Airline Loosens Policy On Blind Passengers
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
November 17, 2005
NORWICH, ENGLAND--In response to outrage from disability advocates, budget airline Ryanair has changed its policy on carrying blind passengers, the BBC reported Thursday.
The new policy allows blind passengers who are traveling with sighted companions to fly without having to advise the airline in advance. Those passengers will also not be included in the airline's limit of four travelers with disabilities per flight.
Blind passengers who travel alone, however, would still need to notify the airline in advance, and would be counted in the safety limit.
Ryanair made the change after consulting with the National Council for the Blind of Ireland, which had criticized the company's previous policy.
Last September, airline officials ejected a group of six blind and three partially-sighted members of the Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind, from a trip to Italy, saying there were already three people with disabilities on the plane.
The group was forced to split up and take later flights. Several members had to sleep in the airport.
Disability rights groups called the previous policy "outdated".