Decision based on extra seats for air travellers

Joanne Neubauer has high hopes that a landmark ruling by the Canadian Transportation Agency today will make air travel more viable for people who have disabilities and require more than one seat on an airplane.



In a long-awaited decision, the agency will rule on whether severely disabled people should pay a single fare even if they must fly on a stretcher spanning the equivalent of six seats or if, like Neubauer, they need an attendant to fly with them.



The decision has far-reaching implications as an aging population swells the ranks of passengers requiring inflight assistance and special seating accommodations.

Most Canadian bus, ferry and train companies already have policies to accommodate disabled passengers. Since 2002, Neubauer, the Council for Canadians with Disabilities and the estate of Eric Norman, a complainant who has since died, have been asking for the same policy on domestic airlines.

size shouldn’t matter

  • The ruling is also being watched closely by advocates for obese passengers, who say their size shouldn’t force them to buy an additional ticket.