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Ryanair discriminating against disabled passengers?

Elis

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  • Added on: October 13th, 2005
Well, I haven't been able to find an english-language report on this, but there's an interesting articel in the Spiegel magazine here about Ryanair apparently removing a group of blind and vision-impaired passengers from a flight. Seems they have a policy of only four disabled passengers each trip, regardless of whether the passengers actually need assistance or have already paid for their tickets. Doesn't seem right to me.

Elis

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  • Added on: October 13th, 2005
PS, these are the folks they kicked off the flight.

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  • Added on: October 13th, 2005
At the very least, they should have figured this out ahead of time to make sure they would be able to board or add another crew member.
I can see their point that in some ways it is a safety issue if a majority of the crews time is spent helping the disabled passengers. However, they had helpers with them, and since they had already booked tickets, they should have made some kind of exception.
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Jester

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  • Added on: October 13th, 2005
Since the people had ?helpers? (I wasn't able to read the article, my german ain't so great), there should've been no issue, they should've been let on the plane.

Regarding the 4-disabled passenger limit, I'm just thinking out loud here, but if they have to add a crewmember to be able to effectively handle the extra work a disabled passenger brings, that will make their costs rise. And that will make ticket prices rise. Which makes Ryanair kind of pointless.

I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with the policy, but I imagine there's a point to it, it's not like they were all sitting around saying "let's screw the handicapped"

philosopher

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  • Added on: October 14th, 2005
the policy was proberbly made by the lawyers. they proberbly should have handled it if they overbooked the flight and gave them a good deal for going on a different flight.

that said its not like ryanair had a business class to bump people to

Elis

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  • Added on: October 14th, 2005
I guess I still don't see where Ryanair gets the right to decide which passengers are too disabled to fly and which are not. There's such a huge range in disabilities and such a variety in how much and in which ways people can be fully self-sufficient with them (not to mention the helpers who were accompanying them) that it seems like a pretty random rule. So what if some of these passengers had visual impairments? It's not like that means that they would need extra help from the cabin crew. One of them even joked to the reporters that they should have been welcome because if the plane DID go down and were filled with smoke, then the blind people would be able to lead everybody else out. And even in perfectly normal situations, if any of you have ever known blind persons then you know that they also don't need help going to the bathroom or eating their food. So where's the problem for the airline?

Jester

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  • Added on: October 14th, 2005
quote:
Originally posted by Elis:
I guess I still don't see where Ryanair gets the right to decide which passengers are too disabled to fly and which are not.


I suppose the shareholder's have the right, as it's their airline. As long as they're not breaking any laws, they can do whatever they want, which includes lousy customer service.



quote:
So where's the problem for the airline?


There is no problem for the airline-they should've let the passengers on. They should re-word their policy to allow for situations like this.

Baretta

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  • Added on: October 16th, 2005
''I guess I still don't see where Ryanair gets the right to decide which passengers are too disabled to fly and which are not.''

You can't be serious here.
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webbod

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  • Added on: October 16th, 2005
aha! there is more to this story...

fuller story in english

Ryan air no longer charges a supplement for things like wheelchairs - all passengers now pay a £1 levy instead.

In their booking terms they do say that you have to notify them to if you have any disabilities that would hamper you in the event of an evacuation.

Apparently these guys didn't tell them that they were disabled. They probably thought that it wouldn't be an issue if they had a carer with them (?) There were already three disabled people on the flight - Ryan air asserts that this is for health and safety reasons.

As unfortunate as it was - rules are rules and there were several other carriers covering the route - they didn't have to use Ryan air.

Legislation is pending...
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rew

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  • Added on: October 16th, 2005
Hi Elis, i found this article on the BBC news site - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/norfolk/4337162.stm

Wonders.. if ryan air are in breach of the human right's act?

rew

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  • Added on: April 2nd, 2006
The fact they had 'helpers' does not mean it was safe for these passengers without extra TRAINED staff.

I work on a Ski lift. I've seen paraplegics and mentally disabled people get on and off the chairs with help from their helpers. The process of just standing up and going somewhere can take a great deal of time, time that would not be available in an emergency situation. It often took two to three people to get them OFF the chair and oriented.

Ironically, when we had blind skiers, we had a lot less trouble than the mentally handicapped. With a little aid and calm, they skied much like regular skiers, though getting off required guidance, of course. Lack of coordination and mental faculties are a lot more damaging to the time required to evacuate them. Paraplegics can be a SERIOUS time issue even involving trained helpers. In the case of emotionally handicapped fliers, it would take a dedicated helper just to calm them down, if not more. Then they would have to work with the air attendant specially as well.

If these people did not alert the airlines that they were handicapped, then they could not expect special exceptions from the rules. If they had, they probably would have been steered to a different flight with little trouble.

I don't know the exact requirements and definition of handicapped. THAT would be the place to look for issues of legality.



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