How your attendant can fly for free in Canada if you’re on the autism spectrum

Under the Canadian one passenger, one fare policy, people on the autism spectrum who are unable to fly, take the train, or take the bus without assistance on board can travel domestically with an attendant of their choosing, and their attendant travels for free. Indeed the policy applies to anyone with a disability that prevents travel without assistance.

Each company’s interpretation of the policy is slightly different, and there are different hoops you need to jump through to invoke this; generally there’s an application form, accompanied by a diagnosis or a statement from a doctor. A telephone call from the company’s medical office might come as follow up.

Oliver has taken advantage of this right several times on Air Canada; it’s a tremendous boom to his independence.

Here are the relevant pages on airline websites to get more information and the proper forms:

This just policy is based on national transportation policy that states, in part:

Persons with disabilities have the same rights as others to full participation in all aspects of society and equal access to transportation is critical to the ability of persons with disabilities to exercise that right. Persons with disabilities have the same needs to travel as others — for example, for business, for pleasure, and for medical reasons — and should have the same travel options that are provided to others, such as those respecting mode of transportation, departure times, cost, quality of service and the ability to travel with friends, family or colleagues;

Persons with disabilities should not be placed at an economic disadvantage as a result of their disabilities and should not have to pay more for their transportation services than other passengers who do not have disabilities, including in circumstances where transportation service providers must provide different services to ensure equivalent access to the federal transportation network. This principle of accessibility forms the basis of what is commonly referred to in the community of persons with disabilities as the principle of “one person-one fare” (1P1F), which underlies the application.

While the policy may be well-known in some circles, it came as news to us, and it’s only because of the kindness and quick thinking of a doctor in the Air Canada medical office, who mentioned it when we called to book our first trip flying with Oliver’s autism assistance dog.

Please spread the word to people with autism and their families so that everyone knows.

Comments

Ada Hue's picture
Ada Hue on May 23, 2022 - 23:26 Permalink

OuR booking reference is 3FWFDR, my son Ethan is ASD , he cannot travel by himself, we just learned that we can apply for free domestic flight ticket for him. How can we handle his ticket? Please advise

Yin Yu Ada Hue's picture
Yin Yu Ada Hue on May 23, 2022 - 23:27 Permalink

OuR booking reference is 3FWFDR, my son Ethan is ASD , he cannot travel by himself, we just learned that we can apply for free domestic flight ticket for him. How can we handle his ticket? Please advise

Bernice Stapleton's picture
Bernice Stapleton on May 30, 2023 - 20:45 Permalink

Please send me information on free domestic flight ticket I grandson is Austin and can’t travel along . Also send me the information about one passenger one flight . Do the attended with their disabled child would they had to return on the next flight back to the destination or do they wait until the child a holiday is over

Teresa Quattrociocchi's picture
Teresa Quattroc... on January 7, 2024 - 12:31 Permalink

please send me the application for one person one fare for special needs. My son is autistic and cannot travel alone,

Thank you,
Teresa Quattrociocchi

Michelle lalancette's picture
Michelle lalancette on January 21, 2024 - 12:07 Permalink

My grandson is autistic and cannot travel alone i have to go get him in toronto to bring him here in winnipeg to visit