Once again France has stepped in to remedy access problems caused by British budget air carrier easyJet. In response to a criminal complaint filed by Joseph Etcheveste, last month a French court fined the air carrier €60,000 for their failure to allow the plaintiff to board his 2010 flight from Biarritz. Mr. Etcheveste is a wheelchair-user who was traveling unaccompanied, and according to easyJet, that was a “security problem”. Continue reading
We’ve all heard the saying, “You can’t fit a square peg into a round hole”, and in a sense that’s exactly what Air France tried to do. Earlier this year, wheelchair-user Gordon Aikman tried to fly from Edinburgh to Paris with his husband for their honeymoon. Unfortunately his plans were quashed two days before departure when Air France informed Aikman that they could not transport his power wheelchair because it was too tall to fit into the hold. Continue reading
By now I’m sure you’ve heard the story about the turkey that traveled on Delta Airlines in the passenger compartment as an emotional support animal (ESA). Not only did the privileged bird travel in comfort class, but he also got wheelchair assistance through the airport. And although the internet is all abuzz with photos and hash-tags about the incident, I think the more important issue here is — how did the turkey get on the airplane? Continue reading
I’m usually glad to see accessible travel get more mainstream publicity; however a recent article in the New York Times about airline passengers faking a disability just to get through security faster, left me a little bit irritated. Granted, the writer tried to present both sides of the story, but the article also strongly implied that folks should “look disabled” in order to avail themselves of airport wheelchairs. Continue reading
When I first read about Asiana Airlines new Hansarang Lounge — reserved for disabled customers at Seoul’s Inchon Airport — I was lukewarm to the idea. To be honest it just reeked of segregation, something that the disabled community in the US fought long and hard to eliminate. But then I looked at it from another perspective.
Perhaps, I mused, it could be the beginning of integration. Continue reading