Air Canada proposes nut-free zone to accommodate passengers with allergies

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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Air Canada said it is willing to create "nut-free" buffer zones on its flights to accommodate passengers with severe nut allergies.
Passengers with allergies would simply be required to notify the airline 48 hours before they intend to travel to be seated in the buffer zone, Air Canada wrote in a proposal released Tuesday by the federal Canadian Transportation Agency.
Air Canada's submission is a response to a recommendation made by the federal agency in January to have a buffer zone on its airplanes, after two passengers complained about the difficult experiences they had when they asked the airline to accommodate their severe nut allergies.
The airline agreed to the idea of a buffer zone, but said the zone would only be created when required.
The buffer zone would consist of the seats immediately adjacent to the passenger with allergies, and the bank of seats in front and behind the passenger. Other passengers in the area would be notified and would be invited "to refrain from consuming" nut products.
The airline hasn't served peanuts on its flights in over a decade, but does serve and allow passengers to buy other types of nuts.
Sophia Huyer, one of the women who filed the original complaint against Air Canada, says the size of the buffer zone is minimal and calls the airline's response "irresponsible."
Huyer and a second complainant have 10 days to file their comments on the submission, after which the agency will issue a final decision. If Air Canada accepts it, the airline would be required to submit a formal policy for review and approval by the agency.

Organizations: Air Canada, Canadian Transportation Agency

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