[nfbwatlk] {Disarmed} Fw: [Blind_Democrats] Airlines DiscriminatesAgainst Blind People:

Kaye Kipp kkipp123 at msn.com
Wed Dec 15 02:42:08 UTC 2010

Oh gee.  That's horrible.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Lauren Merryfield" <lauren1 at catliness.com>
To: "NFB of Washington Talk Mailing List" <nfbwatlk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Tuesday, December 14, 2010 6:10 PM
Subject: [nfbwatlk] {Disarmed} Fw: [Blind_Democrats] Airlines 
DiscriminatesAgainst Blind People:

> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: Carol
> To: blind_Democrats at yahoogroups.com
> Sent: Tuesday, December 14, 2010 4:45 PM
> Subject: [Blind_Democrats] Airlines Discriminates Against Blind People:
> Sent: Tuesday, December 14, 2010 11:32 AM
> Subject: Ryanair is attacked for ejecting blind passengers
> Ryanair is attacked for ejecting blind passengers
> By Martin Hickman, Consumer Affairs Correspondent
> The Independent, Thursday, 13 October 2005
> Ryanair, the no-frills airline, is under fire from disability
> campaigners for ejecting nine blind and partially sighted passengers from 
> a
> plane just minutes before take-off.
> The passengers, who were travelling to Italy for a walking holiday, had
> completed check-in procedures and were sitting on the plane at Stansted 
> when
> the pilot announced they would have to vacate their seats. They were then
> "marched" off and escorted back to the airport lounge.
> Some waited six hours for another flight while others were forced to sleep
> on the airport floor overnight. One of the party was so distressed by the
> incident - to be featured on BBC's Watchdog
> programme next week - she abandoned her holiday.
> "It was dreadful. You felt like a criminal. We were all devastated," one 
> of
> the blind passengers, Beryl Barton, from Norwich, said. "Five minutes 
> before
> take-off the pilot asked: 'Are many of you blind?' and we said: 'Yes, one 
> or
> two' and he said: 'We have already got disabled people on the flight and 
> you
> will have to get off'. They marched us through to the lounge and this lady
> came and she said: 'Of course, you got off of your own accord' and we
> shouted: 'No, we haven't."
> There was no safety justification, she insisted: "We can all walk.
> We've all got a partially-sighted or sighted guide. We could get off as
> quickly as anyone else."
> Ryanair explained it could not take the customers because it already had
> three "disabled" people on board (unconnected to the party) and it
> stipulates no more than four "disabled" people on each flight.
> However, the organiser of the trip, Katherine Hurst said she rang Ryanair
> eight months before she travelled to check there would be no problems. She
> said: "The pilot said: 'How would you manage if the cabin was full of 
> smoke'
> but it wouldn't make any difference. They are used to not seeing."
> Ryanair, whose chief executive is Michael O'Leary, has a controversial
> record on disabled people. Last year, it lost a case brought by a disabled
> man who was charged 18 for the use of a whreelchair.
> Afterwards it said that it would have to raise ticket prices as a result.
> The Royal National Institute for the Blind has received eight complaints
> about Ryanair, an unusually high number about one company.
> In one case, it is considering legal action. Jane Vernon, its legal 
> officer,
> said: "I think Ryanair's whole attitude towards disabled people is
> disgraceful. Saying on their website they are charging an extra 50p per
> ticket to pay for wheelchairs for disabled people is despicable."
> Ryanair insisted its policy on disabled passengers was "clearly 
> highlighted"
> on its website and did not know of the RNIB's cases. It said it had
> "repeatedly apologised" to the passengers removed from the plane.
> In-flight turbulence
> Bob Ross took on Ryanair over being charged 18 for the use of a wheelchair
> at Stansted in March 2002. When Mr Ross, a cerebral palsy sufferer, won 
> the
> case , Ryanair was quick to appeal, saying a 50p surcharge on all tickets
> would be levied to cover the cost of providing wheelchairs. They lost the
> appeal.
> In March this year, Ryanair was fined 24,000 for misleading customers 
> about
> the price of flights from Stansted.
> This year, the airline, which charges employees for uniforms, announced 
> that
> mobile phones must not be charged at work.
> An advert launched just after the London bombings featured Winston 
> Churchill
> saying: "We shall fly them to the beaches ... we shall fly them to London"
> It drew 319 complaints, but was deemed "suitably respectful" by the
> Advertising Standards Authority.
> From:
> http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/ryanair-is-attacked-f
> or-ejecting-blind-passengers-510715.html
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