Same Difference

Jenny Gumbrell has been housebound and unable to work since returning from a trip to New Zealand in mid-February. When her flight arrived at Gatwick she discovered that her portable mobility scooter was in pieces, having been apparently dropped from a height. It was declared beyond economic repair and, since then, the multiple sclerosis sufferer from Winchester has fought in vain to persuade Emirates Airlines to pay for a replacement.

“I can’t leave the house unless I pay for a taxi,” says Gumbrell, who had to be pushed by airport staff in a borrowed wheelchair to her taxi. “The scooter gives me a sense of independence, despite the difficulties caused by my condition.”

Gumbrell’s plight highlights the inadequacy of aviation law when it concerns travellers with disabilities. Airlines are only obliged to pay passengers a maximum of around £1,200 when their luggage is lost or damaged. The threshold was…

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