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New EU Disability Air Travel Regulations Welcomed

26 July, 2007

Sinn Féin spokesperson on disability, Mid Ulster MLA Michelle O'Neill has welcomed new European laws that will improve air travel for disabled and older people.

Ms O'Neill said:

"I welcome the news that new European laws being introduced will improve air travel for disabled and older people. Under the new rules, airlines and holiday companies will no longer be able to refuse to fly people because of their disability.

"There have been some horror stories in the press in the last few years about the way some airlines have treated disabled passengers. Hopefully these new laws will prevent such situations ever arising again

"Airlines will also be unable to refuse to allow a disabled person to board an aircraft when they have a valid ticket and reservation. This applies to any flight leaving an airport in the European Union, and also to flights on European airlines arriving in the EU.

"The law will also cover persons with reduced mobility - a group which can include people who would not normally be classed as disabled, such as those with a temporary mobility problem. From July 2008 further rights for disabled passengers will be introduced and this will mean that people with disabilities can expect a consistent and seamless level of service from airports and airlines. Those who feel that they have been unfairly untreated under the new law will be able to make a complaint to the Disability Rights Commission." ENDS

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