It appears that Singapore Airlines is becoming a little more progressive in working with disabled passengers – or should I say in allowing them to fly unaccompanied.
You may remember an incident from several years back, where Mr. Masayuki Ota was denied boarding by the airline on a flight from Tokyo to Bangkok. Singapore Airlines determined that Mr. Ota, who has cerebral palsy, was incapable of flying alone.
Ironically he has lived alone since 1997.
Mr. Ota ultimately took the issue to court. Unfortunately the ruling came down in favor of Singapore Airways.
Disappointing, but not totally unexpected.
In any case, I just ran across a somewhat uplifting epilogue to the case. It seems that Mr. Ota decided to fly that same route on Singapore Airways again last year. This time the airline let him travel unaccompanied. Subsequent reports indicate that the flight was uneventful and Mr. Ota had no problems boarding the return flight.
So even though he lost in court, Mr. Ota (and other disabled travelers) got their justice. I’m happy to hear that Singapore Airways in finally changing their tune.
Progress sometimes takes the long way home.