Jetstar bans wheelchair-bound pair from flight

Discussion in 'Travel News' started by Slats7, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. Slats7

    Slats7 Active Member

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    More bad PR for Jestar. It's good to see no news still using B717 picture though!


    BUDGET airline Jetstar has been criticised after two disabled passengers were not allowed to board a flight. Tanya Black and Dan Buckingham, who are television presenters of New Zealand disability show Atttitude - were told that they were not allowed on the plane without their carers, the Dominion Post reported.

    This is despite the fact that the pair, who were due to fly from Auckland to Wellington, were accompanied by an able-bodied colleague.
     
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  2. samh004

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    #2 samh004, Apr 13, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2011
    Probably comes down to them not reading the conditions and just assuming JQ would look after them because they’re [-]radio[/-] TV presenters.

    It seems in every case where a disabled pax has been denied boarding it's been because they didn't notify the airline or follow the correct procedures.

    So another media beat up.
     
  3. Nigelinoz

    Nigelinoz Established Member

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    #3 Nigelinoz, Apr 13, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2011
    Not important but they aren't radio presenters,they are TV presenters and I think it's very presumptuous of you to make assumptions about their views,certainly there have been cases of celebrities throwing their weight around and coming the old 'DYKWIA"line but we have no proof that applies in this case,also why do you assume they didn't read the terms and conditions?and the Jetstar terms and conditions only state
    In this case they had an able bodied person with them so why the problem? and also if it's true (guess we will never know) that they were told they could fly if they didn't go to the media then that is very poor PR imo.
    Sorry Sam I think you are wrong in claiming this is a beat up,seems to me that Jetstar made an error,that's why they apologised surely.
    Cheers'
    N'oz
     
  4. samh004

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    I note it says "the passenger will need to travel with an Accompanying Passenger/Carer", however there were two of them, so my logic would dictate that they needed 2 carers, not the 1 (regardless of the fact the person travelling with them was not a carer.

    The fact they’re apologising and refunding them is just PR, but this sort of stuff happens all the time on LCC’s like Jetstar (mostly Jetstar), probably due to poor training and ignorance, but I would have read that condition as needing a carer each, you, and them evidently, read it another way.

    And considering the amount of times JQ gets in the news for not being friends to disabled pax, why would they bother trying to fly with them? If you know there’s likely to be a problem… booking on them is an odd thing to do.
     
  5. medhead

    medhead Suspended

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    I find your logic strange. Admittedly, I'm on iphone and can't see the full quotes from the T&C but the bit you quoted doesn't say the magic word "each". So it seems you are just assuming that they each need an extra passenger. I don't think that is a safe assumption.
     


  6. Nigelinoz

    Nigelinoz Established Member

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    The article does say that
    and IMO that is a legitimate question because there was apparently only one able bodied person with a female and a male passenger and that could have presented a potentially embarassing situation if the passenger of the opposite gender to the carer needed to use the toilet during the flight however the passengers themselves obviously didn't see it as an issue and if that was the main problem why didn't Jetstar just tell the passengers that when they checked in instead of causing needless hassle to their customers.
    I will defend airlines of any brand when I think they need to be defended,but I'm afraid in this case I think Jetstar handled the issue badly.
    Cheers
    N'oz
     
  7. medhead

    medhead Suspended

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    I'm sorry but potential embarrassment is really no concern for the airline, that is something between the people travelling. By making the disabled passengers get they own carer jetstar have put responsibility for such considerations onto the passengers. IMO jetstar have waived their right to determine who is an appropriate carer. (provided the T&C are met)
     
  8. Nigelinoz

    Nigelinoz Established Member

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    I agree but then it again comes down to the T & C's and whether Jetstar requires a carer per passenger or not,and if their T &C's are ambiguous about it then I fail to see why they initially denied boarding considering that the passengers had a carer,albeit only one,with them? assuming that the passengers had met the T&C's as currently displayed on the Jetstar website.
    Cheers
    N'oz
     
  9. samh004

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    That is true, it doesn’t say each, but then where do you draw the line and say an additional carer is needed, at 3 pax? 4 pax? 35 pax?

    I’d just assume a carer each makes the most sense.
     
  10. Nigelinoz

    Nigelinoz Established Member

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    #10 Nigelinoz, Apr 13, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2011
    The T&C's do actually say
    which could be taken to mean an accompanying passenger/carer is required per traveller who may require assistance,however even if that is the interpretation that Jetstar puts on it I still see no reason for keeping them waiting for 20 minutes then deciding that they would be allowed to fly provided they didn't go to the media(If that really happened)it's just messy customer service I reckon.
    Cheers
    N'oz
    Edited to add: Just been reading the original story here-
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/4879583/Jetstar-stops-disabled-pair-flying


    and it does appear that they do require one carer per disabled traveller.
     
  11. medhead

    medhead Suspended

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    In this case it would appear that the only issue is assisting with the toilet and emergencies. As I assume (yes maybe an unsafe assumption) that the 2 assisted pax can feed themselves and speak English. In such case I would draw the line at the number of toilets on the aircraft as that will be the limit on the amount of assistance required.

    In any case, one person can provide the assistance required by jetstar for 2 others. They might not have time to relax but they could do it.

    Yes I've finally checked the T&C.
     
  12. medhead

    medhead Suspended

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    I read similar on the SMH website. That only tells me that particular captain requires one carer each, on the basis of the toilet reason. I don't think the toilet reason is valid. The captain's decision doesn't match the jetstar T&C. But ultimately that is within the captain's rights to make that decision and that gets to the underlying reason for what happened. Overall a massive grey area with no correct answer.
     
  13. casanovawa

    casanovawa Established Member

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    Just doing an OHS rep course at the moment and going into the strict Duty of Care that companies have to workers and customers, and the very real threat of action being taken against them if they break the rules, even if the workers or customers don't want to follow them for convenience/comfort etc, its not an option that the business has to waive their DoC...

    An airplanes cabin has to be able to be evacuated in a certain amount of time doesn't it, i don't know the precise amount of minutes or seconds i'm sure people here do, but it seems extremely reasonable to me to say that if there is one carer amongst two (let alone 3, 4 or 5 disabled people) that in the panic'd rush for the exits in an emergency the carer and one disabled passenger will more than likely slow down the flow of passengers (putting lives at increased risk) or have to wait till near the end to exit (and will they agree to do that) but still potentially complying with time requirements...

    If the carer then has to try to come back against the flow of passengers to assist a second diabled person, well even if possible, how long will that take potentially breaking evacuation time requirements? If they can't come back then staff members will have to attempt it putting them and others at risk through distraction from their roles etc... Obviously by the third disabled person the situatuion would be getting ridiculous...

    The Captain has overall responsibility for what they allow on to their plane, their DoC to their staff and customers and abiding by laws, so I see it as perfectly reasonable that if in doubt they make the appropriate decision...

    The T&Cs sound clumsily written and need a rewrite but with a bit of common sense i think their intent can be worked out... The offer about not going to the media is clumsy but probably understandable even if the solution could potentially breach OHS laws... Let a similar couple now rock up to Tiger or VB and see what the response is, or maybe in 6 months time when the furor has died down and isn't front of mind to all airlines businesses....
     
  14. medhead

    medhead Suspended

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    Duty of care is a great point to bring up*. I would suggest taking one step backwards in considering the situation. I think it would be a failure to meet to duty of care if jetstar's position is that the carer, who has no training in aircraft emergencies, is entirely responsible for evacuation of the disabled person/s.

    As you say DoC cannot be waived, not even by the assistance T&C. So in the event of an evacuation the cabin crew will have to assist. Remember also that in NSW for example, maybe federal as well, things like duty of care are judged from the point of view of full hindsight and unlimited resources. Therefore jetstar cannot have a defence related to not providing enough staff to assist passengers in an emergency.

    Finally, I don't recall the T&C requiring the carer to have physically evacuate the other passenger.

    * as in a strict sense I'm not sure any airline can met the duty of care when carrying disabled passengers. I've seen a disabled passenger in an aisle seat with other passengers climbing over into the window seat on qantas. I wonder what would happen there in an evacuation. That unrelated person in the window seat would be trapped.
     
  15. casanovawa

    casanovawa Established Member

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    At least one passenger with a carer, perhaps with FA assistance or near by passenger, might stand a chance of evacuation, but in a panic it quickly becomes every man and woman for themselves... Not sure how those 150kg people who take up two seats would go evacuating down a narrow aisle either... But plainly 2 disabled people to one carer is putting everyone at risk....
     
  16. medhead

    medhead Suspended

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    That disabled person even with a carer creates an extra risk. The point is that 2, 1 or no carers. The OHS duty of care means the crew must assist. So it is not putting anyone at anymore risk by not having 1:1 accompanying persons.
     
  17. casanovawa

    casanovawa Established Member

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    #17 casanovawa, Apr 13, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2011
    Then airlines should probably put something in the T&C's that the carer commits to at least assist with the disabled person in an emergency (perhaps with some extra instruction or sitting within two rows of exit door etc) just as the person who sits in the exit row commits to following certain guidelines (without specific prior training) or volunteers to be removed to another seat...

    If there is no even implied obligation for the carer to assist with the disabled person, then clearly with only 3 or so FAs on most narrow body planes, anymore than one disabled person on the flight for which a crew member would carry a burden to provide assistance too is over taxing trained company staff... In such a case a limit of one disabled passenger per flight could probably be justified to comply with DoC...

    Edit: Especially in the case that in an accident it is not unreasonable to expect that one FA could be incapcitated, the other 2 or 3 can hardly commit themselves exlusively to heroically saving disabled people that were forseeable and recognised before the flight took off... Obviously they will try to assist injured/disabled people in the accident, but you don't overload them before even setting off....

    I'll bring the topic up tomorrow in class and see what the instructor says about it...
     
  18. jaffa

    jaffa Member

    I find J*'s position on this a bit hypocritical to say the least.

    With underage flyers ie: unacompanied children I have seen 1 J* FA travelling with 6 kids all under the age 10.

    It would seem to me there is not that much difference between the needs or safety issues of handicapped passengers or unacompanied kids.

    Yet they seem fine to have multiple kids allowed with one (carer/FA) yet a totally different set of rules for the disabled.

    In an emergency l would be happy to be seated next to one or two clear headed disabled adult pax rather than a bunch of panic ridden unaccompanied kids.

    But then again maybe l am missing the point.
     
  19. samh004

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    So you’d rather, in an emergency water landing say, have two disabled (lets say paraplegic) wheelchair pax next to you, instead of two 6 year old children? I’m not sure if you’ve seen how energetic children are, but they can move fast, and are generally pretty level headed if there’s one exit and they know where it is. The wheelchair pax… no offence, but not so quick to get there I would think… :rolleyes:
     
  20. jaffa

    jaffa Member

    Yes!
    I would rather a life experienced inteligent adult head & mind even without legs in a emergency, than a unexperienced undeveloped unpredictable mind with legs.

    My experience with children in trauma is they are totally unpredictable and in many instances illogical and uncontrolable until intervention.

    My experience with the adult disabled is that their thinking, logic and inteligence Is just like the rest of us. And in most instances has allowed them the ability to work with and overcome their limitations.

    I would assist both regardless.

    The disabled are more able to help me help them, than children can.

    Irrespective of the above, l still see J* as hypocritical in the treatment of the disabled to that of unacompanied minors.
    I don't see any difference in the level of assistance and care that both groups need.
     

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