Decision No. 303-AT-A-2013

August 2, 2013

APPLICATION by Marley Greenglass against Air Canada.

File No.: 
U3570/13-01171

INTRODUCTION

[1] Marley Greenglass filed an application with the Canadian Transportation Agency (Agency) pursuant to subsection 172(1) of the Canada Transportation Act, S.C., 1996, c. 10, as amended (CTA) against Air Canada regarding its policy that allows the carriage of pets in aircraft cabins, as it relates to Mrs. Greenglass’s allergy to dogs.

[2] The Agency stayed Mrs. Greenglass’s application pending the adjudication of cat allergy cases and the issuance of Decision No. 227-AT-A-2012 (Allergy Decision), which sets out the Agency’s final determination of the accommodation measures to be provided by Air Canada, Air Canada Jazz and WestJet to persons whose allergy to cats results in a disability for the purposes of Part V of the CTA.

[3] Following the issuance of the Allergy Decision, the Agency found, on a preliminary basis, that the accommodation measures relating to cat allergies provided by Air Canada pursuant to the Allergy Decision also constitute the appropriate accommodation needed to meet the disability‑related needs of persons who are disabled by an allergy to other pets accepted in the cabin, including dogs. The Agency then advised Mrs. Greenglass that, if she believed that the accommodation measures ordered by the Agency in the Allergy Decision did not address her disability-related needs as it relates to her allergy to dogs, she was required to establish, through evidence, including medical evidence, that she needed a different form of accommodation. Mrs. Greenglass requested that the accommodation measures determined by the Agency for persons with a cat allergy disability be provided by Air Canada to persons with a dog allergy disability.

[4] In response to the Agency’s preliminary finding, Air Canada filed comments with respect to its obligation to carry service dogs and the implications regarding the accommodation measures to be provided to persons with a dog allergy disability, and Mrs. Greenglass subsequently responded to Air Canada’s comments. The Agency recognized, in Decision No. LET-AT-A-82-2013 (Show Cause Decision), that service dogs are commonly used by persons with disabilities, including as part of air travel, and agreed to consider the parties’ submissions with respect to the carriage of service dogs in the cabin in its determination of the accommodation measures to be provided to persons with a dog allergy disability.

THE LAW

[5] When adjudicating an application pursuant to subsection 172(1) of the CTA, the Agency applies a three-step process to determine whether there is an undue obstacle to the mobility of a person with a disability. The Agency must determine whether:

  1. the person who is the subject of the application has a disability for the purposes of the CTA;
  2. an obstacle exists because the person was not provided with appropriate accommodation to address their disability-related needs. An obstacle is a rule, policy, practice, physical barrier, etc. that has the effect of denying equal access to services offered by the transportation service provider that are available to others; and,
  3. the obstacle is “undue.” An obstacle is undue unless the transportation service provider demonstrates that there are constraints that make the removal of the obstacle either unreasonable, impracticable or impossible, such that to provide any form of accommodation would cause the transportation service provider undue hardship. If the obstacle is found to be undue, the Agency may order corrective measures necessary to remove the undue obstacle.

BACKGROUND

[6] In the Show Cause Decision, the Agency made three final determinations and one preliminary finding.

Final determinations

[7] The Agency made final determinations with respect to disability, appropriate accommodation and obstacle.

Disability

[8] The Agency found that Mrs. Greenglass is a person with a disability for the purposes of Part V of the CTA as a result of her allergy to dogs.

Appropriate accommodation

[9] The Agency found that the following provides the appropriate accommodation required to meet the needs of Mrs. Greenglass and persons with disabilities as a result of their allergies to dogs when at least 48 hours advance notification is provided by persons with a dog allergy disability, with best efforts to do the same when less than 48 hours advance notification is provided:

With respect to dogs carried as pets

[10] On aircraft with air circulation/ventilation systems using High Efficiency Particulate Air(HEPA) filters or which provide 100 percent unrecirculated fresh air:

  • a seating separation that is confirmed prior to boarding the flight and that provides a minimum of five rows between persons with a dog allergy disability and pet dogs, including during boarding and deplaning and between their seat and a washroom; or,
  • a ban on pet dogs in the aircraft cabin in which a person with a disability as a result of their allergy to dogs is travelling.

[11] On aircraft without air circulation/ventilation systems using HEPA filters and which do not provide 100 percent unrecirculated fresh air:

  • a ban on pet dogs in the aircraft cabin in which a person with a disability as a result of their allergy to dogs is travelling;

[12] When advance notification of less than 48 hours is provided by persons with a dog allergy disability, a ban on pet dogs is to be provided if no person travelling with a pet dog has already booked their travel on the selected flight. If a person travelling with a pet dog has already been booked on the flight, persons with a dog allergy disability must be provided with the same flight ban accommodation within 48 hours on the next flight available on which there is no person with a pet dog already booked. If the next available flight is beyond the 48-hour period, persons with a dog allergy disability must be given priority and provided with the accommodation measures applicable when the 48-hour advance notice is given by the person with a dog allergy disability.

With respect to service dogs

[13] On aircraft with air circulation/ventilation systems using HEPA filters or which provide 100 percent unrecirculated fresh air:

  • a seating separation that is confirmed prior to boarding the flight and that provides a minimum of five rows between persons with a dog allergy disability and service dogs, including during boarding and deplaning and between their seat and a washroom.

[14] On aircraft without air circulation/ventilation systems using HEPA filters or which do not provide 100 percent unrecirculated fresh air:

  • give the booking priority to whoever of the person with a dog allergy disability and the person travelling with a service dog first completed their booking. A person with a dog allergy disability and a person travelling with a service dog will not be accepted on the same flight using an aircraft that does not have HEPA filters or which does not provide 100 percent unrecirculated fresh air.

Obstacle

[15] The Agency found that, as Air Canada does not currently provide the appropriate accommodation measures, Air Canada’s policy/procedure, as it relates to the carriage of dogs in the aircraft cabin in which a person with a disability due to an allergy to dogs is travelling, constitutes an obstacle to the mobility of Mrs. Greenglass and of other persons with a dog allergy disability.

Preliminary finding

[16] The Agency also made a preliminary finding in the Show Cause Decision, which will be addressed in this Decision.

Undue obstacle

[17] The Agency found, on a preliminary basis, that Air Canada’s policy/procedure, as it relates to the carriage of dogs in the aircraft cabin in which a person with a disability due to an allergy to dogs is travelling, constitutes an undue obstacle to the mobility of Mrs. Greenglass and of other persons with a dog allergy disability.

[18] The Agency provided Air Canada with an opportunity to show cause why the Agency should not finalize its preliminary finding with respect to undue obstacle, and Mrs. Greenglass was provided with an opportunity to file a reply to Air Canada’s answer to the show cause direction.

[19] In this Decision, the Agency will finalize its preliminary finding. The Agency’s final finding will be based on the preliminary finding set out in the Show Cause Decision and on the submissions filed by the parties in this case.

PRELIMINARY MATTER

Comments on appropriate accommodation

[20] Air Canada refers to the appropriate accommodation determined by the Agency in the Show Cause Decision as being a “proposed accommodation”. In addition, Air Canada provides comments on the Report Addendum: Cat and Dog Dander in the Aircraft Cabin, May 23, 2008by Dr. Sussman (the expert on allergies retained by the Agency as part of its adjudication of other allergy complaints, including the cat allergy cases) and the impact of Dr. Sussman’s findings on the determination of appropriate accommodation.

[21] Mrs. Greenglass suggests that Dr. Sussman’s report be updated to include studies that have been prepared since 2008.

[22] In Decision No. LET-AT-A-46-2013, the Agency provided Air Canada with an opportunity to comment on obstacle/appropriate accommodation, in addition to filing undue hardship arguments with respect to the Agency’s preliminary finding of appropriate accommodation and to propose another form of accommodation. Following this, the Agency finalized its determination of appropriate accommodation in the Show Cause Decision. The Show Cause Decision did not provide Air Canada with an opportunity to re-argue its case regarding obstacle/appropriate accommodation, but rather to comment on the Agency’s preliminary finding of undue obstacle. Similarly, the Show Cause Decision did not provide Mrs. Greenglass with an opportunity to comment on the Agency’s final determinations with respect to obstacle/appropriate accommodation.

[23] The Agency will therefore not consider Air Canada’s further arguments with respect to appropriate accommodation. In addition, the Agency will not consider Mrs. Greenglass’s submission regarding Dr. Sussman’s report.

Mrs. Greenglass’s reply

[24] In her reply to Air Canada’s answer to the Agency’s Show Cause Decision, Mrs. Greenglass asks that “the issue of any animals in the cabin be readdressed” for all air carriers under the Agency’s jurisdiction. In making such a request, Mrs. Greenglass is seeking to expand the scope of her complaint to encompass the carriage of other animals in the aircraft cabin and the related policies of other air carriers.

[25] Expanding the scope of Mrs. Greenglass’s application at this point of the proceedings, as suggested by Mrs. Greenglass, would require that the Agency re-open the pleadings on the basis of an amended application, which would unduly prolong the adjudication process. The Agency rejects Mrs. Greenglass’s request to expand the scope.

PRELIMINARY FINDING – DOES AIR CANADA’S POLICY/PROCEDURE, AS IT RELATES TO THE CARRIAGE OF DOGS IN THE AIRCRAFT CABIN IN WHICH A PERSON WITH A DISABILITY DUE TO AN ALLERGY TO DOGS IS TRAVELLING, CONSTITUTE AN UNDUE OBSTACLE TO THE MOBILITY OF of MRS GREENGLASS AND OF OTHER PERSONS WITH A DOG ALLERGY DISABILITY?

Show Cause Decision

[26] The Agency found, on a preliminary basis, that Air Canada’s policy/procedure, as it relates to the carriage of dogs in the aircraft cabin in which a person with a disability due to an allergy to dogs is travelling, constitutes an undue obstacle to the mobility of Mrs. Greenglass and of other persons with a dog allergy disability.

[27] In the Show Cause Decision, the Agency noted that, pursuant to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Regulation 14 CFR Part 382 (Part 382), Air Canada may, in some situations, require advance notice from a person travelling with a service or emotional support/psychiatric service dog (service dogs) on flights to and from the United States of America. The Agency also found that, in situations where advance notice is not provided, Air Canada did not demonstrate that it could not implement procedures to enable it to establish a seating separation with limited time available after a person travelling with a service dog checks‑in, for example, by reseating either the person with a service dog or the person with a dog allergy disability. Moreover, the Agency expressed the opinion that Air Canada would infrequently be required to establish a seating separation on the day to travel, given:

  • that the lack of advance notice by a person with a disability travelling with a service dog is limited to flights to and from the United States of America;
  • that the number of service dogs carried (which, according to data provided by Air Canada, would represent approximately 2.74 service dogs per day system-wide) in relation to the very large number of flights that Air Canada operates on an annual basis, including to and from the United States of America, is immaterial; and,
  • the fact, as pointed out by Dr. Sussman, that dog allergies are much less common than cat allergies, and Air Canada’s evidence that it has only received 20 Fitness for Travel forms with respect to passengers with cat allergies since the implementation of the cat allergy accommodation ordered by the Agency; considering that dog allergies are less common, it would be a rare circumstance in which both a person with a service dog and a passenger with a dog allergy disabilitywould require accommodation on the same flight.

[28] The Agency also found that, on aircraft without air circulation/ventilation systems using HEPA filters and which do not provide 100 percent unrecirculated fresh air, the appropriate accommodation is for Air Canada to give the booking priority to whoever of the person with a dog allergy disability and the person travelling with a service dog first completes their booking. The Agency acknowledged that this may result in Air Canada having to deny boarding to a person travelling with a service dog, thereby contravening Part 382.117, which requires air carriers to accept service animals for carriage. However, for the reasons set out above, the Agency expressed its opinion that only in rare situations would Air Canada have to deny boarding to a person travelling with a service dog on flights to and from the United States of America. Moreover, if this situation were to arise, the Agency noted that Part 382.9 provides a conflict of laws waiver mechanism to give appropriate consideration to requirements of foreign law applicable to foreign carriers, which would allow Air Canada to ask for a waiver of its obligation to accept service dogs on flights to and from the United States of America on which a person with a dog allergy disability has first completed their booking and which uses an aircraft without an air circulation/ventilation system using HEPA filters and which does not provide 100 percent unrecirculated fresh air.

[29] The Agency found that Air Canada had not demonstrated that it cannot establish a seating separation prior to departure to meet the needs of persons with a dog allergy disability on flights that will include a dog (whether it be a service animal or a pet).

Positions of the parties

Air Canada

[30] In its response to the Show Cause Decision, Air Canada provided arguments, as set out below, in respect of denied boarding and advance notice; seating assignment; assessment of disability; and booking priority.

Denied boarding and advance notice

[31] Air Canada states that, pursuant to Part 382.19, a carrier cannot refuse to provide transportation due to a person’s disability, except as otherwise provided under Part 382. Air Canada submits that Part 382 does not contain any provisions that would permit a carrier to deny transportation based on “conflicting disabilities.” Air Canada adds that, even if it were to argue, pursuant to Part 382.19(c)(1), that a carrier can determine that there is a disability-related safety basis for refusing to provide transportation, it would result in the carrier giving preferential treatment to one disability over another.

[32] In terms of the aircraft for which Air Canada has concerns regarding denied boarding, Air Canada points out that its 60 Bombardier Dash-8 aircraft, which do not have HEPA‑type filters, are operated by Air Canada Express and are used exclusively for short distances within Canada and on transborder routes to and from the United States of America. Air Canada states that there are 60 Air Canada flights per day to and from the United States of America using such aircraft. Air Canada submits that the prevalence of these aircraft in terms of a possible conflict of law is of the “utmost significance.”

[33] Air Canada states that, pursuant to Part 382.25, a carrier cannot require a passenger with a disability, whether it be a passenger with a dog allergy disability or a person travelling with a service dog, to provide advance notice of their intention to travel. Air Canada submits that due to the lack of advance notice in some cases, “conflicting disability situations” at the gate would be more frequent. Air Canada adds that, in these situations, it is “much more difficult” to reassign seats in order to provide the required seating separation or advise a passenger that they may not travel as planned.

Seating assignment

[34] Air Canada states that, pursuant to Part 382.87, a carrier cannot exclude a passenger with a disability from any seat or, conversely, require that a passenger with a disability sit in a particular seat on the basis of disability, except to comply with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or the applicable foreign government safety requirements. Air Canada submits that providing a seating separation to accommodate a person with a dog allergy disability could require that a person travelling with a service dog be seated in a particular seat not of their choosing. Air Canada contends that providing a seating separation at the last minute when no advance notice is provided could result in the contravention of provisions of Part 382. These provisions provide, in part:

382.81(c) For a passenger with a disability traveling with a service animal, [the carrier] must provide, as the passenger requests, either a bulkhead seat or a seat other than a bulkhead seat.

382.87(d) If [the carrier] has already provided a seat to a passenger with a disability to furnish an accommodation required by this subpart, [it] must not (except in the circumstance described in §382.85(a)(2)(ii)) reassign that passenger to another seat in response to a subsequent request from another passenger with a disability, without the first passenger’s consent.

382.87(e) [The carrier] must never deny transportation to any passenger in order to provide accommodations required by this subpart.

Assessment of disability

[35] Air Canada states that under Part 382, carriers generally may not require proof of disability, although they may require a medical certificate for travellers with severe allergies in Canada. Air Canada asserts that this may create confusion over whether a passenger’s allergy should be treated by the carrier as a disability for flights to and from the United States of America.

Booking priority

[36] Finally, in terms of giving priority to whoever of the person with a dog allergy disability and the person travelling with a service dog first completes their booking, Air Canada states that the date on which a booking was completed may not be “accessible or accurately accessible” at the airport.

Mrs. Greenglass

Denied boarding and advance notice

[37] With respect to Air Canada’s concerns that it would be placed in a position of contravening the United States of America legislation by applying measures imposed by the Agency, Mrs. Greenglass suggests that Air Canada should immediately seek a waiver from the DOT to determine whether an issue actually exists.

Assessment of disability

[38] Mrs. Greenglass is of the opinion that a person with a dog allergy disability should not have to substantiate their disability; conversely, she adds that a doctor’s note indicating the severity of the disability should be sufficient. She submits that if a person with a dog allergy disability has to substantiate their disability, then a person using a service dog should also have to substantiate their need for a service animal.

Booking priority

[39] Mrs. Greenglass argues that Air Canada should provide more details on the system limitations that would prevent its gate agents to determine who of the person with a dog allergy disability and the person travelling with a service dog would be denied boarding. Mrs. Greenglass also argues that Air Canada should explain how its system could be modified to provide this information and that guidelines should be developed to address these situations where one passenger will be denied boarding.

[40] Mrs. Greenglass is of the opinion that it is unfair for a person who booked months in advance to have to worry about checking-in at the airport unusually early to “protect themselves;” rather, she suggests giving the priority to the person who first booked their travel. She believes that persons travelling with a service animal, like persons with an animal allergy disability, must pre‑register in order to avoid conflict at the gate.

Analysis and final finding

Denied boarding and advance notice

[41] Air Canada notes that Part 382 does not contain a provision that would permit a carrier to deny transportation based on “conflicting disabilities.”

[42] However, the Agency notes that the guidance material for Part 382 accepts a first-come, first‑served approach as being a non-discriminatory one to address competing disability needs. It states, in part:

It is unlikely that the mere presence of an animal in the same cabin would [...] produce a severe allergic reaction rising to the level of a disability. However, if there was strong evidence that this was the case, it could be necessary to rebook one of the passengers on another flight. Since one disability does not trump another, the carrier should consider a disability-neutral means of determining which passenger would have to be rebooked (e.g., which passenger made the earlier reservation). We emphasize that we expect any such situation to be extremely rare, and that carriers should not rebook a passenger absent strong evidence that the mere presence of an animal in the cabin, even in a location distant from the allergic passenger, would produce an allergic reaction rising to the level of a disability.

[43] The Agency is also of the opinion that a first-come, first-served approach would ensure a non‑discriminatory treatment of “conflicting disabilities”. In light of the foregoing, the Agency is of the opinion that it may not be necessary for Air Canada to ask for a waiver of Part 382.19 in situations where a person with a dog allergy disability and a person travelling with a service dog wish to travel on the same flight to and from the United States of America using an aircraft which does not have HEPA filters or does not provide 100 percent unrecirculated fresh air. Nevertheless, the Agency is of the opinion that nothing precludes Air Canada from requesting a waiver, should it be of the view that it would facilitate the implementation of the appropriate accommodation.

[44] Air Canada raises a concern with respect to the number of flights to and from the United States of America operated using Dash-8 aircraft in terms of a possible conflict of law. While it is possible that both a person with a dog allergy disability and a person with a service dog may wish to travel on the same flight, the carrier’s duty to accommodate is not diminished. In addition, as set out above, the Agency is of the opinion that Air Canada may be able to book passengers with “conflicting disabilities” on a first-come, first-served basis, without a conflict of law. The Agency finds that Air Canada has not demonstrated undue hardship in terms of the number of flights operated between Canada and the United States of America using Dash-8 aircraft.

[45] In response to Air Canada’s concern that, because Part 382 does not allow it to require advance notice of a person’s disability-related needs, passengers would only be notified of the impossibility to travel at the airport, as set out in the Show Cause Decision, the Agency is of the opinion that it would be a rare circumstance in which both a person travelling with a service dog and a passenger with a dog allergy disability would require accommodation on the same flight. Air Canada provided no evidence to the contrary in its answer to the Show Cause Decision. In addition, as reflected in the Show Case Decision, if Air Canada is concerned about such an occurrence, it may want to reduce its likelihood by informing its customers of the risk of not being able to travel when planned through communication of a first-come, first-served approach.

[46] Notwithstanding, if, as a result of the inability to require advance notice, Air Canada must establish a seating separation with little time before a flight, the Agency is of the opinion that Air Canada did not establish that it would face undue hardship as a result. Air Canada submits that it would be “much more difficult” to reassign seats in order to implement a seating separation. However, difficulty in providing accommodation does not mean that it is unreasonable, impracticable or impossible to provide accommodation.

Seating assignment

[47] Air Canada refers to Part 382.87(a) which states that a carrier cannot exclude a passenger with a disability from sitting in a particular seat or, conversely, require that a passenger with a disability sit in a particular seat, except to comply with the FAA or the applicable foreign government safety requirements.

[48] Although the Agency fully expects that passengers with a dog allergy disability would agree to sit in a certain area of the aircraft in order to be seated at least five rows away from a passenger travelling with a service dog, the Agency notes that the guidance material in respect of Part 382 reflects that ability of a carrier to provide specific seating and possibly reseat passengers to separate those travelling with a service animal and those disabled by an allergy to animal dander. In addition, Part 382.83(a)(1) permits carriers to “block” seats in order to provide seating accommodation to persons with disabilities, including those travelling with a service animal. In light of the foregoing, the Agency is of the opinion that Air Canada would not be prevented from providing a seating separation to accommodate those with a dog allergy disability.

[49] In light of the above, the Agency rejects Air Canada’s argument with respect to providing a seating separation at the last minute when no advance notice is given could possibly result in the contravention of Part 382.87(e).

[50] The Agency recognized, in the cat allergy cases, that the ability of any passenger to reserve their preferred seat is always subject to its availability. For example, there are situations where two persons with disabilities need the same seat. A first-come, first-served approach could be used in those situations.

[51] Finally, the Agency notes that Air Canada is required, pursuant to Decision No. 227-AT-A-2012, to implement a seating separation to accommodate cat dander allergies in respect of flights to and from the United States of America. Specifically, Air Canada is required to provide a seating separation in situations where no advance notice is given by a passenger with a cat allergy disability. The Agency is of the opinion that Air Canada should be equally able to provide a seating separation in situations where no advance notice is given by a passenger with a dog allergy disability.

[52] In light of the foregoing, the Agency finds that Air Canada did not establish that it would face undue hardship as a result of seating assignment requirements.

Assessment of disability

[53] Air Canada submits that Part 382 does not generally allow carriers to require proof of disability. However, U.S. DOT’s guidance material on Part 382 sets out the following:

There may be situations in which, with respect to a passenger who brings a very serious potential allergy situation to the attention of your personnel, it is appropriate to seek a medical certificate for the passenger.

[54] The Agency does not require carriers to ask for medical information from their passengers. The Agency is of the opinion that it is up to Air Canada to determine whether it requires medical information to establish whether a passenger has a dog allergy disability and to implement whatever related process it considers necessary, as it has done in respect of cat allergy disabilities.

[55] Therefore, the Agency finds that Air Canada did not establish that it would face undue hardship as it relates to assessing disability.

Booking priority

[56] Air Canada submits that the date on which a booking was completed may not be “accessible or accurately accessible” at the airport, but it provided no explanation for its view. The Agency notes that Air Canada has sophisticated computer systems which capture a substantial amount of information about a passenger’s booking or reservation. Air Canada did not present any evidence of undue hardship in ensuring that information is available to its check-in personnel.

[57] In fact, in the cat allergy cases, Air Canada proposed a policy to address situations in which both a person with a cat allergy disability and a person travelling with a pet cat wish to sit in Air Canada’s Executive Class or Comfort Plus seating. Air Canada’s proposal, which the Agency accepted, was that priority would be given to whoever had already booked a seat in the particular class of service. The Agency is of the opinion that Air Canada would similarly be able to implement a process to determine whether a person travelling with a service dog or a person with a dog allergy disability has already booked a seat on a certain flight.

Final finding and conclusion

[58] The Agency finds that Air Canada has not met its burden of demonstrating that it would face undue hardship if it were required to provide the appropriate accommodation determined by the Agency for persons with a dog allergy disability.

[59] Accordingly, the Agency finds that Air Canada’s policy/procedure, as it relates to the carriage of dogs in the aircraft cabin in which a person with a dog allergy disability is travelling, constitutes an undue obstacle to the mobility of Mrs. Greenglass and of other persons with a dog allergy disability.

CONCLUSION

[60] The Agency makes the following final determination:

The Agency finds that Air Canada’s policy/procedure, as it relates to the carriage of dogs in the aircraft cabin in which a person with a disability due to an allergy to dogs is travelling, constitutes an undue obstacle to the mobility of Mrs. Greenglass and of other persons with a dog allergy disability.

ORDER

[61] The Agency finds that Air Canada has not established that it would face undue hardship that would prevent it from providing the appropriate accommodation to persons with a dog allergy disability. Therefore, the Agency finds that Air Canada’s policy/procedure, as it relates to the carriage of dogs in the aircraft cabin in which a person with a disability due to an allergy to dogs is travelling, constitutes an undue obstacle to the mobility of Mrs. Greenglass and of other persons with a dog allergy disability.

[62] The Agency therefore orders Air Canada to develop and implement the policies and procedures necessary to provide the following appropriate accommodation and to provide the requisite training to its staff to ensure the provision of the appropriate accommodation.

With respect to dogs carried as pets

[63] On aircraft with air circulation/ventilation systems using HEPA filters or which provide 100 percent unrecirculated fresh air:

  • a seating separation that is confirmed prior to boarding the flight and that provides a minimum of five rows between persons with a dog allergy disability and pet dogs, including during boarding and deplaning and between their seat and a washroom; or,
  • a ban on pet dogs in the aircraft cabin in which a person with a disability as a result of their allergy to dogs is travelling.

[64] On aircraft without air circulation/ventilation systems using HEPA filters or which do not provide 100 percent unrecirculated fresh air:

  • a ban on pet dogs in the aircraft cabin in which a person with a disability as a result of their allergy to dogs is travelling.

[65] When advance notification of less than 48 hours is provided by persons with a dog allergy disability, a ban on pet dogs is to be provided if no person travelling with a pet dog has already booked their travel on the selected flight. If a person travelling with a pet dog has already been booked on the flight, persons with a dog allergy disability must be provided with the same flight ban accommodation within 48 hours on the next flight available on which there is no person with a pet dog already booked. If the next available flight is beyond the 48-hour period, persons with a dog allergy disability must be given priority and provided with the accommodation measures applicable when the 48-hour advance notice is given by the person with a dog allergy disability.

With respect to service dogs

[66] On aircraft with air circulation/ventilation systems using HEPA filters or which provide 100 percent unrecirculated fresh air:

  • a seating separation that is confirmed prior to boarding the flight and that provides a minimum of five rows between persons with a dog allergy disability and service dogs, including during boarding and deplaning and between their seat and a washroom.

[67] On aircraft without air circulation/ventilation systems using HEPA filters or which do not provide 100 percent unrecirculated fresh air:

  • give the booking priority to whoever of the person with a dog allergy disability and the person travelling with a service dog first completed their booking. A person with a dog allergy disability and a person travelling with a service dog will not be accepted on the same flight using an aircraft that does not have HEPA filters or which does not provide 100 percent unrecirculated fresh air.

[68] Air Canada has until September 16, 2013 to comply with this order.

Member(s)

  • Raymon J. Kaduck
  • J. Mark MacKeigan