easyJet is racking up quite the reputation with disabled travelers these days. And unfortunately it’s not a good reputation. As you may recall, back in December easyJet prevented Jason Roberts from boarding his flight from Luton to Dortmund. The reason? He was considered a danger because he couldn’t walk to board the plane.
And then there was Phillip McLoughlan, who easyJet stranded in Lourdes, after refusing to fly him home. The reason given was equally lame. The gate agent claimed that easyJet didn’t accept unaccompanied wheelchair-users.
Which brings us to last month, when wheelchair-user Marie-Patricia Hoarau was denied passage on her Paris to Nice easyJet flight. According to Ms. Hoarau, easyJet employees told her that she couldn’t fly because she was considered a safety risk.
And just like Mr. McLoughlan, she was allowed to travel unchallenged on her outbound flight, only to encounter problems on her way home. When she arrived at the gate in Paris, she was sent back to check-in because she was unaccompanied.
Worse yet — even after another passenger volunteered to act as her attendant, Ms. Hoarau still wasn’t allowed on the flight. That just didn’t work for easyJet; because according to their regulations both passengers have to board the flight at the same time, and apparently that didn’t happen. Kind of silly. I mean just because your attendant doesn’t board the flight with you, does that mean she’s not your attendant any more? Think about it.
So what happened to Ms. Hoarau? Well, she was reticketed for the next flight, and easyJet found another passenger willing to accompany her. And apparently they boarded that flight together, so it all worked out.
Seems like a lot of hoops to jump through, when Ms. Hoarau could have been easily accommodated on her first flight. But I guess that’s just not the easyJet way.
In the end, flying easyJet really isn’t that easy — especially if you’re disabled.