Air Canada Denies Passenger Over Size of Wheelchair
Photo courtesy of Air Canada
Air Canada has come under fire after allegedly preventing a passenger from flying because of the size of his wheelchair.
Toronto native Tim Rose, who was born with Cerebral Palsy and relies on a wheelchair to get around, told CityNews he was scheduled to fly to Cleveland, Ohio, this past weekend when the airline informed him that his ticket would be refunded because his wheelchair was five inches too tall for the plane's cargo area.
"I felt like an oversized piece of luggage," Rose told CityNews. "They even said to me at the time if it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t fit – it’s like an oversized piece of luggage."
Rose, upset that Air Canada failed to offer any alternatives, took his frustration to social media using the hashtag #Wheelchairsarentluggage.
"If Air Canada cannot accommodate a person of a certain disability on a plane, they should not be flying that plane," Rose told CityNews.
Air Canada responded in a statement to CityNews.
"This is an unfortunate circumstance that has arisen due to the type of aircraft that we use on this route," said a spokesperson for the carrier. "It has a cargo hold door smaller than the height of the chair the customer uses and we are working to see if there is a way to safely carry this particular sized wheelchair without causing damage."
Rose, who accused the airline of discrimination, said he and his wife have successfully boarded the same flight with Air Canada to Cleveland in previous years.
In a social media post to Rose, the carrier said "wel'll be in touch separately to ask for some more information so we can conduct a test tomorrow to determine whether it can be safely loaded at an angle and stored." However Rose told CityNews the airline has yet to follow-up.
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