noelg
Posts: 2313
Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2002 11:39 pm

Ryanair And Disabled Pax

Fri May 20, 2005 9:39 pm

So we had no choice, the mother and father-in-law needed to visit Dublin and the only flights that suited the times they wanted to travel (in the early evening) were with the delightful Ryanair.

They both suffer from M.E. so early starts are a no-no. My father-in-law can't stand or walk for long periods so he rang in plenty of time (3 weeks prior) to arrange for a wheelchair and a pusher to help him out to the plane. Never been a problem on any other airline.

They arrive at the airport 4 hours before to leave them plenty of time, and although the check-in agent had the request confirmed on her screen, she said they couldn't have a wheelchair as Ryanair "aren't insured" to deal with wheelchair pax. They questioned how they were supposed to get out to the aircraft and were told "You'll have to fight the scrum like everybody else".

They then had to walk right through the airport with regular stops which took half an hour, stand for half an hour at security by which time the father-in-law could stand no longer.

They weren't given priority boarding as disabled passengers, and had to walk out to the aircraft.

They arrived at DUB and were treated fine and given a wheelchair and pusher, likewise on the way back but guess what - as soon as they landed back at EMA they had no wheelchair even when requested.

Are Ryanair allowed to do this? I would have thought that it would be classed as discrimination?

It just seems appalling that they were of absolutely no help whatsoever at EMA - at least the DUB staff were more sympathetic (although they weren't Ryanair employees but Aer Rianta apparently).

Cheers,
Noel.
 
diesel1
Posts: 1482
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2001 9:11 am

RE: Ryanair And Disabled Pax

Fri May 20, 2005 9:53 pm

Noelg

An upsetting experience for your inlaws - I sympathise with them

Ryanair are quite slippery on issues like this - the excerpt below is from their website.


Do I need to advise Ryanair prior to travel if I have special needs or reduced mobility?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, due to the limitation of four disabled/reduced mobility passengers on each flight, notification of your condition and any request for assistance must be made through Ryanair Direct on the same day as your original booking. Failure to advise Ryanair of your requirements on the day of booking will result in the service being unavailable on your arrival to the airport and you being refused carriage


So, if your father in law called any other day than the day the flights were booked, FR could deny responsibility.

In this instance, they seem to have captured the relevant data, as it was clear that the EMA check-in agent knew, and the DUB end of the transaction was handled ok.

In this instance Ryanair have been failed by their service provider (afaik Ryanair don't handle their own flights at EMA)

Your father in law ought to contact Ryanair and explain his disappointment - perhaps a letter to the EMA handling agent too.
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RichardPrice
Posts: 4474
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2005 5:12 am

RE: Ryanair And Disabled Pax

Fri May 20, 2005 10:17 pm

Ryanair arent allowed to do that, as a recent case against Ryanair has shown

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4112791.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4114399.stm

Take it up with them! If no decent response, go to your local Trading Standards.

(Interesting how the spellcheck doesnt like the word Ryanair!)
 
diesel1
Posts: 1482
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2001 9:11 am

RE: Ryanair And Disabled Pax

Fri May 20, 2005 11:27 pm

RichardPrice

I believe you're missing the point.

Ryanair knew that Noelg's inlaws were disabled - in fact they looked after them as expected in DUB - however, Ryanair's agents failed at EMA even though they were aware of the situation.

The question is why Ryanair's agents at EMA failed to look after them.
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RichardPrice
Posts: 4474
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2005 5:12 am

RE: Ryanair And Disabled Pax

Fri May 20, 2005 11:37 pm

Diesel1

Im not missing the point, the court case said that Ryanair and the airport were JOINTLY responsable for disabled passenger carry between the checkin and the gate. The fact that Ryanairs agents let these people down is beside the point, they are legally liable for providing a wheelchair, or ensuring one is provided in liason with the airport, and as such an excuse along the lines of 'We arent insured' isnt permissable in any circumstances.

Regardless of the fact that the wheelchair was registered as a request when booking the ticket, Ryanair must provide, or work with the airport to provide, an wheelchair and cannot refuse one unless under unavoidable circumstances such as they are all already in use.

Simply put, it doesnt matter who let down these people, they were legally entitled to a wheelchair being provided for them and that didnt happen. They have a pretty solid case imho and Im sure that local trading standards would be quite happy to take such a case on considering the pretty tight rules laid down by the above court case.

Rich
 
jmc757
Posts: 1205
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2000 3:36 am

RE: Ryanair And Disabled Pax

Fri May 20, 2005 11:38 pm

It seems the fault here definately lies with the handling agent (which I think is Servisair at EMA). The comment about no insurance seems utter rubbish. If it was ok at DUB it should have been ok at EMA definatelty.

I think its at least worth following up with Ryanair, probably get nothing but still worth it. Even though its Servisair's fault, your complaint should be to Ryanair, as they have contracted Servisair to work on their behalf under their procedures. If Servisair are failing Ryanair its their issue, your contract was with Ryanair, thats where to take your complaint initially.
 
flybyguy
Posts: 1415
Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2004 12:52 pm

RE: Ryanair And Disabled Pax

Fri May 20, 2005 11:38 pm

Quoting Noelg (Thread starter):
Are Ryanair allowed to do this? I would have thought that it would be classed as discrimination?

From what I've heard about Ryanair, I'm surprised they didn't make your In-laws PAY for their wheel chairs and given standby status because:

reduced mobility passengers = delays = lower aircraft utilization = less profits

I sympathize with you greatly, and it is a shame that Ryanair can abuse passengers and still reap record profits. This gives them no impetus to make their customers happy, because it is even cheaper to treat people like cattle.
"Are you a pretender... or a thoroughbred?!" - Professor Matt Miller
 
noelg
Posts: 2313
Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2002 11:39 pm

RE: Ryanair And Disabled Pax

Sat May 21, 2005 12:15 am

Hi Guys

I think they're going to write to Ryanair to complain about this - apart from this they had a great time but we've told them we think it's classed as discrimination - see what they do!

It seems it's Servisair that caused the problem, but as Jmc757 said it's Ryanair that's contracted them so ultimately it's their responsibility. I think the helpful DUB staff weren't Ryanair staff - they were Aer Rianta staff (the airport staff). On the way back it probably would have been FR though as they would have checked in through there.
 
ltbewr
Posts: 12361
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:24 pm

RE: Ryanair And Disabled Pax

Sat May 21, 2005 1:01 am

Is is possible that you could have complained to the management authority of EMA airport that your family members were being denied proper and legally required service? I am quite sure they must have some manager on duty at your flight times and would have put the pressure on their staff, contract staff or FR to provide proper wheelchairs, security priority and so on. I would have contacted the airport management offices or gone to the service desk of that airport to remind them of their obligations under law to assist handicapped customers/pax and to make sure they did their job, and if there were any hassles, spoken to the local police authority at the airport.
 
diesel1
Posts: 1482
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2001 9:11 am

RE: Ryanair And Disabled Pax

Sat May 21, 2005 1:35 am

RichardPrice - the inference within your initial post is that Ryanair had chosen not to provide the wheelchair and as Noelg explained, that did not appear to be the case.

Further to this, Ryanair did what they should have at DUB which further demonstrates that the issue is an EMA handling agent problem.

As previously suggested, Noelg's in-laws should take it up with Ryanair, who in turn out should be raising the issue with their agents.

There is no suggestion here that Ryanair have failed - what is clear that the company they employ to carry out such tasks on their behalf have failed, and what's more have also misinformed the customer - Ryanair obviously need to ensure that their contractors do what they are contracted to do

As you correctly point out, ultimately it is the responsibility of Ryanair (and the airport) to look after passengers.

Flybyguy.. read the thread again including RuichardPrice's links so you understand the situation better, as your comments are somewhat fatuous.
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geoffm
Posts: 2082
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 5:58 am

RE: Ryanair And Disabled Pax

Sat May 21, 2005 1:41 am

Just to put the flip side across - Ryanair CAN and DO provide excellent service to wheelchair users. On occasion, or maybe at certain airports, ok they do let themselves down badly. But don't assume that they're always like this.

Example 1: my godmother, who has MS, flew from STN to somewhere in Europe down south. She had assistance every step of the way, from check-in to airplane seat.

Example 2: Four wheelchair users at BRS were boarding for DUB on the same flight as us a couple of weeks ago. They were all pre-boarded via a catering lift via the right-hand forward door - and they couldn't praise the crew enough. Again, same help given at the other end.

Geoff M.