Air travel for wheelchair users

It's bad enough when your luggage goes to the wrong airport, but what if your legs ended up in a different country? This is the reality for many wheelchair users, who arrive at their destination with a missing or broken wheelchair.

Wheelchairs and other mobility aids are considered and treated as luggage by the 1999 Montreal Convention, with the maximum personal damage payment being $1,500 - just under £1,200. The average chair costs in the range of £2000 to £3500 and those with more requirements often have more expensive chairs. 

LDDA believe disabled passengers deserve the right to travel freely, without fear of discrimination or being left abondoned, unable to travel comfortably and safely. 

We are calling for:

  1. UNCPD to take evidence from passengers with disabilities and experts on the current state of accessibility services for passengers with disabilities.
  2. UNCPD to include assessment of air travel in their inspections of UN Member states’ disability provision.
  3. IATA to create (& pay for) an independent body to assess all claims for passengers with disabilities, whether the failure was the airline, the airport or any agent or subcontractor involved in the service. 
  4. IATA to set up a fund to pay for compensation for mobility aids damaged during the journey and for the costs of accommodation, food and clothing in the event the damage results in the passenger missing their flights (including connecting flights). IATA should charge the responsible bodies (airlines/airports/agents/subcontractors) the actual damage and costs, as well a fine of up to ten times the value of the damage to the passenger.

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