The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) has issued a penalty of $110,000 against Air Canada for various violations of the Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations (ATPDR).
As outlined in a Nov. 9 notice posted to the CTA’s website, the penalty is related to Air Canada’s obligations around people with a disability and their service dogs, and it relates to an incident that occurred in June 2023.
On June 13 this year, Air Canada failed to provide a passenger with a disability with an adjacent seat to theirs, which was needed to provide sufficient floor space for their service dog, the CTA says.
Subsequently, the airline refused to transport the passenger and their service dog on one of its flights.
“The carrier also failed to provide a written notice, within 10 days of the occurrence, explaining the reasons for the refusal to transport a person with a disability and their service dog,” the CTA notes.
Air Canada will have 30 days to request a review before the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada.
The update came on the same day Air Canada’s CEO Michael Rousseau apologized for the airline's accessibility shortfalls following several high-profile incidents.
The airline, in response, says it will take actions to speed up its Accessibility Plan for 2023-26, which aims to “reduce or eliminate major sources of dissatisfaction and trip disruption for customers with disabilities,” the airline said in a statement.
Air Canada says it will improve boarding and seating, provide better customer communications, introduce new processes to prevent delays or damage to mobility devices, offer more training and invest in equipment, such as lifts, for passengers with disabilities.