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Kinetic
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Ryanair rejects passengers in wheelchair

Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:14 pm

Ryanair rejected transportation of seven passengers in wheelchair due to claimed insufficient escorts on the side of the costumer as well as due the number of said passengers..
Beforehand the flight for the wheelchair dance company, being on a trip from Salzburg to Manchester to participate in the British Open Championship, had been assured verbally and in writing by Ryanair. At airport Salzburg ground personal tried to solve the situation by rebooking, which didn't work out. Currently, there is a loss of 4000 EUR for the dance company without any compensation in sight.
Other significant details might show up as the report progresses; by now, however, there aren't any.

An article in English about it: https://vaaju.com/austriaeng/chronicle-criticism-ryanair-does-not-take-wheelchair-dancers/
 
Kinetic
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Re: Ryanair rejects passengers in wheelchair

Thu Oct 17, 2019 7:40 pm

A vice deputy of the city of Salzburg is demanding Ryanair to cover the costs of the costumers, still "waiting for a reaction", a local media website is reporting. According to the Social Assistance Councillor of the City, Ryanair never asked for the number of passengers in question. (One might assume then, that neither has the dance company.)

The article in German of the local media website: https://www.salzburg24.at/news/salzburg/stadt/ryanair-verweigert-rollstuhltaenzern-flug-politik-schaltet-sich-ein-77676754
 
Kinetic
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Re: Ryanair rejects passengers in wheelchair

Mon Oct 21, 2019 1:23 am

The issue seems to have abated in the media coverage.

Given what we know: To my understanding Ryanair is here practically (if you will, ethically), quite likely not legally, at fault.
It's not up to the costumer here to explain the company what their or what general regulations on these matters might be. As soon as the costumer is mentioning special needs, more so if you have a group given, there must be a competent clarification procedure following by the company.
And yes, in case the employees can't reply to such requests accordingly, may it be because of lack of job-specific schooling or internal communication, - it quite certainly should not become the problem of the costumer. (Not insinuating this would have been the case here, tho.)

Quite interested in your view on the case.
 
dynamo12
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Re: Ryanair rejects passengers in wheelchair

Mon Oct 21, 2019 2:02 am

We don't have Ryanair's side of the story yet.

Here is their policy - was it followed?

For safety reasons on Ryanair flights we require an able bodied person aged 16 and over to accompany a reduced mobility passenger who is not self-reliant.

Guidelines for Air Passenger Self Reliance:

The below information regarding air passenger self reliance is set out by the UK Department for Transport -Access to Air Travel for Disabled People: Code of Practice (July 2008) and in the Guidelines of the European Commission on the application of Regulation EC 1107/2006 (2012).
Each passenger must be self reliant by reference to all of the categories below. If not, then he/she must travel with an able bodied accompanying adult aged 16 and over who is capable of providing the assistance required. Otherwise, the passenger will be denied boarding.

Passengers must be able to fasten and unfasten their seatbelt when instructed to do so by crew;
Passengers must be able to retrieve and fit a lifejacket unaided when instructed to do so by crew;
Passengers must be able to don an oxygen mask unaided when instructed to do so by crew;
Passengers must be able to understand the safety briefing and any advice and instructions given by the crew in an emergency situation.
We also expect passengers who require assistance in any of the following areas to travel with a personal assistant. Failure to do so may lead to denial of boarding if we reasonably believe that the passengers’ carriage may pose a risk to safety.

Feeding (passengers must be able to feed themselves unaided);
Toileting (passengers must be able to use to the toilet facilities unaided);
Medicating (passenger must be capable of administering their own medicines and medical procedures).
Where a reduced mobility passenger is travelling with an accompanying adult, we will do our best to ensure the accompanying passenger is seated next to them.

Each able bodied accompanying adult cannot assist more than one reduced mobility passenger and must purchase the prevailing adult fare.


Don't know EU rules, but in the US if one person can't fly and then a big group decides of their own choice not to fly, compensation and accommodation only needed for that one person.

Practically, much easier to re-accommodate one person or book them separately. It sounds like Ryanair was happy to take all but one passenger in the group? The group refused?

I know Ryanair is being separately sued for insufficient accommodation of a disabled passenger on a flight.

I think for safety / union reasons flight attendents cannot help a passenger into or out of the aisle wheelchair and/or the bathroom and only one is equipped on the plane.

This is not uncommon in the Caribbean oddly for weight and balance issues on small planes. I have been on a number of flights where at the last minute they make people deplane. Anyone know why this can't be figured out earlier?
 
Kinetic
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Re: Ryanair rejects passengers in wheelchair

Mon Oct 21, 2019 2:44 am

"The below information regarding air passenger self reliance is set out [...] in the Guidelines of the European Commission on the application of Regulation EC 1107/2006 (2012). Each passenger must be self reliant by reference to all of the categories below. If not, then he/she must travel with an able bodied accompanying adult aged 16 and over who is capable of providing the assistance required. Otherwise, the passenger will be denied boarding. [...] Each able bodied accompanying adult cannot assist more than one [emphasis by me] [...] ."

Thanks for this passage. This makes it perfectly clear, that Ryanair is legally on the safe side.
Nobody of the costumers got any compensation by Ryanair, no matter if one or all would have a legally backed demand.
Regarding similar habits (as you have brought forward a region talking from your personal experience, I guess):This was part of my question, too; shouldn't it be the responsibility of the one providing the service?
 
Kinetic
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Re: Ryanair rejects passengers in wheelchair

Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:53 am

Btw, I stumbled onto this story by chance, since it has happened in my country. I ve found it first of all interesting, for it has given me a reason to look into a domain I tend to dwell for some afternoons and evening ocassionally (yea, aviation). Now the story itself, as you might have seen, does open up into any possible direction. The thick strokes are drawn by commercial aviation, but then, as well, all of a sudden you see local politics emerge, as they come up, only a day, and only a quote, a vanish. The point I am interested the most, however, is the relation of the "taker" to the "giver" in a "free-market society" as we have it. Perhaps we can rethink here one or two thinks.
 
Waterbomber2
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Re: Ryanair rejects passengers in wheelchair

Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:28 am

I think that legally speaking, Ryanair can't be blamed, but commercially I think that they are deeply in the wrong, but so were the group and all the "professionals" cough cough, manning this flight.

In fact, facing the seemingly impossible and unpleasant situation, they omitted the easiest solution, ie to ask other present passengers if they would like to accompany the less abled person(s) for the duration of the flight.

This option should have been clear to the crew, the gate staff but also the group itself.

It looks like it was amateur hour at Salzburg airport.
 
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usdcaguy
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Re: Ryanair rejects passengers in wheelchair

Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:47 am

All of this makes it clear, then, why so many things about traveling by air are such stumbling blocks for the disabled in Europe. In many airports, there are gates that lead to staircases that wind down to buses that carry you to air stairs, etc. In the States, nobody is required to accompany you, and most carriers make an effort to park only at jet bridges if one is available. Deplaning by stairs almost never happens these days, and if it does, the handling crew MUST use a chair lift to help. People with limited mobility also can request special help with being wheeled to the gate or baggage claim. In Ryanair’s case, they’re telling the disabled they cannot travel independently and do not deserve the right to assistance. All so incredibly self-serving and mean.
 
Kinetic
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Re: Ryanair rejects passengers in wheelchair

Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:48 am

Yea well,
I like your ad hoc idea, and I think, it really could have worked our there.

We have to distinguish, tough: There is the legal dimension, which seems to be clear; there is the situation itself, and perhaps it could have - at least be solved by workarounds; there is the aftermath for the agents involved (besides others Ryanair and the dance company); and there is us within or not so within the civial and commercial aviation drawing conclusions from it; eventually, as I was insisting before, there is even a dimension encompassing broader regions of society.
 
Kinetic
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Re: Ryanair rejects passengers in wheelchair

Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:01 am

Usdcaguy, in Austria an infrastructure which is completely aware of disabled people is a given; probably in the majority of the EU.
Even more so such difficulties as described seem anachronistic.
 
Kinetic
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Re: Ryanair rejects passengers in wheelchair

Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:05 am

Btw, the city of Salzburg has compensated the passengers involved already.
Yet why would have Ryanair paid 4K?!
(and changed their internal policy)
Aaaayright.
 
Kinetic
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Re: Ryanair rejects passengers in wheelchair

Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:06 am

Lo siento, negation, "why wouldnt"
 
Kinetic
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Re: Ryanair rejects passengers in wheelchair

Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:24 am

Besides, I could imagine what the thoughts of a lets say a Southwest pilot would be here.

Alright, for me this story is closed,
Cu at the next topic and
Have a good flight!
 
lutfi
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Re: Ryanair rejects passengers in wheelchair

Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:51 am

usdcaguy wrote:
All of this makes it clear, then, why so many things about traveling by air are such stumbling blocks for the disabled in Europe. In many airports, there are gates that lead to staircases that wind down to buses that carry you to air stairs, etc. In the States, nobody is required to accompany you, and most carriers make an effort to park only at jet bridges if one is available. Deplaning by stairs almost never happens these days, and if it does, the handling crew MUST use a chair lift to help. People with limited mobility also can request special help with being wheeled to the gate or baggage claim. In Ryanair’s case, they’re telling the disabled they cannot travel independently and do not deserve the right to assistance. All so incredibly self-serving and mean.


Technically it is the EU regulations that tell disabled people they cannot travel independently, not Ryanair.
 
mjoelnir
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Re: Ryanair rejects passengers in wheelchair

Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:15 am

If a company accepts a deal verbally and in writing, I can hardly see how they can back out legally out of the deal when it comes to fulfilling the deal.

IMO airlines are given wide latitude, to not inform their customers and use misinformation to back out.

The deal was not about flying an undefined number of passengers in wheelchairs. The deal was about flying a group of seven passengers in wheelchairs, a team.

RyanAir should have informed the group, that they could not take 7 on the same flight, instead of giving a written confirmation of the group being able to fly. If passengers should know all the rules, than it is the minimum that the people responsible for accepting a booking at RyanAir for a group of 7 wheelchair passengers should know all the rules.

IMO RyanAir should be in for a hefty fine for breach of contract.
 
Kinetic
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Re: Ryanair rejects passengers in wheelchair

Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:45 am

@mjoelnir, the point is that neither side has clarified. Ryanair hadn't known prior the check-in the amount, it was apparently 1+n. When they were in fact checking-in, they would have deny.

@lufti, thanks, right on, it's EU regulations.
 
Kinetic
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Re: Ryanair rejects passengers in wheelchair

Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:53 am

(You know, if I would have studied law, I would be after them 24/7. This is beyond me. Really.)
 
Noshow
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Re: Ryanair rejects passengers in wheelchair

Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:00 pm

So what arrangements exactly had the group made with Ryanair before? That FR would transport them (...if they provide the required assistants themselves)? Ryanair has a history of denied boarding including handicapped people if requirements are not met. Not sure if they offer to provide any extra flight attentants themselves on request for some extra fee at all.

Having said that practically I have seen them handling travellers with small children and handicapped people (with their own assistants) quite well with prefered boarding.
 
Kinetic
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Re: Ryanair rejects passengers in wheelchair

Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:14 pm

This could be reread, I think, in the first part of this thread. I'll give you a one sentence answer: Apparently there was no concrete communication between them. Ryanair didnt know they were 7, nor that there were less than 7 escorts; nor did they thought to mention it.
Absurdly, Ryanair would have had no prob with 6. So they ve said.

The real point, I think, isn't this, tho. Employees were all of a sudden confronted with a situation they hadnt been informed for and so on. The point is rather that Ryanair wouldnt try to calm and ethically satisfy the position of the costumers afterwards.
 
Kinetic
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Re: Ryanair rejects passengers in wheelchair

Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:24 pm

(I m not into the business to tell them how to do their work beforehand; obviously one could and should have don it better; and referencing to an idea stated before, this could actually even get relevant in Court - or not. But not show any kind of connection to their costumers - in wheelchairs - after such a story -. Man. I find this disgusthing.)
 
Noshow
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Re: Ryanair rejects passengers in wheelchair

Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:36 pm

Practically everybody on board must be able to evacuate himself or by dedicated assistants available to him. In this sense it is okay to check before and not take them onboard if the numbers of assistants needed were not met. It would be way worse (and illegal) to take off without proper emergency precautions. To me it sounds like some error in communication and preparation before. Not clear whom to blame with the limited info available.
 
Kinetic
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Re: Ryanair rejects passengers in wheelchair

Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:54 pm

Yes, thats what we may assume, and the actualy (non)flight isnt so much the issue for the people involved, it seems. Personal in situ (at place) seemed to have tried everything in their current reach.
 
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usdcaguy
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Re: Ryanair rejects passengers in wheelchair

Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:30 pm

lutfi wrote:
usdcaguy wrote:
All of this makes it clear, then, why so many things about traveling by air are such stumbling blocks for the disabled in Europe. In many airports, there are gates that lead to staircases that wind down to buses that carry you to air stairs, etc. In the States, nobody is required to accompany you, and most carriers make an effort to park only at jet bridges if one is available. Deplaning by stairs almost never happens these days, and if it does, the handling crew MUST use a chair lift to help. People with limited mobility also can request special help with being wheeled to the gate or baggage claim. In Ryanair’s case, they’re telling the disabled they cannot travel independently and do not deserve the right to assistance. All so incredibly self-serving and mean.


Technically it is the EU regulations that tell disabled people they cannot travel independently, not Ryanair.


That doesn’t matter. Ryanair is not helping passengers that need assistance. There’s no law stopping them from providing help to the disabled. To not do so amounts to discrimination.
 
icelander
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Re: Ryanair rejects passengers in wheelchair

Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:20 pm

usdcaguy wrote:
That doesn’t matter. Ryanair is not helping passengers that need assistance. There’s no law stopping them from providing help to the disabled. To not do so amounts to discrimination.


Ryanair don’t make the rules in this case. If they are not allowed to take a person that needs a helper, and that helper isn’t there, then they must be denied boarding. End of story. This isn’t discrimination.
 
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usdcaguy
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Re: Ryanair rejects passengers in wheelchair

Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:59 pm

icelander wrote:
usdcaguy wrote:
That doesn’t matter. Ryanair is not helping passengers that need assistance. There’s no law stopping them from providing help to the disabled. To not do so amounts to discrimination.


Ryanair don’t make the rules in this case. If they are not allowed to take a person that needs a helper, and that helper isn’t there, then they must be denied boarding. End of story. This isn’t discrimination.


According to the rules, the airline MAY require a companion to be present, but that's only if the passenger is not self-reliant and if their presence compromises safety. So basically, it's optional to require a companion. They could have chosen to do the right thing, but they decided not to accommodate the disabled passengers in the name of money. There are far too many other stories that depict Ryanair's mistreatment of wheelchair users to believe they have their heart in the right place, and even then, many lawsuits have been filed claiming discrimination.
 
mjoelnir
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Re: Ryanair rejects passengers in wheelchair

Mon Oct 21, 2019 10:09 pm

Kinetic wrote:
@mjoelnir, the point is that neither side has clarified. Ryanair hadn't known prior the check-in the amount, it was apparently 1+n. When they were in fact checking-in, they would have deny.

@lufti, thanks, right on, it's EU regulations.


It was exactly that, written confirmation, with the number of disabled persons to be transported. RyanAir did know days before the flight. The n+1 came up when RyanAir was supposed to fulfill the written contract.

But in the eyes of a,net anything that an airline decides on the day they should fulfill a contract is OK. And any airline may break any contract in regards to passengers.
 
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EA CO AS
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Re: Ryanair rejects passengers in wheelchair

Tue Oct 22, 2019 2:20 am

mjoelnir wrote:
But in the eyes of a,net anything that an airline decides on the day they should fulfill a contract is OK. And any airline may break any contract in regards to passengers.


I can't speak specifically to this incident or EU law, but regarding U.S. law and U.S. carriers, safety trumps everything, and if someone is unsafe to transport, yes, the carrier can deny travel. They'll do their level best to find alternatives, of course, but if it's a black-and-white safety issue and no remedy is available, the carrier can refuse transport.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
mjoelnir
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Re: Ryanair rejects passengers in wheelchair

Tue Oct 22, 2019 3:20 am

EA CO AS wrote:
mjoelnir wrote:
But in the eyes of a,net anything that an airline decides on the day they should fulfill a contract is OK. And any airline may break any contract in regards to passengers.


I can't speak specifically to this incident or EU law, but regarding U.S. law and U.S. carriers, safety trumps everything, and if someone is unsafe to transport, yes, the carrier can deny travel. They'll do their level best to find alternatives, of course, but if it's a black-and-white safety issue and no remedy is available, the carrier can refuse transport.


Yes safety tops everything. A rather good excuse sometimes. If you can now define why it is safe to transport 6 disabled persons, but unsafe to transport 7 disabled persons, without gripping to, but that are the rules, I like to here it.

But that is absolutely not the point. I do not even say that RyanAir should have transported the group.

The point is, that RyanAir did not have to accept the booking of transporting 7 disabled persons in writing, when they were not prepared to do it. Simple.

For you the passenger is supposed to know the rules, but you seem to excuse the staff of an airline, when they do not seem to know the rules. If RyanAir would have voiced their objections at the time of booking, the dance group could perhaps made some other plans.

The time for RyanAir to explain the rules was at the time of booking and written confirmation, not on the day the group checked in.

As always you have a wide heart to except everything what an airline does, forgiving any mistake airline staff does, while putting as always all responsibility on the passenger.

And if you do not understand, why the group would not leave one behind and therefor only part of the team would arrive at the destination for the tournament, you do not understand very much. The booking was for the group, not the singel persons.
 
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EA CO AS
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Re: Ryanair rejects passengers in wheelchair

Tue Oct 22, 2019 5:48 am

mjoelnir wrote:
Yes safety tops everything.


I'm glad we agree; you seemed to imply that under no circumstances may an airline ever deny transport:

mjoelnir wrote:
But in the eyes of a,net anything that an airline decides on the day they should fulfill a contract is OK. And any airline may break any contract in regards to passengers.


Kudos on acknowledging that safety issues are a valid reason for an airline to turn someone away.

mjoelnir wrote:
If you can now define why it is safe to transport 6 disabled persons, but unsafe to transport 7 disabled persons, without gripping to, but that are the rules, I like to here it.


As I said before...

EA CO AS wrote:
I can't speak specifically to this incident
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group

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