Lately there’s been a flurry of articles, blog posts and Facebook comments about people flying with “questionable” service animals. What exactly do I mean by questionable? In this case, I believe it’s anybody who has a service animal that doesn’t have a visible disability. Continue reading
There’s certainly no shortage of denied airline boardings involving wheelchair-users who travel unaccompanied. And for the most part these incidents usually involve passengers who are unable to evacuate the airplane on their own, in the event of an emergency.
But here’s a new twist on it all. What if the airlines are unable to physically accommodate a disabled passenger? And what if this happens, not once, not twice, but three times? And what if the passenger dies as a result of that denied boarding? Well, that’s exactly what happened to Vilma Soltesz last month; and now attorney Holly Ostrov Ronai is seeking $6 million in damages from the airlines, claiming that they violated the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA). Continue reading
It what could be considered a case of karmic justice last week, a French judge found easyJet guilty of discrimination, for denying passage to three disabled passengers in 2008 and 2009. It’s long been the British air carrier’s contention that if you can’t walk unassisted to the emergency exit, then you can’t fly without a companion. They claim it’s a matter of health and safety. Continue reading
As the busy holiday travel season is upon us, I thought I’d post a follow-up to my “Don?t Believe Everything Airline Employees Say” blog. As you recall, a friend of mine was horrified when an OKC gate agent informed her that a new policy would soon require wheelchair-users to retrieve and recheck their wheelchairs at all connecting cities.
The DOT has been a busy little agency of late, with two sets of proposed access regulations released within days of each other. The first set, which was issued late last month involves accessible airline websites and airport kiosks; while the most recent set addresses airport service animal relief areas. Continue reading