CALGARY– A contretemps erupted at the Calgary International Airport on Tuesday when a Vancouver-bound passenger was refused a seat on an Air Canada flight. Carl Framson from Granum, Alberta was attempting to board the aircraft in Calgary with his registered therapy bicycle and did not have the required paperwork with him.
Air Canada agent Ryan Tallimore stated that as long as Framson’s bicycle had been checked by a licensed mechanic and was certified free of asbestos insulation and radon gas, the airline would carry it for a fee. But he said the company’s travel policy manual did not recognize the Granum man’s bicycle as a legitimate therapy device.
“I’m kind of attached to my six-year-old Ford F-150 too,” he smirked. “But do you think I could get it aboard a commercial flight with that kind of a song and dance?”
“It’s an accredited emotional-support bicycle,” Framson fumed. “I have a letter from my shrink that says so, but I left it in my other suit.” He explained that he had bicycled the 150 kilometres in to the airport that morning from Granum. “I was in a hurry when I left home and I didn’t discover it was missing until I hit High River. By that time it was too late to go back.”
Framson said he suffers from periodic anxiety and depression. He began relying heavily on his emotional support bicycle almost four years ago. “It’s a downer that started when the Alberta oilpatch took a tumble,” he said. Now the bicycle goes everywhere with him.
“It calms me down,” he said. “Especially when I go to a Bruce Willis movie or have to travel for work. I first thought about getting a therapy cat or maybe a Saint Bernard, but there was the litterbox thing and do you how much those big beasts eat?”
The Canadian Cycling Association has come out publicly in support of Framson over Air Canada’s travel policy and the Granum resident is also now threating to bring a lawsuit against the airline in Alberta’s Superior Court.
“They allow dogs and cats and hamsters and wheelchairs,” he said, “so why not bicycles? It’s blatant discrimination and they won’t get away with it.” Source: FNT Staff