Volume 4 Issue 1 - January 01, 2006

Air Deccan to charge additional Rs. 500 from passengers using wheelchair

D.N.I.S. News Network- In a discriminatory policy move, Air Deccan has announced an additional charge of Rs. 500 for passengers using wheelchairs while fixing a ceiling of four wheelchair users per flight.

The change in service policy, posted on Air Deccan website, means that any additional passengers with wheelchairs would be denied entry simply on grounds of being orthopaedically disabled. The company notice says: “Only four wheelchair passengers will be accepted per flight…and Air Deccan reserves the right to deny wheelchairs to passengers if not requested in advance.”

These changes by the Bangalore-based no-frills flight service come as a shock at a time when globally, airlines and airports have been providing special services for disabled passengers.

India in general has extremely poor travel facilities when it comes to the needs of disabled people and such a discriminatory policy will only add to the humiliation that a disabled person has to face while traveling.

In an ironic contrast, on the same day (15 December), European Parliament adopted a new regulation allowing disabled air passengers to travel with comfort and dignity around the European Union. The new rule states that airports are solely responsible for assisting disabled people. Earlier, the responsibility was split between airlines and airports. It will now be illegal to refuse booking or boarding to a disabled passenger.

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