The equality watchdog has called for the courts to decide if airlines are discriminating against disabled people by refusing to allow them to make simple alterations to tickets bought for their personal assistants (PAs).
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) called this week on businesses like British Airways (BA) to ask themselves if they could be doing more to support disabled people’s access to transport.
The watchdog spoke out this week after hearing of the case of Rachael Monk.
Disability News Service (DNS) reported last week that Monk was having to pay hundreds of pounds extra to fly to Canada to visit a friend because BA refused to alter a ticket she bought for one of her two PAs, after the PA quit their job and pulled out of the trip.
As a result of the DNS story, the US-based agency AviRate – which rates hundreds of airlines across the world on their performance, particularly on the safety and satisfaction levels of passengers – this week downgraded BA’s “quality score” by 25 points, from 65 to just 40 out of 100, which saw it drop from a three-star quality score to a two-star rating.
Source: Equality watchdog calls for court action over BA’s PA ticket ‘discrimination’ | DisabledGo News and Blog
Britain’s equality watchdog has criticised British airlines and British Airways (BA) in particular – for their treatment of disabled customers as legal action is taken by an actor over alleged damage to her wheelchair. Chris Holmes, the disability commissioner on the Equality and Human Rights Commission and a highly successful Paralympic athlete, said carriers should cover the full cost of damage they cause to wheelchairs and mobility devices. Lord Holmes, who represented Great Britain for 17 years at swimming and won nine gold medals, specifically mentioned the case of disabled actor Athena Stevens. Stevens is taking legal action against BA and London City airport over damage she says happened when she was trying to make a working trip to Glasgow in October last year. She has previously said that the £25,000 chair – which she alleges was damaged beyond repair – was not insured because no company was willing to cover it. It is understood neither the airline nor the airport have
Source: Airlines criticised over payouts for damaged wheelchairs | DisabledGo News and Blog