Air Canada Fined $97.5K for Not Assisting a Passenger in Wheelchair  

Air Canada has been fined $97,500 by the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) for multiple violations of the Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations. CBC News reports.

The penalty follows an incident in Las Vegas on Aug. 30 when Rodney Hodgins, a Prince George resident with spastic cerebral palsy using a motorized wheelchair, was forced to drag himself off the plane without assistance. 

Rodney Hodgins
Rodney Hodgins

The CTA stated that Air Canada failed to aid the wheelchair user during disembarkation and neglected to inquire about his needs while waiting in the terminal. Hodgins described the experience as “dehumanizing” and suffered pain for days. The airline has 30 days to request a review by the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada.

In a separate October incident, Air Canada was fined $52,500 for not allowing a person with a disability to board in advance and not promptly returning their mobility aid at the destination. Following these incidents, Air Canada CEO Michael Rousseau apologized and pledged internal changes, including updating the boarding process and training procedures. 

The airline is fast-tracking these improvements and hiring a senior position to oversee their implementation. The Ministry of Transportation is yet to respond to inquiries about a follow-up meeting with Air Canada.

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