Ontario Man Wins Seven-Year Crusade for Air Pax in Motorized Wheelchairs


An Ontario man, Tim Rose, has won a victory after fighting for seven years to challenge airlines' treatment of large mobility devices like power wheelchairs, reports CBC News.

In 2016, Rose attempted to board a flight aboard a Canadian carrier but was denied due to his motorized wheelchair being classified as oversized luggage. He took to social media, and the incident sparked the global #wheelchairsnotluggage campaign.

The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) recently ruled that airlines must now accommodate all passengers with mobility devices or provide an alternate plane. This landmark decision is expected to have a ripple effect, pushing other airlines towards greater accessibility for travellers with disabilities.

The ruling outlines that all transportation service providers should "grant persons with disabilities equal access" and should serve their needs, except if it leads to "undue hardship."

In an interview with the CBC, Rose, who has cerebral palsy, said he is a disability consultant, requiring him to travel frequently. "Throughout my life, spanning 40 to 50 flights, I've never been denied entry, he said.

"I identified it as discriminatory. My wheelchair represents my autonomy; it isn't just another piece of luggage."

The airline said they offered Rose two alternative solutions: opting for a connecting flight that accommodates his wheelchair or sending his wheelchair on a separate flight. Rose says that he did not receive such offers, and a connecting flight would lengthen his travel, making a road trip a more efficient option.

The carrier told the CBC they are looking at ways to ensure wheelchairs like Rose's can be boarded in the future without any damage.

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