Government set to ignore key air travel discrimination concerns | DisabledGo News and Blog


The government appears to be ignoring pleas to clamp down on significant areas of discrimination against disabled air passengers.

The concerns arose after the Department for Transport (DfT) issued a progress report on its new aviation strategy.

It included suggestions that it could “make flying more accessible for disabled passengers”, including improving assistance on planes and at airports, and “doing more to raise awareness of the assistance already provided at airports”.

The document says DfT is also working with the industry to offer better on-board facilities for disabled passengers, such as “priority wheelchair storage for quick access on arrival”.

Ministers are also examining how manufacturers could improve the design of aircraft to make them more accessible, for example by removing seats to allow passengers to travel in their own wheelchairs and ensuring that all aircraft install an accessible toilet and have an on-board wheelchair that can be used by passengers.

Another option being considered is a review of airport and airline performance standards, including looking at how long they take to provide disabled passengers with assistance boarding and leaving aircraft, and how these standards could be enforced.

This follows widespread media coverage of concerns raised by disabled passengers such as the BBC’s security correspondent, Frank Gardner, who was kept waiting on a plane for nearly two hours last month when he was told staff had lost his wheelchair.

He said on social media at the time that he was “utterly sick” of staff at Heathrow Airport repeatedly losing his wheelchair when he returned from foreign trips.

 

Source: Government set to ignore key air travel discrimination concerns | DisabledGo News and Blog

Equality watchdog calls for court action over BA’s PA ticket ‘discrimination’ | DisabledGo News and Blog


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

New CAA guidelines: Making air travel more accessible for passengers with hidden disabilities | DisabledGo News and Blog


New guidelines published by the Civil Aviation Authority set to help passengers with hidden disabilities get better support at UK airports and more effective

Source: New CAA guidelines: Making air travel more accessible for passengers with hidden disabilities | DisabledGo News and Blog