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Blind Friends Denied Boarding In UK  
User currently offlinereadytotaxi From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 3263 posts, RR: 2
Posted (1 year 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 4223 times:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-22365898

Your thoughts on this pls.

"Natalie Doig, campaigns officer for the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), said current flight regulations did not specify that blind people needed to be accompanied."

Can someone quote the EU regs for this situation pls.


you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineQuokkas From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (1 year 4 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 3711 times:

The EU Regulations relevant to carrying disabled or mobility impaired passengers are set out in Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006. Unlike Directives, Regulations are binding on all EU members.

Article 3 states:

"Prevention of refusal of carriage
An air carrier or its agent or a tour operator shall not refuse, on the grounds of disability or of reduced mobility:
(a) to accept a reservation for a flight departing from or arriving at an airport to which this Regulation applies;
(b) to embark a disabled person or a person with reduced mobility at such an airport, provided that the person concerned has a valid ticket and reservation."

This is tempered by Article 4:

"Derogations, special conditions and information
1. Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 3, an air carrier or its agent or a tour operator may refuse, on the grounds of disability or of reduced mobility, to accept a reservation from or to embark a disabled person or a person with reduced mobility:
(a) in order to meet applicable safety requirements established by international, Community or national law or in order to meet safety requirements established by the authority that issued the air operator's certificate to the air carrier concerned;
(b) if the size of the aircraft or its doors makes the embarkation or carriage of that disabled person or person with reduced mobility physically impossible.
In the event of refusal to accept a reservation on the grounds referred to under points (a) or (b) of the first subparagraph, the air carrier, its agent or the tour operator shall make reasonable efforts to propose an acceptable alternative to the person in question."

...and...

"2. Under the same conditions referred to in paragraph 1, first subparagraph, point (a), an air carrier or its agent or a tour operator may require that a disabled person or person with reduced mobility be accompanied by another person who is capable of providing the assistance required by that person."

The airlines also have an obligation to provide communication of essential information concerning a flight in accessible formats, including but not limited to braille. This communication includes indicating where safety facilities are located or stored, so a member of the crew would need to show a passenger where the life vest is stored but crew are not required to assist with putting it on.

If the passengers who were refused boarding had been content to be shown were the live vests were but had not required assistance with putting them on, then the airline could not have reasonably refused to carry. But where a passenger is unable to don the life vest or apply an oxygen mask without assistance, the airline can request that the passenger travels with a person who is able to assist. This may be justifiable on safety grounds because in the event of an uncontrolled water landing or sudden decompression the crew may not be in a position to render immediate assistance.

A copy of the Regulations is available from : http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/...?uri=OJ:L:2006:204:0001:01:EN:HTML


User currently offlinepusserchef From Australia, joined Apr 2010, 26 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 4 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 3238 times:

So this could also mean that all potential passengers that require a wheelchair to and from the aircraft shouldnt be boarded on the aircraft, because in fact they would be left behind onboard during/from an incident.........
Im not saying that these people shuldnt fly, but you cant allow one and refuse another.............


User currently offlinecubastar From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 408 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (1 year 4 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3119 times:

I have a question. If a passenger on the same flight and traveling to the same destination (in this instance...a charter) were
to offer to sit with (or near to them) and assist them in any way during the flight and deplaning, would that be allowed and thus fulfill any obligation necessary to abide by the rules and/or restrictions? I certainly would be willing (and happy) to do so if I was on board. As a former qualified crew member it should be an additional plus. I have had many, many sight and otherwise physically challenged passengers on my fights over the years and have never had this problem. I'm sure that many other people on board would probably offer also.


User currently offlinereadytotaxi From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 3263 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2840 times:

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 1):

Thank you.  



you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
User currently offlinezkokq From Australia, joined Mar 2012, 477 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2805 times:

This makes my blood boil. Some carriers just want to make flying as hard as can be.

User currently offlineVV701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 7535 posts, RR: 17
Reply 6, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2540 times:

The original article linked by the TO says:


'The company said the pair had informed it they were unable to carry out "safety-related actions" including putting on a life jacket without help.

'The statement said the requirements were part of "the Department of Transport's Code of Practice that has been confirmed by the UK Civil Aviation Authority, to which Thomson and every other UK airline must adhere".'


So what the CAA says must be relevant.

On the CAA site at:

http://www.caa.co.uk/default.aspx?catid=2200&pageid=12682

It says:

'Be aware that you may need to take a travelling companion if you need personal care (for example in using the toilet or eating). You may also need to take a travelling companion, if you are unable to carry out safety requirements unaided such as using the seat-belt, fitting an oxygen mask in an emergency situation or reaching an emergency exit unaided.'

So I am afraid it looks relatively clear. The CAA says that you may need to take a travelling companion if "you are unable to carry out safety requirements unaided". As the couple were not travelling with a companion and had told Thomson they could not undertake certain safety requirements unaided, the airline elected not to accept their booking.


User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6661 posts, RR: 11
Reply 7, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 2279 times:

Quoting pusserchef (Reply 2):
So this could also mean that all potential passengers that require a wheelchair to and from the aircraft shouldnt be boarded on the aircraft, because in fact they would be left behind onboard during/from an incident.........
Im not saying that these people shuldnt fly, but you cant allow one and refuse another.............

When Air France Flight 296 crashed into the woods, three passengers died. A handicapped child, another child that didn't manage to unbuckle, and a woman who tried to help the latter.

You can't blame airlines for wanting to avoid such outcomes. Flying is not a human right.



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlinemjoelnir From Iceland, joined Feb 2013, 1449 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 2128 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 7):
When Air France Flight 296 crashed into the woods, three passengers died. A handicapped child, another child that didn't manage to unbuckle, and a woman who tried to help the latter.

You can't blame airlines for wanting to avoid such outcomes. Flying is not a human right.

Is flying not said to be the safest form of transport?

Does a blind person have a better chance on a bus, a ship, a train in case of an accident?


User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5608 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2093 times:

Quoting VV701 (Reply 6):
'Be aware that you may need to take a travelling companion if you need personal care (for example in using the toilet or eating). You may also need to take a travelling companion, if you are unable to carry out safety requirements unaided such as using the seat-belt, fitting an oxygen mask in an emergency situation or reaching an emergency exit unaided.'

So I am afraid it looks relatively clear. The CAA says that you may need to take a travelling companion if "you are unable to carry out safety requirements unaided". As the couple were not travelling with a companion and had told Thomson they could not undertake certain safety requirements unaided, the airline elected not to accept their booking.

Actually it is not clear with the wording as you noted. The wording "You may also need" indicates that it is not a requirement, if it were a requirement it would say "will" or "must" in the place of "may".

The wording leaves it open to the airline to decide and so it is the airline choosing to do this rather than offer another option and not the rule that is denying boarding.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 7):
When Air France Flight 296 crashed into the woods, three passengers died. A handicapped child, another child that didn't manage to unbuckle, and a woman who tried to help the latter.

You can't blame airlines for wanting to avoid such outcomes. Flying is not a human right.

Technically you are implying that airlines should deny boarding to anyone that either needs help or is handicapped in order to prevent "bad press" of people dying if an accident occurs. I don't think you actually believe this but that could be the result of what you state.

People can die in accidents, people can die when they help (or are blocked by) others that are in need. It is a sad truth. But I am happy that people are willing to help others, even at the risk of their own lives, and I suspect that many handicapped people understand that they are at a greater risk of injury or death if an accident does occur. I do not think they should be denied boarding because of this.

Just my two cents.
Tugg

[Edited 2013-05-03 13:26:41]


I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineikramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21532 posts, RR: 59
Reply 10, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2067 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 9):

The wording is meant to be as "sensitive" as possible and avoids absolutes. But in the legal world, that always leads to trouble.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineikramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21532 posts, RR: 59
Reply 11, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2066 times:

BTW, the general rule is, when someone in an advocacy group winds up in the news like this, its planned. Doesn't make them in the wrong, but its planned. Even Rosa Parks was a plant. She wasn't a random citizen.


Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5608 posts, RR: 8
Reply 12, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2060 times:

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 10):
The wording is meant to be as "sensitive" as possible and avoids absolutes. But in the legal world, that always leads to trouble.

I understand, I also think the ruling is written to allow airlines the ability to allow other passengers or crew to assist if needed. Obviously crew is very unlikely as during an emergency everyone of them will have other responsibilities to fulfill.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6661 posts, RR: 11
Reply 13, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 1920 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 9):
Technically you are implying that airlines should deny boarding to anyone that either needs help or is handicapped in order to prevent "bad press" of people dying if an accident occurs. I don't think you actually believe this but that could be the result of what you state.

Well bad press is one thing, and people don't want passengers to die regardless of the press they may get, but it also leads to litigation and people ending up in jail.



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
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