Air Canada Fined for Disability Regulations Violations, Announces Improvements

Air Canada has been fined $97,500 by the Canadian Transportation Agency for violating the Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations. The airline was charged with several violations and has been ordered to pay the fine. 


On August 30, an Air Canada crew in Las Vegas informed Rodney Hodgins, a Prince George resident with spastic cerebral palsy and using a motorized wheelchair, that no assistance was available to help him get off the plane. Hodgins had to crawl on his knees, dragging himself from Row 12 to the front of the aircraft while his wife followed behind to assist him. The Canadian Transportation Agency has stated that "Air Canada failed to assist a wheelchair user to disembark its aircraft" and "failed to ensure that their personnel periodically inquired about his needs" while the passenger was waiting in the terminal. 


The CTA fined the airline again in October 2023. On December 12, Air Canada was fined $52,500 for failing to permit a person with a disability to board in advance of other passengers and not returning the mobility aid to the person on arrival at the destination without delay. The Las Vegas incident was investigated by the CTA after a CBC News report. The airline was also called to Ottawa to meet with the transportation minister after allegations that Air Canada staff had abandoned a second passenger during a flight to Vancouver. 

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Air Canada CEO Michael Rousseau apologized on November 9 and announced several internal improvements to the airline's handling of disabled passengers. The airline has stated that it will expedite plans to modernize the wheelchair storage system, update the boarding process, and update employee training materials for thousands of workers. To ensure the successful implementation of the plan, the airline will appoint a new senior position. Air Canada has 30 days to request a review with the Canadian Transportation Appeal Tribunal.

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