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10/12/2008 – The Flaws In Canada’s Obese Passenger Two-for-One Seat Policy
Canada’s two primary airlines, Air Canada and WestJet, along with Air Canada’s Jazz, are scrambling to meet the January 10th 2009 deadline set forth by the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) that dictates passengers who are ‘functionally disabled by obesity’ are entitled to ‘one-person, one-fare.’ This topic was initially discussed on Flying With Fish here: 20/11/2008 – Canadian Supreme Court Rules ‘Obese’ Passengers Entitled To Two Seats For A Single Fare
The CTA believes that these airlines are dragging there feet in the creation of a policy that sets forth the rules on how to determine if a passenger is ‘functionally disabled by obesity.’ There are many different options being discussed and concepts being floated around.
The creation of these guidelines should not left up the airlines. Putting the implementation of this new policy in the hands of the airlines is a terrible policy. The CTA created this policy and is forcing its implementation by the 10th of January. The CTA who has fought for this policy to be put into action needs to research and create a detailed set of guidelines that will determine who qualifies for this the ‘two-for-one’ allowance for those ‘functionally disabled by obesity.’
It is not acceptable policy for a government agency to create policy then leave it up to an industry to research and decide the guidelines of the policy. Not only does this create a system that is more likely to constantly be questioned on the basis of ethics, but it also creates an environment of animosity aimed at the airlines as well.
The CTA initially offered to facilitate collaboration between the airlines, experts and the Government. They have since decided to leave it all on the airlines, thus trying to remove themselves from the fallout from this highly controversial new policy.
With the deadline looming, The CTA needs to step up, take control and set their own government regulated guidelines. Any entity other than the CTA creating enforceable guidelines will only cause further problems in the future.