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easyJet facing legal action over ‘disabled safety risk’

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Budget UK airline easyJet could be forced to offer an apology and damages after removing a paraplegic passenger for being unaccompanied and a “safety risk”.

French passenger Marie-Patricia Hoarau, 39, was embarrassed by flight attendants on a trip from Paris to Nice after being told she could not travel alone.

Despite becoming disabled 19-years earlier following a cycling accident, Ms Hoarau had regularly travelled by herself around the country and had no problems on her outbound flight with easyJet.

But upon returning she was ushered away from the plane and told to wait until an escort could be found, despite several passengers offering to help.

“The pilot took the decision to take her off the plane because he considered that her presence presented a safety risk,” read a statement from easyJet.

According to the airline’s policy, disabled passengers need escorting so that they can be properly cared for in the event of an emergency and can be evacuated from the plane as quickly as possible.

But Ms Hoarau has vowed to challenge the British airline through the French courts under anti-discrimination legislation, claiming she is “still waiting for a personal apology from easyJet” and will take the case to British Transport Minister, Lord Adonis.

“I’ve received no phone call from them,” added Ms Hoarau. “Their boss said he was sorry for my unpleasant experience, but only in a press release.”

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Written by Andrew Hodges

April 2, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn

Tagged with ,

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