WGPlus (Archive)

Montreal Convention not fit for purpose?

British air carriers should cover the full cost of damage they cause to wheelchairs & mobility devices, according to Chris Holmes, Disability Commissioner of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.  One of Britain’s most successful Paralympic athletes and former Director of Paralympic Integration for London 2012 has criticised British Airways and London City airport for its treatment of disabled customers.

Lord Holmes spoke out after the electric wheelchair of Athena Stevens, a playwright & actor with cerebral palsy, was irreparably damaged on a flight from London to Glasgow last October. Although the wheelchair was worth over £25,000, no appropriate offer of compensation has been made and, before Stevens began legal action, she had received only £500 from London City Airport to cover taxi costs.

As British Airways prepares to take Team GB to the Rio Paralympic Games in September, questions have also been raised as to whether the airline would also refuse to replace the equipment of Paralympic athletes competing in Rio, in the event that something was damaged.

Researched Links:

EHRC:  Pay for damaged wheelchairs, leading Paralympian tells airlines

Making Change Happen