PASSENGER RIGHTS: EUROPEAN COMMISSION’S GUIDELINES TO PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
14 June 2012 /// The European Commission has launched Interpretative Guidelines whose objective is to ensure the correct implementation of the Regulation protecting the rights of persons with disabilities when travelling by plane (Regulation 1107/2006). These guidelines are not legally binding and the European disability movement welcomes this necessary interpretation that is needed to improve the journey for 80 million persons with disabilities.
> WHY ARE THE GUIDELINES NEEDED?
Although the regulation from 2006 was positive for the rights of passengers with disabilities, the European Disability Forum has been reported many daily cases of discrimination. EDF embraces this initiative from the European Commission and believes the consultation of persons with disabilities provides great improvements.
As EDF president, Yannis Vardakastanis, underlines: “Quality assistance is very important for persons with disabilities and it is positively addressed in the interpretative guidelines. The European Commission chose a balanced approach and therefore managed to protect the rights and the interests of passengers with disabilities as well as passengers with reduced mobility in a proportionate manner.”
> WHAT IS GOOD IN THE GUIDELINES?
- clearly distinguish the assistance provided at the airport from the assistance provided on the plane;
- recommend the good practice of certain air carriers to offer a free seat for the support person of the disabled;
emphasise the important issue of the training of the personnel involved in the chain of air travel;
clarify that medical certificates should not be imposed on persons with disabilities to provide evidence of their disability or reduced mobility in order to justify the assistance requested.
> THE REAL (BAD) CASES
Real examples of discrimination experienced by people with disabilities when traveling prove the need for such guidelines:
> CONTACT EDF
Guillaume Dufresne |Mobility and Transport Officer | firstname.lastname@example.org
Aurélien Daydé | Communication Officer | email@example.com