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Required to provide an extra seta for disabled or obese

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Airlines lose seat appeal

CANADIAN PRESS FILE PHOTO

Air Canada and Westjet will be required to provide an extra seat for free to disabled or obese passengers who need the room.
Nov 20, 2008 11:17 AM

THE CANADIAN PRESS


OTTAWA – The Supreme Court of Canada has put its stamp of approval on a regulatory order forcing major airlines to provide an extra seat for free to disabled or obese passengers who need the room.

In a decision released without comment Thursday, the high court rejected an application by Air Canada and WestJet for permission to appeal the order issued by the Canadian Transportation Agency.

The court decision, in effect, upholds the agency's finding that the two carriers were discriminating against the disabled.

The agency ordered the companies last January to adopt a policy of "one person, one fare."

That would mean, for example, that a disabled person who needs additional room for a wheelchair, or an obese person who needs an additional seat, couldn't be charged extra.

It would also mean that, if a disabled person has to be accompanied by an attendant, the attendant would ride for free.

Bus, train and ferry companies have long agreed to such arrangements, but the airline industry has argued it would lose too much money by doing the same."

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