Blind friends 'disgusted' after airline says they are not allowed to fly alone

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by sobore, May 3, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
    Original Member

    sobore Gold Member

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    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/n...ey-are-not-allowed-to-fly-alone-29239197.html

    Two blind friends who were refused flights because the airline said they couldn't perform "safety-related actions" have said they were "disgusted" by the decision.

    Lauren Wigglesworth, from Urmston in Greater Manchester, and Stephen Sherwood, from Hereford, planned to fly to Majorca, Spain, in May.

    Before the flight, they requested help putting on life jackets, and Thomson Holidays told them they couldn't fly.

    The company said all passengers must be able to put on a life jacket and oxygen mask without help.

    Read More: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/n...ey-are-not-allowed-to-fly-alone-29239197.html
     
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  2. aaucello

    aaucello Silver Member

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    Hmm so babies who obviously can not perform those duties on their own can fly and they couldn't?
     
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  3. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    Yes, it is correct that babies cannot fly alone. You have to ship them by surface freight. Never makes my kids happy.
     
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  4. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    That actually sounds like a pretty good idea. :D
     
  5. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    Not sure I disagree with this. I'm sure there are plenty of blind people who are able to navigate the safety requirements but these travelers seem to have specifically called attention to their inability to do so.

    Also, I find it odd that anyone was actually trying to put on their life jacket in absence of a genuine emergency.
     
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  6. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

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    Babies can't fly unaccompanied, of course. Unfortunately some think they can after watching Superman, but that's another story. Larry's note about shipping does seem like an interesting idea though!
     
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  7. guberif

    guberif Silver Member

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    I'm sorry, we're not really comparing people that are blind with infants, are we?!?
     
  8. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    I can see both sides of the situation. A blind person would obviously need assistance in the event of an emergency, so perhaps the airline was worried about them receiving adequate help in time to prevent injuries. On the other hand, just because someone is blind doesn't mean they should be restricted from air travel. If it were me, I'd offer to move seats to sit next to them and take responsibility for assisting in their emergency measures should they arise.
     
  9. FlyingBear
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    FlyingBear Silver Member

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    So what about the people with casts on their arms? Seen plenty of those flying and sure as heck those vests are not going to get on them on their own. Then there are the elderly with limited mobility. I am sure I could come up with some more categories.

    So to address it all, I recommend that every passenger gets training in all safety procedures and equipment under as close to real as possible conditions (fire, water, panicking passengers, drunk businessmen, etc.)

    In other words, I think it was bs :)
     
  10. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    One thing missing from the article is a link to any type of U.K. regulation dealing with disabilities and air travel. We have the Air Carrier Access Act in the U.S. that does offer some protection here. Two paragraphs from it:

    http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/publications/disabled.htm
     
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  11. SM105

    SM105 Silver Member

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    The UK CAA requires all air operators to ensure that every passenger is either able to operate the seat belt, oxygen mask (if present) and flotation aids (if present) themselves or with the assistance of a designated attendant. They must also be able to reach an emergency exit either unaided, or with the assistance of a designated attendant. The number of passengers requiring assistance must not exceed the number of designated attendants. Crew members that are on duty may not serve as designated attendants, except that crew members on duty in excess of the minimum legally required to operate on that specific aircraft type may be designated as attendants provided that they are seated in the passenger cabin and in proximity to the passengers that they are designated as attendants for during take-off and landing

    In practice, a blind passenger can self-certify their capability to perform the above actions. They will be asked, similar to an exit row briefing, if they are able to perform these. If they reply in the affirmative, that is the end of the issue right there. It however appears that these passengers replied in the negative. In that case, and in the absence of a designated attendant to assist the passenger (NOTE : Most airline policies prohibit crew from requiring other unrelated passengers to serve as attendants due to liability issues), the airline has no alternative but to deny transportation.

    Air Travel for the disabled in the EU is governed by the EHRC and EU Regulation 1107/2006. A link to their regulations is http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/advice-and-guidance/service-users-guidance/air-travel/
     

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