I was appalled to read that a 10 year old boy in a mobility scooter was asked to prove his disability by Jet2 staff. The ‘Best airline in the UK’ and 7th of the ‘Top 10 airlines in the world’, is surely guilty of the worst treatment of a disabled person imaginable. Those of us living with invisible disabilities like Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) are used to this, but singling children out in this way is outrageous. 13 million people in the UK live with a disability; just how many cases like this do we have to read about before we get action?
UK airports have been branded ‘poor’ on accessibility by the CAA for the second year running. Our members experience check-in chaos; lost wheelchairs; are left unattended for hours in the wind and rain – on trains planes and automobiles – when will it end?
This shameful episode with young Alex took place in Croatia; no excuse whatsoever for inadequate training. I have been a vocal critic of successive Governments on accessibility, but Esther McVey MP is right to say that summer jobs develop more soft skills. The hard truth however is that improved accessibility and treatment of the disabled is not seen as ‘sexy’ or commercially viable. Perhaps if these companies have to start defending themselves in the courts, things might finally change.
If you need our support, call 0800 043 1935 or visit www.britishpolio.org.uk
National Chairman, The British Polio Fellowship