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Obese entitled to two airline seats for the price of one, Canadian court rules

21 November 2008

The supreme court declined to hear an appeal by Air Canada and WestJet, the country’s two largest airlines, on a January 2008 decision by the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA), which gave the airlines a year to implement the policy after they failed to show that a “one-person, one-fare” structure would cause undue hardship.

By convention, the court gave no reason for declining to hear the case.

What remains unresolved is when exactly obesity constitutes a disability. The CTA said airlines must develop procedures to assess eligibility, adding that free seats need not be awarded to overweight people who are merely uncomfortable in a single seat.


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