked on that flight. If a person with a pet cat has already
booked for that flight: accommodate the person with the cat allergy
disability within 48 hours on the next available flight on which there
is no person with a pet cat already booked. If the next available
flight is beyond the 48-hour period: give priority to the person with
the cat allergy disability.
The Agency has the mandate to eliminate undue obstacles to the mobility
of persons with disabilities in the federal transportation network and
ensures that they have equal access to transportation services and are
provided with services that meet their disability-related needs.
About the Agency
The Canadian Transportation Agency is an independent administrative body
of the Government of Canada. It performs two key functions within the
federal transportation system:
As an economic regulator, the Agency makes determinations and issues
authorities, licenses and permits to transportation carriers under
As a quasi-judicial tribunal, the Agency, informally and through formal
adjudication, resolves a range of commercial and consumer
transportation-related disputes, including accessibility issues for
persons with disabilities. It operates like a court when adjudicating
SOURCE Canadian Transportation Agency
For further information:
Related Agency decisions:
Decision No. 66-AT-A-2010, February 25, 2010
Decision No. 430-AT-A-2011, December 15, 2011
For more travel information for persons with disabilities, consult the Take Charge of Your Travel guide.
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