Posts Tagged ‘Uncivilised behaviour’

Ryanair fails the ethics test

April 18, 2011

It is what passes for civilised behaviour which is the true test of whether we are truly developing as homo sapiens .

Ryanair lost this case but will still appeal the £1750 fine. They even offered more to settle and suppress their behaviour. But they seem to have forgotten – if ever they knew it – that ethics is more than a matter of law.

Terminal U

A disabled woman has successfully sued Ryanair after her husband resorted to carrying her onto a plane when the airline failed to provide boarding assistance. 

Jo Heath, who suffers from multiple sclerosis and is wheelchair-bound, spoke of her “humiliation” when her husband felt he had no choice but to carry her onto the plane at Luton airport, after being told their flight to Brest Brittany would leave without them. Northampton Country Court heard how the couple were left waiting by the plane for over half an hour, when a hydraulic airlift that they had requested at the time of booking didn’t arrive. Airline staff then allegedly refused to offer any boarding assistance for health and safety reasons. Mrs Heath says they proceeded to prepare the plane for departure. “They treated me like an inconvenience, not a passenger. I was made to feel like it was my fault,” Mrs Heath said. “When I was carried onto the plane, everyone was looking over their seats to see what was happening.”

The court forced Ryanair to pay the couple £1,750 compensation for its breach of contract and breaking disability discrimination laws. Mr Heath said: “We feel vindicated because we have had to fight to get where we are.”

“I don’t think Ryanair will learn from this because they tried to brush us under the carpet. The airline actually offered us more money [out of court] than we eventually received [in court], but we refused it because they wanted us to sign a confidentiality clause. But we wanted open justice.” The ruling Judge in the case, Paul McHale said: “She is a disabled person and she made arrangements with the airline to avoid humiliation in embarking the plane. The defendant did not provide that service.

“All Ryanair was interested in was getting the plane airborne in time”. The court heard how Ryanair staff, including the plane’s pilot, had said that it was their policy to leave disabled passengers behind if they could not be boarded in time for the flight – a point that Ryanair did not dispute in court, the Northampton Herald & Post reports.

Ryanair is appealing the court’s decision, blaming what happened on Luton airport.

A spokesman for the airline said: ‘Under EU law airports, and not airlines, are responsible for the provision of special assistance to passengers. ‘This service is paid for by Ryanair and the failure of Luton Airport’s service provider to assist Mr and Mrs Health in this case was not the responsibility of Ryanair.’

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