Saturday, December 27, 2008

Canada's New "Two Seat For Wide Load" Law Is Causing Problems

Canada's two largest airlines are scrambling to craft new policies defining obesity as they prepare to offer disabled passengers two seats for the price of one.

Both WestJet Airlines and Air Canada are considering asking disabled travellers, including the morbidly obese, to provide doctors' notes confirming their conditions instead of giving them extra seats based on the passengers' own assessments.

The airlines have until Jan. 10 to finalize their plans, when they must comply with a landmark new "one person, one fare" policy on orders from the Canadian Transportation Agency.

WestJet, however, is thinking of going a step further and including the obese only if they have an underlying medical condition, Bentley said. That means WestJet's eligibility would be based on why you are fat, not how fat you are.

The agency in its ruling said that free seats don't need to be provided to obese people who are merely uncomfortable in their seats or who are not disabled by their size.

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