January 8, 2009
In accordance with the Canadian Transportation Agency’s ruling dated January 10, 2008, Air Canada is pleased to communicate the amendments to its policies with regard to passengers with disabilities.
Beginning January 9, 2009, eligible customers with disabilities booking flights for domestic itineraries will qualify for extra seating for themselves or an attendant at no additional charge. This service will be offered for flights on all Air Canada, Jazz and Tier 3 airlines that fly on Air Canada’s behalf, although you should be aware the configuration of certain smaller aircraft may not allow this in all cases.
For flights to and from the United States, Air Canada will continue to offer a 50 per cent discount off certain fares for an extra comfort seat or for attendant travel.
People with disabilities, including by reason of obesity, are advised to make the airline aware of their special needs at the time of booking. Generally, Air Canada will require 48 hours’ notice in advance of travel but in some situations may require 72 hours.
In cases where the airline receives less notice, Air Canada will make all reasonable efforts to fulfill the request. Taxes, fees and charges will not apply to the free extra seats used by the disabled person. However, for the attendant, fees and charges imposed by the Government and by the Airport authorities (with the exception of Gander Airport, NF.) Will have to be charged. No advance seat selection is permitted when requesting extra seating.
In order to be eligible for extra seating at no charge, passengers will be required to submit a doctor’s certificate of the individual’s disability. Passengers will also require medical approval demonstrating fitness to travel. For passengers requesting extra seating for reasons limited to obesity, the airline will retain the information on file and the authorization for extra seating will remain in effect for two years in order to facilitate future travel.
Eligible customers requiring additional space for their own use will be assigned a single reservation and ticket. Their seats will be assigned in advance of their flight by the Air Canada medical Services desk so that their disabilities can be best accommodated. Additionally, such passengers should be aware that extra seating is not available on Beech aircraft and in Executive Class, and may be restricted on CRJ regional jet and Embraer aircraft.
For passengers requiring an attendant, Air Canada will also require the disabled passenger to obtain a medical certificate and medical approval to travel. Customers who are non-ambulatory and non-self reliant and those who have vision, hearing or cognitive impairments that make them unable to receive safety related messages at critical stages of flight must be accompanied by an attendant. In eligible cases, one free seat will be provided for an attendant.
For more information about this new service and the broad range of other services Air Canada offers people with disabilities, customers should go to www.aircanada.com and then look under “Information and Services”, where they will find a section on “Customers with Special Needs” under the “Travel Information” heading. Also, customers can contact Air Canada Reservations or their travel agent.
Thank you for choosing Air Canada.
Vice president, Customer Service
In-Flight Call Centres and Customer Relations Centre
1290 C.P. 14000, Succursale Aéroport Dorval QC