Too tall for children's fare

A father sued Shanghai International Theme Park Co, co-owner of Shanghai Disney Resort, for refusing to issue a child ticket for his 10-year-old daughter.

A father sued Shanghai International Theme Park Co, co-owner of Shanghai Disney Resort, for refusing to issue a child ticket for his 10-year-old daughter.

According to Shanghai Disney’s regulation, only children under 140cm are eligible for a children’s ticket, which is 299 yuan. As the daughter was taller, she had to pay the 399 yuan adult price. While Disney parks in Orlando, Tokyo and Pairs charge children by age, Shanghai Disney defines children in terms of their height, in compliance with prevailing practice in China, where most tourist destinations and public transportation use height to determine a child’s fare. This fails to take into account that Chinese children have grown taller in recent decades. Statistics suggest an average 5-year-old today is 8cm taller than his/her counterpart 40 years ago.

One often cited reason for deciding on children’s tickets on height is that children don’t have identification cards. It would be thus time-consuming if the staff have to flip through household registers or birth certificates to identify age. Under such circumstances a uniform criterion on the basis of height makes things simple.

But this notion fails to keep up with times. According to the Resident Identification Card Law, all citizens under 16 can apply for a ID card with the help of their guardians. Thus it is perfectly possible to determine the age of the children by checking their ID cards.

When children of the same class have to pay differently on account of their difference in height, this constitutes discrimination on account of height.

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