Espion007
Topic Author
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Woman With No Limbs Sues Air France

Sat Aug 14, 2004 10:21 am

Snakes on a Plane!
 
SafetyDude
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RE: Woman With No Limbs Sues Air France

Sat Aug 14, 2004 10:27 am

Price said she paid someone to fly with her and eventually completed the trip.
If the problem was that she needed someone to travel with her (and not the face that she did not have limbs) I can understand.

Similarly to the Iberia and deaf passengers incident, I wonder if the woman notified the airline of her disability.

 Smile
-Will
"She Flew For What We Stand For"
 
Msl747
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RE: Woman With No Limbs Sues Air France

Sat Aug 14, 2004 10:33 am

Would there not be an Issue with her being able to be buckled in? And how would she be able to evacuate in an emergency without assistance? If she was not allowed to fly because of her own safety, then AF did the right thing in my opinion.

-Msl747 Smile/happy/getting dizzy
Commercial Pilot Certificate: Single and Multi-Engine Land; Instrument Airplane
 
SafetyDude
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RE: Woman With No Limbs Sues Air France

Sat Aug 14, 2004 10:47 am

Woman With No Limbs now Sues SafetyDude for not travelling with her.
 Confused

And how would she be able to evacuate in an emergency without assistance?
My opinion is that is the biggest concern, although with such a small article, who knows.

 Smile
-Will
"She Flew For What We Stand For"
 
elwood64151
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RE: Woman With No Limbs Sues Air France

Sat Aug 14, 2004 11:30 am

Unfortunately for Air France, if they do business in the US, they have to follow our rules, just as American or United must follow the laws in France.

In the United States, we have the Americans with Disabilities Act. It states that no person can be denied access to a job, building or other activity without good reason, including safety. The airline must make reasonable accomodations for the passenger.

Now, I realize the woman was flying from England, and I do not know if they have such laws. But the woman was from the United States, I assume bought her ticket in the US, and her itinerary terminated in the US.

The ADA wasn't written with this in mind, but recent court cases have extended it in this manner.

Reasonable accomodation would have been to provide an employee who could travel with her (for a reasonable fee) or allowing a helper animal or person to travel with her and immediately return to the originating station.

I don't see any reason why AF couldn't have done this for someone who is obviously in need of help and well outside of the normal range of passengers.

While I don't necessarily agree with this application of the ADA, the only reason to deny the woman boarding is her safety, and that only in the event of a crash, in which case I'd expect her to die, anyway; or for one of the FAs to help her.

If I'm the CSA at AF, I'm calling the Station Manager before I deny this woman boarding. Not because I think she deserves special treatment, but because I don't want to be the point-man when the lawsuit comes (and you know it will, in this day and age). It's C-Y-A time.

But then, if I were in charge, someone like this probably would have gotten a first/biz-class seat free-of-charge, not out of pity for their handicap, but because that puts them close to the front exit door and makes getting them off the plane in an emergency much easier...

Enough of this diatribe...
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
 
spacecadet
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RE: Woman With No Limbs Sues Air France

Sat Aug 14, 2004 11:51 am

In the United States, we have the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Which, as far as I read it, specifically exempts aircraft (and by that I mean it's not just through omission; the law specifically says "except aircraft" when dealing with transport issues). Probably because there is another law that already applies to aircraft called the Air Carrier Access Act. This act does allow safety as a reason for denying boarding by its wording - it prohibits discrimination against an "otherwise qualified" individual. In other words, you can't discriminate against someone because it's an inconvenience or because you don't like how they look, but if they are not qualified to fly, then they are not qualified to fly.

While I don't necessarily agree with this application of the ADA, the only reason to deny the woman boarding is her safety, and that only in the event of a crash, in which case I'd expect her to die, anyway; or for one of the FAs to help her.

What the heck kind of statement is this? You'd expect her to die anyway? Well, that's reason enough to deny her boarding.

The ADA applies to publicly run airports, and yes, the airport would have to accomodate her. But from the way I'm reading these laws, the air carrier would not. Safety is the responsibility of the airline and if the airline says they won't take her for reasons of safety once she's at the gate, then it seems to me from these laws that that would be up to them to decide. If she doesn't like it, she can take them to court and hope she gets a judge who interprets the law a certain way; but the way the law is written, the airline can deny boarding.
I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
 
elwood64151
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RE: Woman With No Limbs Sues Air France

Sat Aug 14, 2004 11:54 am

What the heck kind of statement is this? You'd expect her to die anyway?

I expect her to die anyway along with all the other passengers.

I was not aware of the Air Carrier Access Act, however... I'll have to do some research...
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
 
AsstChiefMark
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RE: Woman With No Limbs Sues Air France

Sat Aug 14, 2004 12:22 pm

She doesn't have a leg to stand on.
Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Damned MSP...Red tail...Red tail
 
geoffm
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RE: Woman With No Limbs Sues Air France

Sat Aug 14, 2004 6:45 pm

"Now, I realize the woman was flying from England, and I do not know if they have such laws"

Welcome to the civilised world. Yes, of course we do.

Geoff M.
 
Blackbird1331
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RE: Woman With No Limbs Sues Air France

Sat Aug 14, 2004 7:55 pm

Some of what was said on this thread is a lot sicker than what was done by AF to this women. The next time you want to fly, go fly a kite.
Cameras shoot pictures. Guns shoot people. They have the guns.
 
Sammyhostie
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RE: Woman With No Limbs Sues Air France

Sat Aug 14, 2004 8:00 pm

A diasbled passenger who needs help getting out will always be the last passenger to be helped off the plane.

If the crew were endangering theirs ans other passengers lives by assisting their exit, the crew would make a note of her seat number and tell the emergency services on the ground.
 
L-188
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RE: Woman With No Limbs Sues Air France

Sat Aug 14, 2004 8:07 pm

I love dark humor AsstchiefMark.  Big thumbs up

And what was stated earlier is correct, a disable passenger will be removed last, and put on the aircraft first, to avoid conflicts with other passengers boarding and rushing to meet their flights.

Also if this woman needed an attendent, which is sounds like she does, then I have no problem with her having to buy another seat for that attendent. It isn't the flight attendent's job for several very valid reasons.

Of course I don't have a problem with making parents buy a seat for their kids child seat also.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
carduelis
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RE: Woman With No Limbs Sues Air France

Sat Aug 14, 2004 8:34 pm

US disability laws have nothing to do with the acceptance by an airline of such a passenger.

A disabled passenger should have an airline medical certificate completed by the passenger's doctor, confirming that they are able to fly, alone, or in this case, by the sound of it, in need of an attendant.

This information is required by the carrier who will act accordingly. If the pax are accepted then the attendant would have to pay the applicable fare.

As for emergency evacuation, able bodied people must be allowed to go first. There was a case at LHR around 1967 when a BOAC 707 engine caught fire just after take-off. It made a quick turn and landed on 23 where they evacuated the pax. A BOAC stewardess, returned into the aircaft to collect two elderly people from the rear of the aircraft. She perished with the other two. I beleive the total deaths were five.

None of us knows the AF story first hand, so really cannot make a valued comment.



Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
 
AAnalyst
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RE: Woman With No Limbs Sues Air France

Sat Aug 14, 2004 9:33 pm

US based airlines must comply with Air Carrier Access Act, which has been included in the Code of Federal Regulations, specifically 14 CFR Part 382. Below is a link if you'd like to read the entire text (quite long, and not the most stimulating thing you'll ever read).

http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=171ef351c58e52cbc518d148d6219fb8&rgn=div5&view=text&node=14:4.0.1.4.61&idno=14

According to the regulation, there are only 4 situations where an airline can require a passenger travel with an attendant:

1-The passenger is in an incubator or stretcher.
2-The passenger has a mental disability that would not allow them to comprehend, or appropriately respond to, the safety briefing
3-The passenger has a mobility impairment so severe that the person is unable to assist in his or her own evacuation of the aircraft
4-The person has severe vision and hearing impairment, which would prevent communication with airline personnel (i.e. the passenger is completely deaf AND blind).

There is a lot of controversy in the airline industry surrounding #3, especially as it pertains to quadrapalegics (or in this case, a passenger with no arms or legs). According to the DOT, and disability advocacy groups, the simple act of a passenger saying "Help, I'm over here!," or something along those lines, constitutes aiding in their own evacuation. Airlines object (but have been overruled), stating that a simple verbal communication does not constitute "aiding" yourself in the event of an evacuation.

There's an additional twist when requiring an attendant. If an airline REQUIRES that a passenger travel with an attendant, and the passenger disagrees with that assesment, the airline must pay for the attendant's ticket.

With all that said, the Part 382 (as it's commonly referred to in the industry) also states that an airline can deny a disabled passenger boarding if they believe that the person's presence on the aircraft would jeopardize the safety of its occupants. However, an airline can't require that a passenger travel with an attendant for the same reason. It's kind of a Catch-22.
Knowledge is Power. Power Corrupts. - Study Hard, Be Evil
 
ha763
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RE: Woman With No Limbs Sues Air France

Sat Aug 14, 2004 9:41 pm

Air Carrier Access Act does not apply to foreign carriers and last time I checked, Air France is a foreign carrier in the United States:

§ 382.3 Applicability.
(c) This part does not apply to foreign air carriers or to airport facilities outside the United States, its territories, possessions, and commonwealths.

However, if it did have to abide by the ACAA, there is a section on attendants and this woman definitely falls under one of the conditions that require an attendant:

§ 382.35 Attendants.

(b) A carrier may require that a qualified individual with a disability meeting any of the following criteria travel with an attendant as a condition of being provided air transportation, if the carrier determines that an attendant is essential for safety:

(3) A person with a mobility impairment so severe that the person is unable to assist in his or her own evacuation of the aircraft;

However, as an airline employee, I would never mention that a pax needs an attendant because of a ridiculous clause allowing the attendant to travel for free if the pax disagrees with the airline's attendant assessment. I would just deny the pax boarding.

§ 382.31 Refusal of transportation.

(d) Carrier personnel, as authorized by 49 U.S.C. 44902, 14 CFR 91.8, or 14 CFR 121.533, may refuse to provide transportation to any passenger on the basis of safety, and may refuse to provide transportation to any passenger whose carriage would violate the Federal Aviation Regulations. In exercising this authority, carrier personnel shall not discriminate against any qualified individual with a disability on the basis of disability and their actions shall not be inconsistent with the provisions of this Part. In the event that such action is inconsistent with the provisions of this Part, the carrier shall be subject to remedies provided under § 382.65.

(e) When a carrier refuses to provide transportation to any person on a basis relating to the individual's disability, the carrier shall specify in writing to the person the basis for the refusal, including, where applicable, the reasonable and specific basis for the carrier's opinion that transporting the person would or might be inimical to the safety of the flight. This written explanation shall be provided within 10 calendar days of the refusal of transportation.

http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/rules/382SHORT.htm
 
ha763
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RE: Woman With No Limbs Sues Air France

Sat Aug 14, 2004 9:57 pm

There is a lot of controversy in the airline industry surrounding #3, especially as it pertains to quadrapalegics (or in this case, a passenger with no arms or legs). According to the DOT, and disability advocacy groups, the simple act of a passenger saying "Help, I'm over here!," or something along those lines, constitutes aiding in their own evacuation. Airlines object (but have been overruled), stating that a simple verbal communication does not constitute "aiding" yourself in the event of an evacuation.

I have to agree with the airlines that calling out for help is not aiding in their own evacuation. The third criteria in which an attendant can be required says mobility impairment, not mobility and communication impairment. The section also does not say that a pax must meet more than one of the criteria before being required to have an attendant, the pax only needs to fall under one of the criteria.
 
carduelis
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RE: Woman With No Limbs Sues Air France

Sat Aug 14, 2004 10:34 pm

Thanks, guys, for giving us detailed info on US regulations and for enlightening us.

However, the case in question is a passenger on a non US carrier.


Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
 
SafetyDude
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RE: Woman With No Limbs Sues Air France

Sat Aug 14, 2004 10:55 pm

If the crew were endangering theirs ans other passengers lives by assisting their exit, the crew would make a note of her seat number and tell the emergency services on the ground.
If there is a cabin emergency and evacuation slides are deployed, would the FAs leave the aircraft and then tell someone on the ground that there is still a person up there, and that someone needed to detach the evacuation slide, bring stairs up to the side of the aircraft, and then get the woman?

No. The woman needs a traveling companion/attendant.

 Smile
-Will
"She Flew For What We Stand For"
 
prosa
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RE: Woman With No Limbs Sues Air France

Sat Aug 14, 2004 11:26 pm

While Thalidomide today is (rarely) used in the treatment of leprosy, as noted in the news article cited at the top of this thread, when developed in the early 1960's it was heavily promoted as a way of stopping nausea and insomnia in pregnant women. Unfortunately, thousands of women in Europe and Canada took it in early pregnancy, which is when those problems are most likely to happen - and which is just when the worst birth defects can occur. Fortunately, an alert scientist at the Food and Drug Administration had enough suspicions about the drug to delay its approval in the United States; by the time it was ready to be introduced, the news had broke about its terrible consequences.
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
 
flylondon
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RE: Woman With No Limbs Sues Air France

Sun Aug 15, 2004 5:02 am

Now, I realize the woman was flying from England, and I do not know if they have such laws

Its called the Disability Discrimination Act
 
Blackbird1331
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RE: Woman With No Limbs Sues Air France

Sun Aug 15, 2004 6:06 am

The more I think about this the more I think how a person without "any" limbs can do anything on their own, except maybe breath and talk. Who took her to the airport and expected her to have a normal flight? The burden of her having a normal flight was to fall on the carrier? I would not want the responsibility of her health and safety without prior knowledge of her condition and what resources she would need to have a "normal" flight, i.e., how does she manage to eat and take care of her sanitation needs at home? This goes beyond the average handicap situation. Maybe the laws need to be amended to address the "severly" handicaped.
Cameras shoot pictures. Guns shoot people. They have the guns.
 
elwood64151
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RE: Woman With No Limbs Sues Air France

Sun Aug 15, 2004 6:24 am

Welcome to the civilised world. Yes, of course we do.

Geoff M.


Sorry I'm not familiar with the individual laws of every single nation on Earth. In the US we have laws against bribery. In France, you can take bribes to foreign ministers off your taxes... Obviously showing that the various "civilized" nations do not in every way agree on policy and law...

Its called the Disability Discrimination Act

Thank you. Much more constructive...



Y'know... I may hve been so quick to jump on the "I don't like France" (the government, not the people) bandwagon that I didn't consider every reasonable option... With the new information from Ha763, I have to say, the CSA was well within the laws of the US.

A better question may now be whether the CSA was within the bounds of French law, or even more important, British law...

This goes beyond the average handicap situation. Maybe the laws need to be amended to address the "severly" handicaped.

Actually, I think US law is bouyed by what Ha763 posted detailing Part 382. Regardless, if the attendant is required, the passenger will get it. The question under the law is who ends up paying for it...

===========

See, given new data, even I can change my opinion...

[Edited 2004-08-14 23:25:25]
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
 
777236ER
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RE: Woman With No Limbs Sues Air France

Sun Aug 15, 2004 8:21 am

Why should Air France expose its employees to unnessecary danger because someone doesn't want to employ a helper?
Your bone's got a little machine
 
whitehatter
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RE: Woman With No Limbs Sues Air France

Sun Aug 15, 2004 8:49 am

Now, I realize the woman was flying from England, and I do not know if they have such laws. But the woman was from the United States, I assume bought her ticket in the US, and her itinerary terminated in the US.


Since when was Nottingham part of the USA?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3564226.stm

I'm going to be flamed to hell and back for this, but the reported comment of the AF staffer made me howl with laughter for its absolute crassness. Surely nobody could be that blunt.

[Edited 2004-08-15 01:51:55]
Lead me not into temptation, I can find my own way there...
 
ha763
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RE: Woman With No Limbs Sues Air France

Sun Aug 15, 2004 11:42 am

Looking up the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, it currently excludes air transport from its regulations in Part III as I found in a report considering the lifting of these exemptions:

4.6 Aviation
Aviation was omitted from the DDA on the grounds that, as it is
fundamentally an international mode of transport, it would be more
appropriate to develop good practice and standards at international level.

http://www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_mobility/documents/page/dft_mobility_507584.pdf

The report does mention the European Voluntary Commitments on Air Passenger Rights, which came into effect in Feb 2002 (and shouldn't apply in this case since she traveled 2 years prior to the implimentation of the act), and the part dealing with passenger with reduced mobility (PRM), it does say that a PRM can be refused transportation if it cannot be done safely or be physically accomodated. It also does say that if a pax declares he/she is self-reliant, that the airline should accept the pax's word and isn't obligated to provide any on-board assistance.

http://europa.eu.int/comm/transport/air/rights/doc/commitment_airlines_en.pdf

Disability Discrimination Act 1995
http://www.legislation.hmso.gov.uk/acts/acts1995/1995050.htm
 
Gnomon
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RE: Woman With No Limbs Sues Air France

Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:19 pm

Unfortunate...although I must say I agree with the AF CSA's decision, even if the verbiage was a bit crass.

EDITED -- answered my own question.

[Edited 2004-08-15 05:32:09]
 
geoffm
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RE: Woman With No Limbs Sues Air France

Sun Aug 15, 2004 6:17 pm

Elwood,

"Sorry I'm not familiar with the individual laws of every single nation on Earth. In the US we have laws against bribery. In France, you can take bribes to foreign ministers off your taxes... Obviously showing that the various "civilized" nations do not in every way agree on policy and law..."

I took offence to your original statement, as it wasn't exactly diplomatic the way you wrote it, hence the terse reply. A better way would be "I don't know what the disability laws are in England..." thus covering the eventuality that there aren't any such laws, or equally, that there are indeed such laws.

No hard feelings.

Geoff M.
 
airlinelover
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RE: Woman With No Limbs Sues Air France

Sun Aug 15, 2004 6:45 pm

I really hope this lady loses her lawsuit. And, for that matter, it would be nice if she had to pay AF's legal bills too. Emotional distress my ass. She should have KNOWN that she'd need someone to come with her.

When I was a F/A with Ryan, we would have not allowed her to board for the same reason. Safety. While if someone has their limbs and needs a little help, we can do that, but a F/A CANNOT be expected to CARRY someone out like that. Sorry, but this lady is clearly in the wrong..

She had to pay extra for someone else to come with her? Tough. She needs to learn to get over it..

Chris
Lets do some sexy math. We add you, subtract your clothes, divide your legs and multiply
 
airtran737
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RE: Woman With No Limbs Sues Air France

Mon Aug 16, 2004 3:29 am

I have to agree with Air France on this one (it pains me to agree w/the Frenchies). Per the Air Carrier Access Act section § 382.35 paragraph A and B. The woman will not win the lawsuit.
Nice Trip Report!!! Great Pics, thanks for posting!!!! B747Forever
 
7LBAC111
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RE: Woman With No Limbs Sues Air France

Mon Aug 16, 2004 11:37 pm

I'm also with Air France. As harsh as it is, this pax would have endangered the lives of at the very least, one more person, in an emergency situation. And while they allegedly referred to her as a torso - I do not for one second believe this to be true.

If Air France were to 'make reasonable arrangements' for this pax, where could the line be drawn on what is and isn;t 'reasonable'?

I do not think that AF should provide someone, and I also do not think a stranger should be tasked with this responsibility.

Had the plane crashed, and she'd survived, who is to say she wouldn't have sued her helper if she had been injured???

Debate is what you put on de hook when you want to catch de fish.
 
jouy31
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RE: Woman With No Limbs Sues Air France

Tue Aug 17, 2004 5:36 pm

Regarding compliance with British law, according to an AF press release (August 14th), the passenger has already challenged AF in a British court ... and lost.
 
7LBAC111
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RE: Woman With No Limbs Sues Air France

Tue Aug 17, 2004 6:13 pm

That, for me, proves that this woman most likely set out to sue an airline.
People like that do my nut!
Debate is what you put on de hook when you want to catch de fish.