17th Jan 2004, 15:56
Just caught the tail-end of a BBC news report saying an Easyjet captain refused to carry a group of deaf passengers because of the risk they would pose in an emergency. A bit extreme, I'd have thought, but just what are different airlines' policies on this as I'm sure many deaf or partially deaf people travel unaccompanied?
17th Jan 2004, 16:10
I remember carrying a large (30+) group of deaf passengers on a 737-200 many years ago. They were all seated together at the back of the aircraft and safety briefed in groups of 10 using the group leader who translated into signing for us. The group was seated together so as not to obstruct other pax in an evac (so the thinking went). It was probably just as well that the back was used, since the L3 door had a faulty seal and howled like a banshee during climb and descent - On this sector, for once, no complaints.
How large was the group on the EZ flight?
17th Jan 2004, 16:32
I think the report said 11 pax. BBC now saying Easyjet has apologised, and the suggestion seems to be that the group should have been separated in the cabin with each member being seated next to a non-deaf (hearing?) pax. Not sure everyone would be happy being told by a member of the cabing crew: 'if anything goes wrong, you're responsible for this person'!
17th Jan 2004, 22:10
on a slightly different note why is it disabled pax have to sit by the windows i remember once when i was doing wheelchairs i had this really bad spastic we couldnt get her near the window seat as there wasnt enough room and she was screaming like mad we just left her in the middle seat the cabin crew lady turned round to the mum and said if we crash u have to get her out and walked off.
17th Jan 2004, 23:38
I escorted (voluntarily) a group of 20 (5 escorts to 20 persons) mentally handicapped pax on a then Jersey European 146 flight LGW-JER, we looked after pax. operator and flight/cabin crew were pre-warned and were very co-operative...it went great...what is the problem?! (if not pre-arranged I can understand it)
18th Jan 2004, 02:43
According to the conditions of booking on the EZY web site, PRMs must be accompanied.
In the case of groups of PRMs, there must be one ABP per 2 PRMs.
If there were 11, and not enough ABPs accompanying...............
19th Jan 2004, 03:30
The pax were actually deaf-mute and were not accompanied by any ABPs. It would be very presumptuous to ask ABPs to take complete responsibility for them. The decision not to carry them was based on the fact that in an emergency they would be unable to communicate with cabin crew or even other pax.
I suppose that if an emergency had occurred and any of them has been injured there would be various lawsuits flying around - it would be grossly unfair if an ABP who voluntarily helped out became the subject of such a lawsuit.
I expect Ops manuals will be updated to include this particular disability - until the next case.......
Wing Commander Fowler
19th Jan 2004, 22:02
The reason PRM's are required to sit beside the window is so that they do not impede the evacuation of another who would be outboard of them..... simple really.
It's a wonderful world innit?
20th Jan 2004, 06:14
Easyjet have admitted that the Captain was wrong to have off-loaded the 11 deaf passengers; they were subsequently flown to Amsterdam on the next flight, and offered further free flights by way of an apology and compensation. I make no comment on the adequacy, or otherwise, of this redress, just passing on what was stated on the news.
The specific advice for such passengers on the Easyjet website reads as follows:-
" blind, dumb and deaf passengers
Passengers travelling with any or all of the above disabilities are requested to arrive at check-in a minimum of 90 minutes prior to the departure of their flight. Arrangements will be made for passengers to be pre-boarded in advance so that the cabin crew can explain the safety requirements onboard the aircraft."