Court Rejects Ruling of Air Canada Separating Dogs From Allergic Passengers

he Canadian Transportation Agency has been ordered by the Federal Court of Appeal to reconsider a ruling imposed on August of 2013 which required Air Canada to separate dogs from passengers allergic to dogs in its airline cabins on airplanes, finding that there was no significant evidence for the ruling and done without consideration to the argument from Air Canada that a less intrusive remedy could be found.

According to this article from The Canadian Press via CTV News, Air Canada was ordered to create a buffer zone of a minimum of five rows to separate passengers with allergies from service dogs or pet canines traveling in carriers in the passenger cabins aboard its commercial airplanes not equipped with a high-efficiency particulate absorption filter ventilation system.

The ruling was issued after Marley Greenglass filed a complaint that the policy of Air Canada pertaining to dogs in airline cabins created “an undue obstacle” to the mobility of passengers who suffer from “a disability for the purposes of Part V of the CTA as a result of” their allergy to dogs.

A similar ruling requiring a minimum distance of five rows between traveling felines and passengers who are allergic to cats was issued by the Canadian Transportation Agency on June 14, 2014 to Air Canada, WestJet Airlines and Air Canada Jazz.

Representatives of Air Canada had argued that the ruling of the Canadian Transportation Agency “would force it to discriminate against passengers with service dogs” in violation of regulations of the United States.

Those regulations pertaining to service dogs — as well as emotional support animals — are detailed in this article I wrote back on Saturday, November 29, 2014, which explains why there are currently no protections under the law in the United States for airline passengers who are also sufferers of allergies to animals.

Although there are tips and suggestions recommended for sufferers of allergies who also travel aboard commercial airplanes to help ease their discomfort, is this fair to them? What are your thoughts?

2 thoughts on “Court Rejects Ruling of Air Canada Separating Dogs From Allergic Passengers”

  1. JustinB says:

    This is an interesting article. I have only recently started seeing pets in the cabin on my domestic flights. I grew up with severe allergies – food, animal hair, and environment. These days pets don’t aggravate as much as they used to but I suppose sitting right next to you could potential trigger some issues. The worst thing on planes to me are the peanuts. Whenever they are served, I have to cover my nose and mouth to avoid inhaling the dust. But I’ll never complain because I don’t want to affect anyone else’s right to eat them.

    Maybe certain things just shouldn’t be allowed in the cabin given the rise of allergies these days?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      That is is tough call, JustinB.

      The problem is how that can be implemented successfully without someone feeling like someone else has more rights or privileges than him or her…

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