Feb 042009

Vancouver Sun, 2/27/09

The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has ordered Air Canada to pay $10,000 to Eddie Morten — a Vancouver man who is deaf and with limited vision in just one eye — on the basis the company discriminated against him by demanding he fly with an attendant.

“We have concluded that Mr. Morten has established a prima facie case of discrimination against Air Canada. Air Canada has not met its obligation . . . to accommodate him to the point of undue hardship,” the tribunal ruled in a decision released Monday.

In August of 2004, Morten called a travel agent to book a flight from Vancouver to San Francisco and informed the travel agent of his condition.

An Air Canada reservations clerk, hearing that Morten was deaf-blind, said he could not travel alone and would need someone to accompany him. Air Canada offered the attendant a reduced fare. The airline allows deaf people and blind people to travel unaccompanied because they are considered self-reliant and able to act on their own in an emergency.

© The Vancouver Sun 2009

– Thanks to NVRC, Fairfax