DAA News Network

UK: Ryanair guilty of disability discrimination

Posted 21/4-11 at 13.28

A judge at Northampton County Court found that Ryanair was in breach of disability laws when it left Jo Heath, a wheelchair user, on the runway at Luton Airport (in June 2008) because "all it was interested in was getting the plane airborne on time."

Jo's husband, Paul, said, "Ryanair tried to brush us under the carpet. They offered us more money than we eventually received but we refused it because they wanted us to sign a confidentiality clause."

Ryanair said it would appeal on the grounds that Luton Airport was responsible for assisting the passengers under European Union law.


Editorial comment: This is yet another case of Ryanair's disabilist practices which stretch over many years. For example, in 2004 they were found guilty of discrimination for charging a disabled man for using a wheelchair. He was but one of many disabled passengers to be charged. After this ruling, signs were placed at their check-in desks saying all passengers were being charged 50 pence to cover the cost of carrying wheelchair users. This infuriated disabled people and after protests the sign was removed and the charge dropped.


In 2005, Rynair ejected a group of blind passengers from a flight. The Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) said that it had received a number of complaints about the way Ryanair dealt with passengers with sight difficulties. "We have had eight complaints about them during the past couple of years - and we can find no record of any complaints about any other airlines.




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