Allergies and travel

What should you do if your allergies might affect your travel?

  1. Talk to the carrier at least 48 hours in advance. If you need any services from your transportation company, give them as much notice as possible. Companies are expected to arrange most services for you when you give them at least 48 hours notice. With less than 48 hours notice, they should make a reasonable effort to help you.

  2. Make sure a medical professional can confirm your needs. The company may want you or a medical professional to talk to its medical department about arrangements to accommodate your allergies.

  3. Confirm your arrangements in writing. You should get confirmation in writing about the services you will receive. This will help you to verify arrangements before you leave and again along the way.

For more travel tips, read Take Charge of Your Travel: A Guide for Persons with Disabilities.

What are the responsibilities of service providers?

For persons with disabilities travelling within the federal transportation system, service providers must:

  • ensure that persons with disabilities have equal access to federal transportation services;
  • accommodate persons with disabilities, up to the point of undue hardship;
  • provide accommodation in a manner that respects the dignity of persons with disabilities; and
  • provide accommodation which considers persons’ unique disability-related needs.

Learn more about standards for accessibility.

How the Agency makes transportation accessible

It’s the Agency’s responsibility to ensure that all Canadians enjoy the same access to travel. 

The Agency ensures that any undue obstacles to the mobility of persons with disabilities are removed from transportation services and facilities under its jurisdiction. This includes airplanes, trains, and passenger ferries and buses that cross a provincial or Canadian border.

The Agency removes undue obstacles in three ways:

  1. on a case-by-case basis by resolving accessibility complaints; and
  2. on a systemic basis by developing regulations, codes of practice and standards and monitoring compliance.
  3. on an on-going basis by educating persons with disabilities and service providers about their right and responsibilities.

Agency decisions on allergy cases

An allergy is not automatically considered to be a disability for the purposes of the Canada Transportation Act. However, the Agency has determined that a person with an allergy may be found to be a person with a disability if the allergy sufficiently limits the person's access to the federal transportation system.

The Agency has investigated or is investigating several cases related to allergies involving major Canadian air carriers. These cases involve:

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