BBC reporter denied boarding due to disability

Added 28/05/2012

Disabled travel insurance

As it is being reported that BBC journalist Frank Gardiner, who uses mobility aids after being injured at work, was turned away from a Kenya Airways flight at Heathrow because of his disability, we thought it was a good time to remind you of your rights under EU law as a disabled traveller and what to look for in disabled travel insurance.

According to the Mail on Sunday, Mr Gardiner was initially denied boarding because the zimmer frame he uses to walk short distances was too wide for the plane’s aisle, he was also denied the use of an aisle wheelchair, which is designed for aeroplane aisles, to allow wheelchair users to visit the toilet during a flight.

Mr Gardniner was eventually allowed to board the plane, but only after he and his friends strongly appealed to airline staff, causing them all stress and embarrassment.

Airport and Airline Services for Disabled Travellers

Travellers with a disability who need to use mobility aids should not have to experience this kind of treatment on flights.Under EU law, disabled people and those with reduced mobility have a legal right to assistance when travelling by air.

To ensure you get the support you need, it’s important to let the airline know of your needs at least 48 hours before you are due to travel.

More information on your rights as a disabled traveller

Disability Travel Insurance

Living with a disability should not stop you from enjoying a holiday abroad and the use of a mobility aid, such as a wheelchair or walking stick is likely to be vital to that enjoyment.

When you are looking for disability travel insurance make sure that the policy includes cover for the loss, damage or theft of mobility aids, they are not cheap and are also not something that you could easily manage without.

Find out more about disability travel insurance

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