Canada Addresses Disability Surcharge

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By year-end, severely disabled passengers flying on Canadian airlines will no longer have to pay for extra seats needed to accommodate them. The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) ruled Thursday that Canadian carriers must offer a single fare under a "one-person, one-fare" policy that apparently can include a second person provided that second person is a medical attendant. The financial impact of the decision is estimated to hit Air Canada to the tune of about $7 million, annually, which the CTA has deemed as negligible ... or at least, not an undue hardship. There are some caveats. Specifically, individuals who are obese and require two seats for comfortable air travel, but are not disabled, are not covered by the new rule. Also, disabled people traveling with a companion for non-medical reasons will not be granted any free seats. For now, the CTA's ruling does not apply to charter carriers.