More dodgy dealings by airlines

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yorkie

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/norfolk/4337162.stm
Blind group told to leave plane
A party of blind and partially sighted people are demanding compensation from budget airline Ryanair after they were ejected from a flight.
The group of nine from Norwich were on board a plane bound for Italy when they were asked to get off.

Trip organiser Katherine Hurst said the stewardess told them they had too many disabled people on the flight.

A Ryanair spokesman said the incident was "unfortunate" but four disabled passengers per flight was its limit.

Later flight

"It is for safety reasons so that the crew can attend to these passengers individually in case of emergency evacuations," he said.

"This was just an extraordinary situation. It was an unfortunate incident and we do sympathise."

The spokesman said the party were asked to travel on a later flight because they did not notify the airline of the disabilities at the time of booking, and there were already three disabled passengers on board.

The ticketing agent allowed the group on to the plane without realising that it contained blind and partially-sighted people, he said.

Katherine Hurst, from Norwich, said she had called Ryanair on 20 January to check that there were no travel restrictions placed on the group.

The group - members of The Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind - comprised of six blind and three partially sighted people who were travelling with three carers.

Mrs Hurst said when she was asked if the group needed assistance she said they did not, and was told to go ahead and book.

She said when the party arrived at Stansted in September they checked-in as normal, were given priority boarding and took their seats.

She said the stewardess then told the group they had "more disabled people than they were allowed to carry".

'Publicly humiliated'


The group said they were "publicly humiliated", and one woman was so upset she abandoned her holiday.

They were split up on to two planes, and some had to spend the night sleeping in the airport.

Their case has been taken up by East of England Labour MEP Richard Howitt, who is president of the Disability Rights Group of MEPs.

"This group have had their entire holiday ruined by Ryanair," he said.

Last year, Ryanair was ordered to compensate a passenger with cerebral palsy who was charged to use a wheelchair.

Bob Ross, of north London, was awarded more than £1,300 after he challenged an £18 charge.
:roll:
 
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Guinness

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That would be typical of a low cost Airline such as Ryanair. If they travelled with BA or similar then they would of at least got a Hotel to sleep in! :roll:
 

Tom B

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You get what you pay for. If you get a ridiculously cheap plane ticket, do you expect the luxaries? You buy a seat on a plane, nothing else. If you want frills, go with BA or someone.
 

Guinness

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Cockfosters said:
You get what you pay for. If you get a ridiculously cheap plane ticket, do you expect the luxaries? You buy a seat on a plane, nothing else. If you want frills, go with BA or someone.
But all Airlines have to obey Air Passengers Rights Act. Weather your paying £15 or £589! No-Frills airlines will do anything to avoid it.....
 

Tom B

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Of course they should treat passengers decently, but do punters really expect 5* service for 1* pricing?
 

rbruce1314

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Stuff treating people decently

Stuff morality

What they have done is almost certainly ILLEGAL under British disability laws (which is where the flight started) and I hope they are fined the maximum.

What they have done is humiliate people who have done nothing wrong
 

Met Driver

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rbruce1314 said:
What they have done is almost certainly ILLEGAL under British disability laws (which is where the flight started) and I hope they are fined the maximum.
BBC's Watchdog said earlier that the Aviation industry is exempt from the DDA. However, EU legislation will be passed before Christmas which will change this.
 

Lewisham2221

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IMO, the way that RyanAir handled the situation is what is bad here. Not really the limating of disabled people on flights. As was stated, they limit the number of disabled allowed onto flights for a reason, that reason being safety. Now, where practical/safe to make things equal, go for it. If making things 'equal' for everybody could pottentially mean lots of people dying in an emergency because an airline was forced to allow a large number of disabled people onto a flight is quite a different matter as far as I am concerned.
 

Met Driver

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Marv said:
IMO, the way that RyanAir handled the situation is what is bad here. Not really the limating of disabled people on flights. As was stated, they limit the number of disabled allowed onto flights for a reason, that reason being safety. Now, where practical/safe to make things equal, go for it. If making things 'equal' for everybody could pottentially mean lots of people dying in an emergency because an airline was forced to allow a large number of disabled people onto a flight is quite a different matter as far as I am concerned.
I agree fully that the way RyanAir handled the situation was bad. Naturally, they should have told the party well in advance about the airline's issues with disabled passengers. However, I think your last statement is unfounded. It is illegal for disabled passengers to sit next to emergency exits, so it seems unlikely that a disabled passenger would hinder an evacuation (etc) following an emergency purely due to their disability.
 

Lewisham2221

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Seth said:
However, I think your last statement is unfounded. It is illegal for disabled passengers to sit next to emergency exits, so it seems unlikely that a disabled passenger would hinder an evacuation (etc) following an emergency purely due to their disability.
But as said in the original article posted by Yorkie:

RyanAir said:
"It is for safety reasons so that the crew can attend to these passengers individually in case of emergency evacuations," he said.
Without significant increases in the number of staff on the flight, it would not be possible to attend each disabled passenger individually and still properly supervise the evacuation of the aircraft.
 

Angus

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Hi,

Just seen this thread. Well, I'm glad some other people hate Ryanair now! I have to say though, much as I despise them, disabled/blind people and aircraft are not a good combination in an emergency. Now it's fine by me if blind people want to travel by air, but they have to accept that a) it's not acceptable for them to compromise other passenger's safety in an evacuation and b) their own safety will be compromised by their disability.

On the subject of Ryanair, their treatment of pilots and other staff is frankly sickening. The management are notorious for their bullying tactics. Not that any low-cost airlines have done anything good for pilots - it's been all downhill for aviation ever since the 1970s. :roll:
 

yorkie

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Angus said:
On the subject of Ryanair, their treatment of pilots and other staff is frankly sickening. The management are notorious for their bullying tactics. Not that any low-cost airlines have done anything good for pilots - it's been all downhill for aviation ever since the 1970s. :roll:
That would not be tolerated by the likes of the RMT, so how come the air unions aren't doing something and striking? If this was going on on the railways I'm sure there would be strikes!
 

Angus

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yorkie said:
That would not be tolerated by the likes of the RMT, so how come the air unions aren't doing something and striking? If this was going on on the railways I'm sure there would be strikes!
Royalscot said:
The airline industry is about as cut throat as it gets really. Whether you think this is a good thing or a bad thing is a matter of personal opinion. It's certainly made air travel more widely available, but this has been at the expensive of wages, employee’s rights, the environment and so on. In the States, the industry is in such a bad state that it's calling for car makers to increase fuel efficiency in order to secure oil supplies for aviation – Jet fuel has gone up 4 times this year. In my view it's a shame, the industry has gone from a well-paid romantic mode of transport, to cheap, load ‘em in and stack 'em high hyper-capitalist flying bus companies.
Royalscot is absolutely correct. I would just like to add my own opinion on the aviation industry, particularly from a pilot's point of view (and this is true for other staff employed for airlines as well).

The aviation industry is in a terrible state - there are way more pilots than jobs around, therefore a greater supply of pilots than demand, therefore pilots cannot charge a high price for their services so wages and conditions fall. If you strike or demand better pay and conditions, then the airlines will just turn to the thousands of unemplyed pilots who are will willing to work - you have no leg to stand on. The only airlines who used to treat their staff well (i.e. the traditional style ones) are in so much financial trouble because of competition from low-cost airlines (who make their money from using fewer staff and aircraft and working them harder to lower their capital costs and therefore their fares) that they in turn have to cut conditions in order to stay in business!

The golden age of flying from a pilot's point of view existed before three key factors came along:
1) The dramatic 1970s and 80s rise in oil prices which made airline profits harder to come by
2) Deregulation in the US and elsewhere which opened the aviation business up to competition
3) Finally September 11, which sent so many airlines into financial crisis and really opened the door for the low cost carriers who suffered least with their low overheads and high flexibility.

You might think at first that competition would provide more jobs, but not so. Before the big dominating airlines of the 1970s/80s and earlier (such as Pan Am, TWA, British Airways to name three) faced competition they were grossly overstaffed and operated far too many different types and total numbers of aircraft. This was a very desirable situation for a pilot. Jobs were aplenty, wages were high, working hours low, there were many varied and interesting aircraft types flying (not like the computerised plastic around today - does this ring any bells to followers of the railway scene?) - but no-one cared because fuel was cheap, passengers were flocking to the airlines and so they were making large profits.

However, along came the three factors mentioned above in the 1970s/2000, each one making the problems for pilots worse. The rising fuel prices made airlines realise that to stay profitable they had to cut jobs and wages, and operate a less diverse, more standardised and more efficient aircraft fleet. Deregulation in the US (beginning in the 1980s I believe, but am willing to be corrected - may have been earlier), which spread to the rest of the world soon after, opened the market up to low-cost airlines, who by reducing their overheads by as much as possible (aircraft maintenance, fuel, staff wages, staff numbers, customer service, etc.) were able to offer lower fares to passengers. This of course made them more profitable than the old-style carriers, and exacerbated the problem. Incidentally, this led to a lot of once-mighty airlines going bust (the loss of previous world-leaders Pan Am and TWA in the 1990s and 2000s respectively would have been unthinkable 30 years earlier). Finally, September 11 made things worse - a loss of passenger numbers all around (although the low-cost airlines with their greater flexibility were able to suffer less), and therefore a decrease in the number of pilots needed, yet the supply of pilots was still there.

You can see now that for anyone such as myself trying to become a pilot, there are huge problems. Airlines now no longer even pay for a new pilot's training - you have to fork out the approximately £60,000-70,000 yourself for an ATPL licence to start with (and even if you already have the ATPL you have to pay the costs of any conversion courses needed) - and that's almost universal, not just among low-cost airlines. It's rather odd that they chose to highlight the £2,700 cost that cabin crew have to pay for training in that Guardian Ryanair article Royalscot linked to, when pilots have to pay 30 times that figure for training as standard at pretty much every airline. From a passenger's point of view, I suppose times are good, because fares are lower than ever, but it is not a good time to be a pilot. And that's not even mentioning the fact that you now have to fly modern plastic crap where pilots are relegated to computer monitoring for 90% of the flight. But, returning to the point of unions, if you even have a flying job now you should be very grateful, and aren't in any position to demand better conditions or pay.

Sorry for such a long post, and sorry for being so depressing, but it's something I feel very strongly about. Thanks for reading.
 

Mojo

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Hmm..
Is this the same Ryanair that dumps their old scrap planes in areas of SSI in Scotland?
 

Angus

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Not sure about that one - but I doubt that any airline "dumps" their aircraft anywhere - just like in the rail industry, they sell them on to scrapyards who then dump them wherever. If you've heard differently though then I'm willing to be corrected.
 

Mojo

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It was in Private Eye a few months back, and yes it was traced back to them, don't believe anything has come of it yet though.
 
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