A new charter might be adopted to improve disabled passengers flying experiences.
The new proposition include the scrap of the £ 2,000 pay-outs limit to all passengers whose wheelchairs were damaged during flights and new training for airline staff such as cabin crews and baggage handlers.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), has in fact recently revealed that more than half of the disabled passengers found travelling through airports difficult.
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James Taylor, Head of Policy, Campaigns and Public Affairs for Scope, a disability equality charity, told exclusively to The Voice of London: “It’s high time air travel is improved for disabled people after years of unacceptable difficulties.”
Passengers have been complaining on social media for years on the treatment that was reserved by different flying companies to disabled family members, friends or themselves.
Frontier Airlines was literally going to let my friend’s disabled father die when his oxygen tank stopped working because of “policy”. Oh, then they also lost his wheelchair. @flyfrontier wtf?
— L Fondren (@lmhoying) December 5, 2018
Ironically, while flying to give a speech to the World Bank about disability inclusion, Eddie’s powerchair was damaged by Comair (a South African franchisee of British Airways) twice and then he was told by a supervisor that he could not expect a substitution for the damaged property.
He highlights on his Twitter how these kind of responses “perpetrate the social exclusion of disabled people” and asks the company to revise their policy to grant their right of free movement.
You can read the full thread here:
Comair @British_Airways owes me a public apology & a new wheelchair. They damaged my state-of-the-art power chair on both legs of my trip to Durban, where ironically I was invited by the @WorldBank to give a keynote on disability inclusion.
— Eddie (@eddiendopu) December 5, 2018
Margaret, a travel enthusiast who suffers from Ehlers Dansol Syndrome, a condition that is not immediately visible as it affects genetic connective tissues, told The Voice of London that she believes these new regulations could lay out “a framework for improvements that are long overdue”.
Today (7 December 2018), Aviation Minister Liz Sugg will outline the new measures during a visit at Gatwick Airport.
GOV UK, explains that these new measures will also include stronger accessibility standards for airports, more awareness of disabled passengers’ rights, new storage standards for wheelchairs and improvements in “timely and simplified resolution of complaints”.
Words: Benedetta Laterza | Subbing:Mohammed Hamid