Blind World Magazine


United Kingdom.
Charity urges boycott of Ryanair.





October 14, 2005.
BBC News, UK.




A disability group is calling for a boycott of budget airline Ryanair after a group of blind and partially-sighted passengers was ordered off a flight.


The group of nine, from Norwich, were told to get off the plane at Stansted because the flight was over its quota for disabled people.


Scope, a leading UK disability charity, urged disabled and non-disabled people to blacklist Ryanair.


A spokeswoman said the airline would not be commenting on the boycott call.


"Ryanair has been warned time and time again that its treatment of disabled people is simply unacceptable" Scope's chief executive Tony Manwaring


Since the incident in March became public this week, the airline has also had its nomination for a prestigious disability-friendly award withdrawn by the charities Sense and Deafblind UK.


The panel of judges behind the Deafblind Friendly Corporate Awards decided to withdraw the company's nomination for a prize.


The airline was down to the last three in the travel and transport category of the awards, due to be presented later this month.


Calling for a boycott of the airline, Scope's chief executive Tony Manwaring said: "Ryanair has been warned time and time again that its treatment of disabled people is simply unacceptable - but it seems they have their heads in the clouds. It's time the public clipped their wings."


Ryanair has said it has a quota of four disabled people on flights for safety reasons and believed its policy was in line with other airlines.


A spokeswoman said the airline would not be commenting on the call for a boycott or the withdrawal of the award nomination but insisted the quota system would stay.


She added: "This limit was originally agreed with the UK's Disability Rights Commission for safety reasons.


"This is so our crew can attend to these passengers individually in the case of emergency evacuations."



Source URL: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/4343798.stm.




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