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GMB Tells Ryanair Change Disabled Passengers Policy

Thursday, August 6, 2015

GMB Call On Ryanair At Stansted Not To Bar Disabled Passengers Form Flights Because Of Failings Of Its Own Departure Procedures

GMB completely understands the need for all flights to depart on time but it is unacceptable to blame and punish disabled passengers for the arrangements entirely outside of their control.


GMB, the union for airport ground support staff, is calling on Ryanair to change its policy on disabled passenger boarding as in recent weeks disabled passengers who have arrived at the boarding gate on time have been refused travel if they are unable to board the flight without assistance.

Stansted airport contractor Omniserv holds the contract to assist disabled passengers to board flights.

Private contracts at Stansted are appointed by The Airline Operations Committee (AOC) which is comprised of all the Airlines that fly operate at Stansted. Ryanair, as the largest airline with the most flights, dominates the AOC.

Ken Breach, GMB Organiser said, “GMB members have told the union that if the Omniserv operative is not at the Ryanair flight ten minutes before the departure time the disabled passengers are refused travel and have to re book on another flight.

GMB completely understands the need for all flights to depart on time but it is unacceptable to blame and punish disabled passengers and their families for airport operational arrangements entirely outside of their control. Its Ryanair that needs to prioritise the needs of their disabled passengers and reverse its policy of not waiting for assistance.

GMB believe that Omniserv is understaffed and so their employees have to rush from one job to the next and inevitable get behind. It is Ryanair that chooses not to hold their flights to allow Omniserve overstretched employees to reach them and operate the necessary equipment to get the disabled passengers aboard.

GMB members report that recently a disabled passenger’s relatives had already boarded the Ryanair aircraft while their disabled passenger waited in a wheelchair to board. As Omniserv did not arrive at the Ryanair flight in time the whole family got off the plane and rebook on a later flight as they refused to travel without their disabled relative.

By their actions, it's obvious Ryanair are more concerned about the aircraft departing on time than the huge inconvenience caused to their disabled passengers.”


Ends

Contact: Ken Breach, GMB Organiser on 07730 092777 or Gary Pearce, GMB Organiser on 07850 036952 or GMB Press Office on 07974 251823.

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