Norway airline bars Down’s passenger, pays compensation / News / The Foreigner

Norway airline bars Down’s passenger, pays compensation. Norwegian Air Shuttle has apologised to the southern Norway-based traveller and his family following being rapped by the Equality and Anti-discrimination Ombudsman. 41-year-old Tønsberg resident Stian Uthus travels to Tenerife on a holiday every year. Nevertheless, he was denied boarding the Sandefjord Torp-Tenerife flight in March 2013, NRK reported, Friday. Personnel aboard decided that he did not meet the company’s safety requirements for disabled people as he did not have a companion.

norwegianairshuttle, holidays, compensation



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Norway airline bars Down’s passenger, pays compensation

Published on Friday, 9th May, 2014 at 21:53 under the news category, by Emma Åsberg.
Last Updated on 9th May 2014 at 22:10.

Norwegian Air Shuttle has apologised to the southern Norway-based traveller and his family following being rapped by the Equality and Anti-discrimination Ombudsman.

Norwegian Boeing 737-800
The low-priced carrier currently flies this aircraft type between Sandefjord Torp and Tenerife.Norwegian Boeing 737-800
Photo: Hans Olav Nygård/Creative Commons


41-year-old Tønsberg resident Stian Uthus travels to Tenerife on a holiday every year. Nevertheless, he was denied boarding the Sandefjord Torp-Tenerife flight in March 2013, NRK reported, Friday.

Personnel aboard decided that he did not meet the company’s safety requirements for disabled people as he did not have a companion.

His parents, who had booked the ticket, had already informed the carrier of their son’s condition.

A statement from the Ombudsman shows personnel stated they“had a passenger who was to travel to TFS today. He was registered as WCHR but had Downs and wanted to travel alone…”

TFS is the three-letter airport code for Tenerife. WCHR is the IATA abbreviation for Wheelchair Ramp – defined as a “passenger able to walk by him/herself inside the plane as well as walk down and up stairs, but who requires a wheelchair or other means of transport to move long distances inside the airport.”

Despite Mr Uthus being correctly registered, the statement shows the person inside the aircraft reported that “[I] said that this was incorrect and that he probably couldn’t travel unaccompanied, especially not on a nearly six-hour long plane journey.”

“[I] was in contact with Norwegian and they would not take any responsibility in order to allow that person to travel alone. The female person who accompanied the passenger also disclosed that he was unable to go to the lavatory unaccompanied [...] informed that he would not be permitted to travel and that somebody would have to travel along as a companion if otherwise.”       

Ombudsman Sunniva Ørstavik concluded that Norwegian should have carried out more of a thorough individual assessment, that the treatment of Stian Uthus was unfair because of this, and that he should not have been denied boarding the aircraft.

“This denial was discrimination”, she wrote.

“Naturally we accept the Ombudsman’s decision, and apologise profusely to Stian for his experience,” Norwegian press spokesperson Lasse Sandaker-Nilsen said to NRK.

He added that the company will pay for the holiday Mr Uthus never got as well as the ticket for the flight he took to Tenerife a few days later with another airline unaccomopanied.

The aggrieved passenger will also receive the standard 400 euro (some 3,250 Norwegian kroner/550 US dollars/326 pounds sterling at today’s ROE) fee given to people who lose out on their flight for some reason.

Norwegian Air Shuttle’s terms of carriage state that a passenger must be able to perform the following tasks unassisted in order to travel independently:

  • Unfasten your seat belt
  • Retrieve and fit your life vest
  • Reach an emergency exit unaided
  • Fit an oxygen mask
  • Understand safety instructions given by the cabin crew (either verbally or visually)

In 2012, an American family sued American Airlines for discriminating against their 16-year-old son who had Down’s syndrome. The pilot believed the boy to be a safety threat, as the minor was agitated and could not be calmed down prior to take-off.



Published on Friday, 9th May, 2014 at 21:53 under the news category, by Emma Åsberg.
Last updated on 9th May 2014 at 22:10.

This post has the following tags: norwegianairshuttle, holidays, compensation.





  
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