"There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things."

~ Niccolo Machiavelli, historian and writer

Thursday, January 15, 2009

'One Passenger, One Fare' Comes Home To Roost

If you're planning on doing any air travel any time soon, head over to Air Canada's site and check out their Extra Seating for Passengers with Special Needs page.

Making reservations for this summer, I was pleased to find that, in addition to other services*** offered to individuals with disabilities, and in compliance with the requirements of the Canadian Transportation Agency, as of January 9, 2009, Air Canada has passed its policy making available extra seating free of charge to passengers travelling within Canada who require additional space due their disabilities, including obesity, or to accommodate an attendant.

The procedure to be followed can be found here (and I would strongly recommend you read that before booking any tickets) and the medical form to be filled out by your attending physician and then returned to Air Canada can be found here.

A few other interesting points:
  • Passengers who are quadriplegic may get permanent confirmation for an attendant. They must keep the Air Canada Medical Assistance Desk advised of any changes to the information they have provided in the Fitness for Travel form, or of any new medical condition.

  • Passengers who are disabled by obesity will get confirmation for 2 years, unless there are other medical concerns. It is the passenger's responsibility to inform the Air Canada Medical Assistance Desk of any new medical concern, or of any significant changes to the information they have provided in Section 3 of the Fitness for Travel form.

Future travel for passengers with a long-term medical approval:
For all future travel, you will only be required to contact the Air Canada Medical Assistance Desk once you have booked your flight, and provide your booking information and authorization number. The medical information you will have provided on the 'Fitness for Travel' form will be on file. However, it is the passenger's responsibility to advise Air Canada of any changes to the information they provide on the Fitness for Travel form.

~ ~ ~ ~

Air Canada offers a Service for Unaccompanied Adult Requiring Assistance. [Ed. Who knew??]

Happy flying.

"We'd sit outside and watch the stars at night
She'd tell me to make a wish
I'd wish we both could fly"

— James McMurtry, the song 'Levelland.'

***The bottom third of this page has lots of useful info starting with the sections in grey entitled Extra Seating down to the bottom of the page.

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