Test case launched after man charged for wheelchair at airport

A landmark test case is to be brought against airline Ryanair
and the British Airports Authority after it emerged disabled people
were being charged to use wheelchairs at Stansted Airport,
writes Sally Gillen.

The Disability Rights Commission announced plans to bring court
action against the airline after a traveller complained that he had
to pay £18 each way to use one of the airport’s

Bob Ross, who has cerebral palsy and arthritis, said: “It is
unfair and discriminatory to charge disabled people more to

Bert Massie, DRC chairperson, said he was “appalled” by the
policy of charging for wheelchairs.

“Not only is it morally unjustifiable, but we believe it
contravenes the Disability Discrimination Act,” he added.

The DRC has written to Ryanair and the British Airports
Authority giving them 14 days’ notice of legal action after
attempts to negotiate with both parties failed.

A spokesperson for Ryanair said the company believed it was the
responsibility of the airport to provide wheelchairs.

But the British Airports Authority said that after check-in it
was the responsibility of the airline to provide wheelchairs, and
Ryanair was the only company that did not provide them.

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