Seat humiliation could have been avoided - disabled flyer

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by sobore, May 16, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/seat-humiliation-could-have-been-avoided-disabled-flyer-5439054

    A wheelchair bound woman who felt humiliated after an Air New Zealand gold elite passenger refused to give up a seat for her says the pair should never have been put in the situation.

    Tanya Black complained after she was seated on an Air New Zealand flight and was then made to move because a passenger, who had booked the seat Black was in, did not want to give up the 1A seat.
    "It's definitely not ideal," she told TV ONE's Seven Sharp.

    Nicola Owen, the Development Manager at Auckland Disability Law, said there should be anti-discrimination legislation requiring companies to plan ahead for access for disabled people.

    "New Zealand airlines need to learn to treat passengers with disabilities with respect."
    Disability lawyer Dr Huhana Hickey, who is wheel chair bound herself, told onenews.co.nz that in this situation, the elite passenger should have been given an ultimatum.


    Read More: http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/seat-humiliation-could-have-been-avoided-disabled-flyer-5439054
     
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  2. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    This counts for passengers alike, for all involved, this would be a wise move indeed.
     
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  3. StevenGerrard

    StevenGerrard Silver Member

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    This is really very bad treatment with passengers. This should not been happen again in future.
     
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  4. boondr

    boondr Gold Member

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    Definitely a screw-up by NZ, but how humiliated could she have been if she is willing to share that humiliation with the world in news stories?
     
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  5. Mapsmith
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    Mapsmith Gold Member

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    Seems like the first rows on airplanes are usually designated for the handicapped. If this is the case for Air New Zealand, then the 'gold elite' really does not have a case for demanding the seat. Unless that person was disabled as well.
    Then it comes down to disability level.
    In my opinion, 1A and 1B should be the Wheelchair seats.
     
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  6. boondr

    boondr Gold Member

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    In principal I see nothing wrong with that but that is a policy that is ripe for exploitation. We all have seen the people who exploit the airlines' generosity in wheelchair assistance through security and boarding. Who decides who is legitimately disabled, or who is "more disabled"? I can see massive problems with giving away highly desirable seats to those who claim a disability.

    My 2¢
     
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  7. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Monetary highly desirable seats, it's important to get "disabled" people enabled.
     
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  8. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    If the passenger who wouldn't move had booked the seat, I don't see why they should have to move.
     
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  9. deant
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    deant Milepoint Guide

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    In the US, a disabled person must inform the company of the disability before the "need" for assistance. If a disabled person did not do that the airline (at least in the US) would not have to accommodate the person. Not saying what the airline and passenger did was right, but what I believe the US law to be.
     
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  10. Boraxo

    Boraxo Silver Member

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    This happens in the USA when airlines punt on their obligations (not just with respect to disabled passengers but also young children, etc.). Assuming the disabled passenger provided 24 hours notice, the blame lies solely with the airline for not re-assigning the 1A passenger prior to checkin. As an elite I would be very unhappy with that but we all know seat assignments are never guaranteed. However once you are on board it is too late AFAIC - airline should not be asking people to move due to its own screw up. Even if disabled person is flying as a result of misconnect there was always time for the GA to re-program the seating prior to boarding. Inexcusable. An elite is not going to want to be forced to move to 35B through no fault of their own.

    I do think the passenger is making much ado about nothing. It isn't as if she had some hidden disability like mental illness that was suddenly and embarassingly exposed.
     

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