Well another airline made the news last week for failing to accommodate a wheelchair-user. This time the culprit is Tiger Airways, a no-frills Singapore-based carrier.
According to reports of the event, the Maillis family was on their way to a long anticipated holiday in Greece when Tiger Airways refused to board 24-year old Anastasia, who uses a wheelchair. The family claims they received prior approval from the airline for Anastasia to travel with them to Greece, and even produced a letter from their travel agent confirming that fact.
Still the gate agent would not budge.
Finally after a lengthy discussion Anastasia was asked to prove she could walk, in front of other passengers. Then she was rudely asked, “What is wrong with you”? But alas, after all the hoop-jumping, the answer was still no.
Admittedly the family is rather tight lipped about the specifics of the incident, as they are still trying to salvage their $15,000 vacation and they are currently negotiating with Tiger Airways. Still the outcome was the same – Anastasia was denied boarding because she is a wheelchair-user.
On a semi-related subject, in the course of my research I discovered that Tiger Airways is another airline that charges passengers for airport wheelchairs. Another strike against them.
Of course Tiger Airways CEO, Tony Davis is very apologetic about the incident, but he pretty much stumbled all over himself in his official statement when he said that the airline does not discriminate against “physically challenged” passengers. He then quickly explained that they do “differentiate between the physically challenged and the incapacitated.” He then added that they are not under any obligation to accommodate the incapacitated.
And apparently a 24-year old wheelchair-user who can walk and is traveling with four other family members who are willing and able to assist her, is incapacitated.
Sad. Very Sad.
Best bet is to avoid Tiger Airways at all costs until they come to terms with reality. Perhaps we can incapacitate them in the marketplace.
Tell a friend!