EasyJet To Pay 70,000€ For Discrimination Against Disabled People
January 13, 2012
By: Lauranne Heres
Today, EasyJet was fined 70,000€ by a French court because they refused to let three wheelchair users on their planes back in 2008 and 2009.
The passengers, who were going to Porto, Nice and Casablanca, were refused access to their flights because the airline asked if they were able to take care of themselves in case of an emergency by doing things like putting on their oxygen masks, seatbelts and being able to exit the plane. But while the three passengers insisted that they were perfectly capable of doing said things, EasyJet didn’t let them fly.
This may be the only instance that has gone to court, but EasyJet has become well-known as the airline to avoid when it comes to physical disabilities.
It already refused access to several wheelchair users on the basis that their wheelchairs were too heavy and caused a health and safety hazard for other passengers. Apparently only wheelchairs of 60kg and under, are accepted as cargo. Or if the wheelchair is bigger than that, one would have to have it dismantled into smaller parcels that each weighed less than 60kg. For people with muscular dystrophy, this is not a viable option as their wheelchairs often weigh more than 120kg and need an engineer to rebuild if they are taken apart.
EasyJet also challenged a blind woman and her seeing dog, asking if she had a passport for the animal or other form of identity that proved it was a legal seeing dog. By the time they’d established the truth, the woman had missed her flight. (Newsjiffy)
One would hope that EasyJet would learn from their mistakes and try to make their airline more disabled-friendly, but so far their spokespeople have only reacted with shock at the court’s decision and insist they have done nothing but follow rules and regulations.