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Sunfish
7th Dec 2009, 17:07
You would think Qantas would have learned something by now. This cannot be the first time such a situation occurred.



Qantas refused guide dog and stranded blind woman
ANDREW HEASLEY
December 8, 2009

QANTAS left a blind woman distressed and stranded interstate at night because the airline would not allow her guide dog on a flight.

Qantas is not alone. Tiger Airways two days earlier baulked at letting the same woman fly with her guide dog.

Donna Purcell and her husband, Ric, of Sydney, met a wall of resistance from Tiger Airways when they tried to fly return to Adelaide with her guide dog for a weekend away last month.

First, she was told that Tiger did not take dogs, then she would have to buy an extra ticket for it and even then could not be guaranteed to fly.

Eventually she convinced the airline to take her to Adelaide, but when Tiger cancelled the return flight, she approached Qantas.

Despite at least 20 seats being available on a plane that evening, Qantas asked her to stand aside while they processed other Tiger passengers.

Qantas counter staff told her to call reservations, who told her dogs were not allowed in Adelaide airport. The airline finally booked them on a flight the next day.

It left Ms Purcell and her husband stuck in Adelaide with no accommodation arranged or food for her seeing-eye dog, Hetty, a three-year-old black labrador on a special diet.

Ms Purcell has lodged complaints with both airlines and the Human Rights Commission. ''I was shunned because I had a guide dog,'' she said.

............................................................ .......................

Qantas head of communication Olivia Wirth said the Qantas counter staff did not have the authority to make the seat allocation but the airline took the matter seriously and had apologised to Ms Purcell, offered to pay expenses and was reviewing its processes.


Qantas refused guide dog and stranded blind woman (http://www.theage.com.au/national/qantas-refused-guide-dog-and-stranded-blind-woman-20091207-kfcc.html)

ab33t
7th Dec 2009, 18:01
How does Qantas justify something like this

Dual ground
7th Dec 2009, 19:01
What a load of sensationalist garbage.



"QANTAS left a blind woman distressed and stranded interstate at night because the airline would not allow her guide dog on a flight."

Where specifically does it say she was refused travel because of the dog? It doesn't.



"Donna Purcell and her husband, Ric, of Sydney, met a wall of resistance from Tiger Airways when they tried to fly return to Adelaide with her guide dog for a weekend away last month."



"Eventually she convinced the airline to take her to Adelaide, but when Tiger cancelled the return flight, she approached Qantas."

She booked a RETURN flight with TIGER, not Qantas.

"Despite at least 20 seats being available on a plane that evening, Qantas asked her to stand aside while they processed other Tiger passengers."

Does it say that the flight departed with 20 empty seats? No it doesn't. Did the other Tiger passengers just walk up and get put on the flight or had they already contacted Qantas reservations and been accepted for carriage? I notice that isn't mentioned. Why I wonder?

"Qantas counter staff told her to call reservations, who told her dogs were not allowed in Adelaide airport. The airline finally booked them on a flight the next day."

The staff said dogs were not permitted in the AIRPORT, not that guide dogs were not permitted in the cabin. So where does the "journalist" get "the airline would not allow her guide dog on a flight" from? Is it possible that the staff were not told, or perhaps misunderstood, that the dog in question was a guide dog and not a pet?

"It left Ms Purcell and her husband stuck in Adelaide with no accommodation arranged or food for her seeing-eye dog, Hetty, a three-year-old black labrador on a special diet."

And were they the only Tiger passengers who didn't get on the Qantas flight? Why should Qantas arrange accommodation for another carriers pax? And in what way is it Qantas's fault that the dog had no food? Surely common sense dictates that the Purcells should have taken a day or twos extra food for the dog on their trip, particularly as it requires a special diet?

"Ms Purcell has lodged complaints with both airlines and the Human Rights Commission. ''I was shunned because I had a guide dog,'' she said."

Can't comment on Tiger as a quick look at their website doesn't seem to give information on passengers travelling with guide dogs. Anyone know what their Terms and Conditions of carriage are, with regard to Guide dogs? Qantas website is very clear. But then the Purcells were not booked with Qantas were they?

.................................................. .................................

"Qantas head of communication Olivia Wirth said the Qantas counter staff did not have the authority to make the seat allocation but the airline took the matter seriously and had apologised to Ms Purcell, offered to pay expenses and was reviewing its processes."

Seems to me that Qantas have been more than fair, considering that the couple in question weren't even their passengers OR responsibility anyway.

inandout
7th Dec 2009, 19:51
For :mad: sake if you have a guide dog you should get priority- Full Stop.
and for those who do not understand why go see what the guide dog association does. They are fantastic.
In 2009 our :mad: airlines/airports should know by now how to do the right thing.

Dual ground
7th Dec 2009, 19:59
I don't doubt that The Guide Dog Association do fantastic work, but in what way does that relate to any of the points that I made in my post?

How did QF "strand" a passenger who wasn't even booked on their service?

And for arguments sake should a blind passenger who is travelling with an able bodied companion and a guide dog be given priority over say, a mother travelling with an infant, or two?

Jabawocky
7th Dec 2009, 20:58
No they should not egt any special treatment at all.

What should happen is ALL the Qantas/Jetstar/Virgin/Tiger etc ticketing staff be it check in or telephone sales or whoever has anything to do with processing these enquiries should be fully briefed on what all the requirements are, and be authorised to make decissions as need be.

End of the argument really.

Sunfish
7th Dec 2009, 21:01
And for arguments sake should a blind passenger who is travelling with an able bodied companion and a guide dog be given priority over say, a mother travelling with an infant, or two?

Yep, take the dog, leave the kids, they are much more trouble than the dog.

C441
7th Dec 2009, 21:11
Tiger screw around a punter with a return airfare on both legs of her flight, eventually leaving her in Adelaide. Qantas don't/won't carry her (regardless of her special circumstances) and yet our unbiased media, looking for a headline, place the blame squarely at Qantas's feet.:\

To cap it off, Qantas, not Tiger, pay for her expenses in order to offset the negative publicity.

RedTBar
7th Dec 2009, 22:06
"QANTAS left a blind woman distressed and stranded interstate at night because the airline would not allow her guide dog on a flight."

Where specifically does it say she was refused travel because of the dog? It doesn't.
Dual Ground,to help your level of comprehension,try reading the sentence more than once and without blinkers on.Generally if you are visually impaired and require a guide dog then the dog travels with you.:ugh::ugh::ugh:


The problem here is that everyone is too worried to make a decision lest they lose their jobs.How on earth can an organisation work if it's employees are too scared to make decisions.
Qantas counter staff told her to call reservations, who told her dogs were not allowed in Adelaide airport.
Really,tell that to customs and quarantine.There is a big difference between taking your pet dog 'Rover' and taking a guide dog.Communications have a big part to play in this stuff up but it comes down to training and giving the right people the job not just those prepared to take the lowest pay and conditions.

RENURPP
7th Dec 2009, 22:45
Dual Ground,to help your level of comprehension,try reading the sentence more than once and without blinkers on.Generally if you are visually impaired and require a guide dog then the dog travels with you

If she did as she was asked and rang the reservations people, did they know she was blind? Its reasonably difficult to identify a blind person over the phone, is for me anyway, unless they tell you.
Did she simply say my Tiger flight was cancelled and I want to travel with my husband and my dog?
We don't know the answers so get over it.

ozbiggles
7th Dec 2009, 23:18
Doesn't matter which airline it was.
Its POOR customer service, particularly when they should all be on red alert for this issue at the moment.
I'm sure if those of you defending it lost your sight your point of view would change very quickly. It might be a bit rough on Q when T started it but it would have been a good chance for Qantas to save the day (with no PR but thats not what you do it for is it?).
Renurpp ..... I'll just let your defence go through to the keeper.:ugh:

fritzandsauce
7th Dec 2009, 23:34
Its not exciting when Tiger do it because thats what we have come to expect from them however we don't expect to hear such stories from Qantas.

The counter staff are used to everything being booked in advance and the special service request for the dog being organised prior, however if they can't process it themselves why didn't the counter staff call reservations direct and ask them to process the booking for Ms Purcell ... To me that would of been customer service.

p.j.m
7th Dec 2009, 23:59
For http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/censored.gif sake if you have a guide dog you should get priority- Full Stop.I agree with he other comments, this lady and her dog should NOT get priority.

There were 20 other seats and probably 20 other passengers who needed to get home to be at work the next day.

This woman and her dog and her husband did NOT have reservations, and probably no compelling need to be home that night, so the airline prioritised appropriately.

Just because she's blind, there is no reason to give her special treatment. In the circumstances, she got the appropriate service, and was offered a seat (or 3) the next day, and those more in need of an immediate trip home got it as well.

ditch handle
8th Dec 2009, 00:08
That's right p.j.m.

She's not "really" disabled is she?

Idiot.:ugh:

rmcdonal
8th Dec 2009, 00:57
So if Tiger canx the flight then shouldn't they have organised flights for their pax? I am not familiar with their terms and Conditions.

inandout
8th Dec 2009, 02:08
Crap, for gods sake people they should get priority THEY ARE BLIND , have some humanity.

p.j.m
8th Dec 2009, 02:31
She's not "really" disabled is she?

Well she's "abled" enough to go away for a weekend with her husband and her dog, so obviously she is capable of living away from home.

As she would have no urgent requirement to be home that evening, there is no reason she should get priority over those who DO need to be home that night.

SHEESH! people, grow up, this is nothing more than another media beatup and she would have been less inconvenienced than many others by not getting home that day! Just because she's blind doesn't mean she MUST get priority in everything in life.

SH&T happens, she's not a Qantas customer, there was ZERO reason to give her priority over other stranded passengers.

Look what happened - she got bumped for one day AND SHE SURVIVED!, Who would have guessed?

ozbiggles
8th Dec 2009, 03:28
No it shouldn't, because it happened, Q admit in this case it could have been handled better. Tiger should also rate a mention in the title.ANY other airline should be named as well that drops the ball like this.
Having heard her briefly in an interview and what appears to have happened is that she was given LESS priority than 'able' body people. (You listening here PJ?).
ie. Other passengers from the Tiger flight were processed at the Qantas check in. BECAUSE she had a guide dog she was told she had to ring reservations and deal with them (a cruel and inhuman punishment in itself .... sarcasm by the way). So instead of being treated equally or with more compassion she was treated with less.
Now I know some people here have an issue with the jetstar incident with the Wheelchair incident. That was a bit of a beat up IMHO. Having heard this lady on Radio she seems very reasonable.

Dual ground
8th Dec 2009, 09:09
@ ozbiggles


"Other passengers from the Tiger flight were processed at the Qantas check in. BECAUSE she had a guide dog she was told she had to ring reservations and deal with them"

Was this said in the interview with Ms Purcell? I admit the only thing I have to go on is the original article. But as I asked before, is it not possible that the pax who were boarded had already contacted reservations by this point and been accepted? Maybe the Purcells just "missed the boat" so to speak?

@ fritzandsauce

"The counter staff are used to everything being booked in advance and the special service request for the dog being organised prior, however if they can't process it themselves why didn't the counter staff call reservations direct and ask them to process the booking for Ms Purcell ... To me that would of been customer service."

Yes it would, however don't you think the counter staff had enough to do with processing all the pax originally booked on the flight? I also would hazard a guess that the Purcells were not the only Tiger pax trying to get on the flight. The counter staff have to prioritise and quite rightly, in my opinion, the priority lies with pax who have originally booked with Qantas. For everyone else the "you have to contact reservations" seems to me to be perfectly fair and reasonable.

@ inandout

It seems to me that you refuse to see the bigger picture here. The only bit of the article you seem to have read is "blind" and perhaps "her seeing-eye dog, Hetty, a three-year-old black labrador on a special diet."

Why was it necessary to include the dogs name, age, breed and medical condition in this report? Answer, to suck in people like yourself and make the issue emotive and not rational.

@ RedTbar

I suggest you are the one wearing blinkers. Re-read my original post and the original article. Did I not mention that the Reservation staff maybe were not aware that the dog was a guide dog and not a pet? The staff were not "too scared to make a decision" as you suggest, but in fact "did not have the authority to make the seat allocation" as stated by the Qantas press release.

And once again I ask, at what point was it expressly stated that "we will not allow you on this flight because you are blind and have a guide dog"?

Answer, nowhere. So why does the journalist state categorically:-

"QANTAS left a blind woman distressed and stranded interstate at night because the airline would not allow her guide dog on a flight."


I accept that everyone is entitled to their own point of view and so for the record here is what I think:-

Qantas have been done over by a sensationalist piece of garbage posing as journalism. The villain of the piece, Tiger, has pretty much gotten off scot free. In the article it mentions that Tiger gave her grief on the outbound sector but everyone is latching on to the apparently misleading headline. Qantas flew her the next day, probably on the first available flight. Before the story hit the paper.

Qantas have apologised and offered expenses. What have Tiger done? Taken the money and run. You notice that Tiger didn't fly her the next day, Qantas did. And yet people are still bashing Qantas. What ever happened to the "fair go" principle?

maggotdriver
8th Dec 2009, 09:56
I caught the 601 this morning before this article had hit the stands. Guess what? Smiling gentleman with guide dog went down the aisle. Makes me wonder...:=

Gnd Power
8th Dec 2009, 10:18
Cant see anything wrong with the article......QANTAS check in staff stuffed the lady around.

The same article also bags TIGER for similar issues with the lady.

Guess the major difference is that QANTAS professes to be full service and TIGER admits to being low cost. The end result is that they both behaved the same

Seems that check in has let the QANTAS team down, doesn't it?

RedTBar
8th Dec 2009, 10:58
Dual ground,I understand we are relying on the media for the story but why exactly do you think QF initially refused her carriage?
Was it because she was wearing ugg boots?
Was it because she was a security risk?
Was it because she is visually impaired?
Or do you think it was because she had a guide dog?

The journo even said it"QANTAS left a blind woman distressed and stranded interstate at night because the airline would not allow her guide dog on a flight."
Despite at least 20 seats being available on a plane that evening, Qantas asked her to stand aside while they processed other Tiger passengers.

Qantas counter staff told her to call reservations, who told her dogs were not allowed in Adelaide airport.
It was not because she was visually impaired but perhaps if it was not because of the guide dog you can give us a reason why?

BigGun
8th Dec 2009, 11:08
So the qantas staff may not have been upto date on the P&P manual about guide dogs.

How early did she turn up to the flight? My guess is not early enough for it to be sorted out there and then, and attention was passed to other persons so they all did not miss a flight.

just another theroy to the rumor network ;)

Pera
8th Dec 2009, 15:00
How early did she turn up to the flight?

I hope you're not saying blind people should turn up earlier?

Dual ground
8th Dec 2009, 17:04
RedTBar

Perhaps you can give me the quote from the article where Ms Purcell states that the Qantas staff said "Sorry, you cannot take a guide dog on board a Qantas aircraft"?

Can you? No you can't, because at no point is Ms Purcell quoted as saying that she was told this. Now if such a quote existed I guarantee you it would be in there to back up the story. This is what makes me so suspicious of the whole article. It is short off verified facts and attributable quotes, and very long on emotive padding. The dogs name,age ,breed and dietary requirements. What has that got to do with Qantas boarding policy?

So when the journo says "QANTAS left a blind woman distressed and stranded interstate at night because the airline would not allow her guide dog on a flight." that, as far as I'm concerned, is pure supposition at the best, and intentionally misleading at the worst.

Once again I ask, were the Purcells the only people who had to contact Reservations? The reason, I suspect, that they did not get on the flight that evening is that other Tiger pax beat them to it.

In fact the quote should read "Tiger Airways left a blind woman distressed and stranded interstate at night, because the airline cancelled a flight. The woman, her husband and guide dog flew home, the next day on Qantas"

Again I ask, why is Qantas getting the caning when Tiger caused the whole situation in the first place?

Tempo
8th Dec 2009, 17:31
Why are we surprised?

Just another example of the pathetic levels of Journalism that exists these days. There is no longer any point in watching the news or reading the paper.

10% fact and 90% bulls*%t.

Journalists are in the same league as Real Estate agents.

Sunfish
8th Dec 2009, 18:44
EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU HAS MISSED THE POINT!

Which is very simple:


.....In the "old" QANTAS, which so many of us new and loved, the Qantas counter staff would have listened to her story compassionately, used their initiative as they were encouraged to do, immediately arranged a ticket, possibly even gratis, and maybe an upgrade to boot, personally escorted her on to the aircraft and made sure she and her dog were settled.


...And the following day in the newspaper you would be reading a story about how Qantas rescued a blind Lady and her dog from a rotten, uncaring, unreliable, foreign owned airline called Tiger, complete with photo of Labrador in cockpit with smiling Qantas pilot and Attendant.

....and the Adelaide counter staff would receive a "thank you" letter from the boss.

.... and all visually impaired people and their families would be making a mental note to only travel Qantas in future.

...and everyone else in Australia would be getting that warm feeling (not from something running down their leg) and thinking "maybe Qantas is a bit more expensive, but it's worth it to have people treated like that." The Qantas Icon would be a little bit shinier,and their market share a little more secure.

OK, so I may be a little over the top, but that's what a good marketer does when someone comes to them from their competitor in distress. You convert them to your way of doing things, not confirm that you are just as rude and stupid as your competitor.

RedTBar
8th Dec 2009, 19:37
Perhaps you can give me the quote from the article where Ms Purcell states that the Qantas staff said "Sorry, you cannot take a guide dog on board a Qantas aircraft"?
For the last time dual ground try reading.I even high lighted it so it was easy for you to see but apparently thats not enough.:ugh:
QANTAS left a blind woman distressed and stranded interstate at night because the airline would not allow her guide dog on a flight.
I'll make it even easier Dual Ground if you cannot read a full sentence.
the airline would not allow her guide dog on a flight.
How about this one.
Qantas counter staff told her to call reservations, who told her dogs were not allowed in Adelaide airport
I know for most of the article the journo was talking in the third person dual ground but the last sentence of the article might give it away even to you.
Ms Purcell has lodged complaints with both airlines and the Human Rights Commission. ''I was shunned because I had a guide dog,'' she said.
EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU HAS MISSED THE POINT!

Which is very simple:


.....In the "old" QANTAS, which so many of us new and loved, the Qantas counter staff would have listened to her story compassionately, used their initiative as they were encouraged to do, immediately arranged a ticket, possibly even gratis, and maybe an upgrade to boot, personally escorted her on to the aircraft and made sure she and her dog were settled.
Err No sunfish not everyone missed the point because thats exactly what i said in my earlier post.

Staff today are so worried about making decisions they fall back on the old favourite response of 'NO'.

This practice began in Darths reign and is a sad indictment of the airline today.I agree that in the old days there would have been someone who would have understood the situation and as well as helping the lady made full use of it as a PR exercise as well.

Dual ground
8th Dec 2009, 19:59
RedTBar

I am more than capable of reading complete sentences thank you. I am also capable of distinguishing between attributable quotes and opinions. The sentence you highlighted is opinion, not a quote.

Answer this question if you would.

Why is there only one quote in the whole article? My opinion is that the journalist could not get anything "juicy" enough.

And that quote ''I was shunned because I had a guide dog,'' what question was asked of her to get that response? Maybe the reason the question does not appear is she is been quoted out of context?

Also I believe that the statement about "dogs are not allowed in the airport" has been covered already. The general consensus appears to be that this was down to a misunderstanding/lack of information passed that the dog in question was a guide dog.

I have been polite to you throughout this discussion, I would very much appreciate it if you would return the compliment. I apologise if my refusal to accept the journalists work as cold hard fact is frustrating you, perhaps you could enlighten me as to why you seem so convinced that it is?

p.j.m
8th Dec 2009, 21:36
Which I suspect is what the check in staff was doing - processing the 'regular' Tiger passengers first, and then the 'special needs' one upon completion, thus moving the others through quickly.

I agree, and probably if some of those tiger passengers stumped up for first or business, they would have got even more priority then the other tiger passengers.

RedTBar
8th Dec 2009, 22:09
dual ground,At no point have I been impolite even as frustrating as this is.

Why do you think the airline refused carriage?

I have asked you this several times and you have not answered.

If you read the airlines response you might begin to understand that this is all about the guide dog.
Qantas head of communication Olivia Wirth said the Qantas counter staff did not have the authority to make the seat allocation but the airline took the matter seriously and had apologised to Ms Purcell, offered to pay expenses and was reviewing its processes.
Airlines carry people with various disabilities all the time.Are you seriously suggesting that the seat allocation trouble was for the lady because she is visually impaired or her guide dog or do you think she was refused carriage because she was wearing an offensive t-shirt or some other reason.

I know that the media gets carried away at times but the problem here seems fairly apparent and if it not why then are they offering to pay expenses and review it's processes?

C441
8th Dec 2009, 23:21
Would the article have even appeared if Qantas had no seats or indeed no flight available for anyone?

No. Lazy journos find anything Qantas an instant headline.

( Why not "Singapore Airlines Group airline, Tiger today left a blind passenger stranded at Adelaide airport." ......I don't think so. Not punchy enough said the editor.)

lowerlobe
8th Dec 2009, 23:52
It's no use sticking your heads in the sand and trying to pretend it didn't happen.....

It did happen and it did happen to QF....it does not matter that it first happened to Tiger.

All that matters is that it did and QF apparently handled it poorly....

At a time when airlines are trying everything to maintain market share let alone increase it and this happens....

Public perception is everything but even more so in a service industry....

Taildragger67
9th Dec 2009, 03:09
Irrespective of who stuffed up first, IMHO Sunfish is correct in that a positive PR opportunity went a-begging.

I'd add to his scenario, that under pre-Darth administrations, the agent at ADL would probably have been some person of a certain age who had been given the opportunity of making a long-term career in customer service and, whilst not having the next day's newspaper headline in mind, was fully aware of the word-of-mouth consequences their actions would bring.

Dual ground
9th Dec 2009, 06:12
RedTBar

You may regard this as a matter of semantics but the crux of the matter is that at no point did Qantas REFUSE carriage. They asked the Purcells to contact reservations, iaw their procedures, so that they could be booked on a flight. In what way does that constitute refusal? Agreed it's not brilliant customer service but it is not a refusal of carriage. This is what is winding me up about this article.

Qantas's Terms and Conditions of Carriage are very clear when it come to the carriage of Guide dogs. Tiger's are not so easy to find, in fact I haven't found them on their web site, has anyone else?


Why have Qantas offered to pay her costs and apologised? Damage limitation, I would imagine, due to the unjustified bashing they are getting over a situation brought on by a lo-co doing what they do best, screwing punters.

P.S Agree with Sunfish, great PR opportunity wasted.

fence_post
9th Dec 2009, 06:47
As a Disabled Person who was not disabled until well into my 60's, I would like to add my two-bobs worth.

Firstly, Sunfish, is closer to the mark than any of you. Being disabled is NOT NICE. It means relying on other people, animals or equipment to assist you. You lose your independence, I lost my driver's licence, require assistance to dress, shower and eat. Can only use my left hand to type, can't sign my name and requie assistance to travel. I am severely disabled down my right side.

A friend of mine, a QF Captain has a disabled son in his teens. When he can't get a disabled park and someone parks in a disabled spot without a permit, he parks behind them, so they can't get out and then he goes shopping - no matter for how long.

Regardless of this blind person having her husband and guide dog with her, SHE WOULD HAVE NEEDED HELP, no matter which airline. How down right inhumane some of you young ones are!

She has entitlements under the DISABILITY ACT and EQUAL OPPORTUNITY ACT which companies (including Airlines) MUST conform to. One of those entitlements is the carriage of Guide Dogs, whether it be in a taxi, bus, train or an aircraft. If it was me, I would not take it up with the Airline(s), but refer it to the Equal Opportunities Commission for investigation and have the Airline(s) face the consequences.

Finally, although nothing to do with this thread, I believe all States should put up the parking fines for illegal parking in disabled parks to a minimum of $1,000.

The media had every right to publish the story and I, personally would encourage them to do so.

mmurray
9th Dec 2009, 08:22
and those more in need of an immediate trip home got it as well.

How on earth do you conclude that ? I've never seen ground staff ask everybody why they needed to get on the plane and then choose who needs the immediate trip. It is an interesting concept but it might slow things down a bit.

Michael

Boomerang_Butt
9th Dec 2009, 12:16
I'm finding it difficult to see the part where Qantas REFUSED carriage as well. I understand why the lady is upset, but anyone travelling with an assistance dog is required to call, just as people with car seats, wheelchairs or oxygen bottles have to. It might have been because there were other Tiger pax around (says to me there is more to this issue than just Ms Purcell, such as a whole flight being canx)

Could it possibly have been that to carry them certain requirements must be met (i.e. the dog must be relieved- necessitating a trip outside the terminal), certain approvals have to be given, certain seats must be allocated (possibly meaning re-seating a whole row of people if the aircraft concerned was a 737) and finding a moisture-abosorbent mat (if the owners did not have one, I believe this is usually provided by the airline)

IF the flight was under time constraints (ADL curfew. anyone?) then it's quite reasonable to suppose that QF did not want to delay the flight for one or two pax (just as they won't delay it for Joe Bloggs who left his bag at security) and the passengers in question ended up on the next flight. Quite possible that while all this was being organised, other passengers had already bought the remaining seats and there was no room. Seeing as tickets are usually sold on a first-come, first served basis this doesn't seem such a far stretch to me.

I wouldn't be lynching Qantas just yet- there seems to me, a lot more to this episode than is in the article.

Capt Claret
9th Dec 2009, 12:42
I think I've carried two guide dogs in my whole career. As best I can recall, the pax & dog were seated in row 1, which had extra leg room and allowed the dog not to impede any one, or, the pax were seated in a seat with a vacant seat adjacent, to allow room for the dog to sit/sleep on the floor.

Perhaps, in this instance QF were unable to provide space for the dog at short notice?

Gnd Power
9th Dec 2009, 21:06
So who is the evil group here - Qantas for being unable to comply with ANOTHER airline's passenger's requirements seemingly at short notice, or the media for using the said passenger to continue its mud-slinging at Qantas?


Being another airline's passenger has nothing to do with it, she became a CUSTOMER of QANTAS when she went to purchase a ticket.

Dual ground
9th Dec 2009, 21:46
And let's not forget the obvious as well. If the Purcells had booked themselves and Hetty, the three-year-old black Labrador who is on a special diet, on a Qantas return flight SYD to ADL, instead of a Tiger flight, none of this would have happened in the first place. And they would have had a nice weekend away.

Short_Circuit
9th Dec 2009, 23:06
From the QF website


For a Service Dog to travel with you in the aircraft cabin you must:

Confirm that the Service Dog is registered as a service animal at the time of booking.
Carry and present a recognised Service Dog ID card or documentation at the time of check-in.
Provide documentation that confirms that the Service Dog has been trained to an acceptable level (where requested).
Provide evidence of your disability and how the Service Dog assists to alleviate the effect of that disability (where requested).
and have an absorbent mat, which takes time to arrange with no advanced notice.

This all takes time, and they did fly home QF, eventually!

blow.n.gasket
9th Dec 2009, 23:09
Sounds as though the parent is taking after the child now.
As the popular colloquialism ,presently gaining widespread use goes,
Mrs Purcell got Jetstarred.:ok:

p.j.m
10th Dec 2009, 01:45
she became a CUSTOMER of QANTAS when she went to purchase a ticket.

you mean AFTER she purchased a ticket, and exactly when did that occur?

Obviously NOT while the staff were processing other Tiger passengers, she was advised to call reservations, which seems she took exception to doing, and in the mean time was STILL NOT a customer of Qantas, although she was happy to bleat about them not allowing her to fly..... well... derr....

Go ring reservations like requested dear, and guess what, then they will happily organise all the details of your flight!

Gnd Power
10th Dec 2009, 05:27
You are a shining beacon as to why my profession is in such a state of disarray

Why is that mmmbop?

Because I can show a bit of empathy for a disabled lady wanting to get home and I see that QANTAS policy made it more difficult for her than other able body person doing the same thing. Oh yes, then reportedly told her that the dog was not allowed in Adelaide airport.

Good for you if you consider that causing disarray in "YOUR" profession:ugh:

Your other quote:
TIGER refused carriage of a blind person with a dog. Their passenger, their disgrace.

So where did that little titbit come from, I thought the Tiger flight was cancelled?



Being a little patronising don't you think. p.j.m.,

Go ring reservations like requested dear, and guess what, then they will happily organise all the details of your flight!

What about if the lady was ahead of the other 20 passengers and by having to ring reservations missed her spot. Did the other customers have to ring reservations? I mean, how hard can it be for airport staff to book the lady, her husband and dog on the flight.

Anyway, at least QANTAS Management, in the end, showed a bigger heart than you two guys!!

ozineurope
10th Dec 2009, 06:14
How does TIGER escape the wrath of the media? Was it not a Tiger flight that was cancelled leaving this lady, her husband and guide dog stranded in AD?

That being the case then surely the airline that cancelled the flight and left them stranded must have had some responsibility to arrnage on carriage for their stranded passenger who has special needs. Would it not have been expected customer service that the airline that cancelled the flight organised alternatives, obviously THEY were the only ones with prior knowledge of the special requirements and were the ONLY ones who failed this lady in the first instance.

As other posters have commented, why have TIGER been allowed to get away with discriminating against this lady by cancelling the only flight that was prepared for her?

psycho joe
10th Dec 2009, 09:32
Surely the legalist position of which airline is responsible, or clutching to airline policy rhetoric is entirely irrelevant.

As a magnanimous society we have chosen to protect and care for the less abled amongst us. Whether they be a soldier crippled by war, the victim of disease or even one suffering the rigours of old age.

The fact is that a blind person and their guide dog were left stranded.

There is no honour here. Every person that was involved is a disgrace.

Nuthinondaclock
10th Dec 2009, 10:33
From p.j.m.

There were 20 other seats and probably 20 other passengers who needed to get home to be at work the next day.

This woman and her dog and her husband did NOT have reservations, and probably no compelling need to be home that night, so the airline prioritised appropriately.



So how do you know she didn't have to get home to be at work the next day? Are you assuming she doesn't have a job because she's blind? How do you know that her reason for wanting to get home isn't compelling? Why should it matter if she doesn't have a job anyway? It's not up to ground staff to do some sort of ticketing triage. First come, best dressed at the Qantas counter would be the general rule, with maybe some compassionate exceptions.

At the end of the day none of us really know the exact sequence of events as far as booking these stranded passengers but for you to presume this lady should travel after other passengers because she's blind and doesn't have a job is a reflection of a discriminatory attitude.

fence_post
10th Dec 2009, 22:49
This thread is a disgrace. I'm amazed how low people talk about Disabled in such a filpant way. I am discusted as a Disabled Person and Disabled Ex-Serviceman (TPI) and former aviator. I have referred this thread, as an example as to inhumane attitude of some towards the Disabled, to the Equal Opportunities Commission.

That's me finished - Goodbye!

Dual ground
11th Dec 2009, 08:19
I am genuinely sorry that you feel that way fencepost. I am also disappointed that what was a logical analysis of, what I believe to be, an intentionally misleading piece of "journalism" became so highly emotive for some, which is exactly what the article was designed to do.

The moderators though, do not seem to share your opinion as no posts have been deleted and the thread has not been locked. Why is that I wonder?

rog747
11th Dec 2009, 08:51
i am appalled by reading much content in this post upon my return to pprune after a while away, nothing surprises me on here now anymore.

in the UK, and in oz i am sure, you must abide by the DDA (disability discrimination act) which ensures any disabled/impaired vision persons who need their registered dog to accompany them to travel are not discriminated in any way, and have a right to travel on public transport uninhibited.
and in fact every reasonable effort should be made to ensure any disruption to journeys like as seen here then the pax is given all help to ensure minimal problems.

tiger air after cancelling her flight should have got her re-booked or assisted her to rebook on QF and escorted her over to QF on the first available flight and got her on asap.
end of...and as a priority.
thats what we did.

if QF flight was busy and seating arrangements difficult then QF could easily move other pax around to ensure she was togther with her dog.
well, thats what SHOULD have happened...

and thats what we would have done,
even before the DDA come about...
we would have done that with ANY wchr pax or unmin's or yp's...
these pax DO have special needs and should be looked after as a priority because if you dont do this when things go wrong then you have to deal with them after and pick up the pieces...

its total common sense.

DTVOne
11th Dec 2009, 09:03
tiger air after cancelling her flight should have got her re-booked or assisted her to rebook on QF and escorted her over to QF on the first available flight and got her on asap.
Totally agree, the resolution to the problem was in the hands of Tiger. Qantas is the victim, possibly the traveller could have made a wiser choice of flight.

rog747
11th Dec 2009, 09:14
QF is still at fault here as their STN Mngr or D/O should have ensured that
these pax were booked and boarded as a priority.

it seems from OP there were empty seats at the time Tiger cancelled so its a no-brainer...

QF and BA are first rate, full service airlines usually when it comes to this sort of thing and i am amazed that some dumb ass check-in bod at QF did not see outside of the box...

this is a sharp lesson to both tiger and QF to stop treating pax like lo-co trash and look after vulnerable and disabled pax without quoting their 'rule book'....

WE have been looking after such pax for 50+ years in the airline business so why now this lack of compassion and such vile comments from young people here like seen here in many of the posts...

this throwaway society, like a throwaway lo-co ticket must not be allowed to make human disablity a throwaway item too...

kotoyebe
11th Dec 2009, 10:20
this throwaway society, like a throwaway lo-co ticket must not be allowed to make human disablity a throwaway item too...

But as long as you can show disrespect to able bodied people by using throwaway comments like this, it's ok...

i am amazed that some dumb ass check-in bod at QF did not see outside of the box...

rog747
11th Dec 2009, 10:27
yeah they WERE DUMB>>> hence the hoo hah now lol!!!
if i was their D/O i would have their b****x for my breakfast...
(not literally)
its not rocket science to see that the person(s) involved in allowing this
fiasco to accelerate to this were simply not seeing outside of the box of current airline trends of stoooopid dumb-arse nasty ''rules and regs'' which get in the way of human common sense and reason...sigh

where's my mate rainboe???;) waves

Sunfish
11th Dec 2009, 16:23
As I have said before, Qantas threw away a magnificent marketing opportunity and confirmed that they are just as thoughtless and stupid as Tiger Airways.

Gobetter
11th Dec 2009, 16:38
QF is not to blame.

Tiger is the crap company that is allowed to operate in Australian airspace.

They should be banned for their continued poor attitude toward the Australian public. All I can see, is the foreign owner's laughing at what they can do and get away with on a daily basis.

Qantas is then left to clean up the mess. This sh$t situation had a positive outcome. It is not exactly as you guys would like it to be scripted, however they did their best.

She got home, and so did the dog, she flew Qantas... game over, Qantas got her home.

Get over it.

priapism
11th Dec 2009, 21:22
precisely the attitude that has now made QF what is s today!!

RedTBar
11th Dec 2009, 23:00
I find it amazing that so called rational people cannot see the problem here.Dual ground is telling us that there was no refusal of carriage yet they were not allowed on the first flight.
If you are not allowed on a flight then you can call it whatever you like but it is refusal of carriage.
Whoever was on duty at that time should have understood what an opportunity this was for a positive story about QF.Instead it's the complete opposite.
Even if they had told the lady that because of the lack of notification or time constraints they could not do anything on this flight.However, they would organise it for the first flight the following day and then said we have organised accomodation for you it would be a different story and QF would have been praised.
Some people here cannot differentiate between carrying cargo and carrying human beings with various needs.
She got home, and so did the dog, she flew Qantas... game over, Qantas got her home.

Get over it.
With that sort of attitude I think some of you should stick to pushing buttons and flying aircraft and leave customer service issues to others.

Monopole
12th Dec 2009, 01:06
If QF discriminated againt the poor lady because she had a guide dog, well then that is completely disgracful and they should be investigated.

But, discrimination works both ways. If she did not meet QFs published policy on traveling with 'service animals' then why should she get priority. If disabled people want to be treated like 'normal' people, then they should be treated like 'normal' people.

More and more, these guys are crying fowl every time they do not get their own way. Fence Posts post being case in point.

Common courtisy of course should still apply. Stand up for on a bus or train, open a door for or help an old and frail, disabled or just anyone who plainly just needs a seat or helping hand.

I hope you're not saying blind people should turn up earlier? YES. If it takes longer to check in, process and board the aircraft. Just like when my wife travels on her own with an infant and a toddler. She checks in EARLY

p.j.m
12th Dec 2009, 04:17
If you are not allowed on a flight then you can call it whatever you like but it is refusal of carriage

You are refusing to acknowledge that she did not have a valid ticket or reservation for Qantas, and just expected everyone to drop whatever they were doing, break the rules & policies of their employer and make some sort of special arrangement for her.

The rules are in place for a reason. The people on the ground have no discretion to break or bypass them. This is yet another media beatup.

She was told what the documented procedure to follow was, but apparently did not want to follow it, in fact she has no doubt been through it before, if she's ever flown Qantas.

I'm getting sick and tired of these "special" people who think the world revolves around them.

p.j.m
12th Dec 2009, 04:23
Totally agree, the resolution to the problem was in the hands of Tiger.

The lady who booked with Tiger must be aware of the risks she takes when booking with a LCC and take that into consideration.

I know I have seen so many people delayed or late due to Jetstar's seeming inablilty to organise a flight, that I would NEVER fly with them.

Tiger is in the same category. You pay peanuts, you hope that nothing goes wrong, but expect that it will.

Mstr Caution
12th Dec 2009, 07:45
I know I have seen so many people delayed or late due to Jetstar's seeming inablilty to organise a flight, that I would NEVER fly with them.


If you choose to fly with a LCC, simply plan your flight schedule to arrive 24 hours before you really need to be somewhere.

sixtiesrelic
13th Dec 2009, 07:52
Whoever was on duty at that time should have understood what an opportunity this was for a positive story about QF.Instead it's the complete opposite.

Unfortunately THAT story wouldn't make the papers or magazines unless it was a letter to the editor and the writer was known.
The media is only interested in the negative.
For example... women's magazines. Ooahh! or Ha Ha! is what most publish and don't the readers love it.

ampclamp
13th Dec 2009, 08:50
Dear Mods,
I've seen some threads closed for much less than what is going on here.
It surely has been done to death?
She's been home for days and we're still trashing the place.

T-21
13th Dec 2009, 08:55
The guide-dog is far better behaved than airline passengers. :ok:

boy-wonder
17th Dec 2009, 05:17
Hey,let's get this straight.

If a black person tried to book a flight and the airline said "sorry, no blacks", the airline would be hauled before the courts and given a massive fine, so fast their feet would not touch the ground.

Now substitute "guide dog user" for "black". This is EXACTLY THE SAME sort of discrimination.

If Qantas told the guide dog user to "stand aside" whilst other Tiger passengers were booked in, then this is UNLAWFUL DISCRIMINATION.

If Qantas told the guide dog user to book by phone whilst the other Tiger passengers were processed without having to phone, then this is UNLAWFUL DISCRIMINATION.

The law is very clear. A person cannot be discriminated against merely because they have a guide dog. I do not know what the Qantas guide dog policy is, but it MUST comply with the law.

I lost my eyesight ten years ago and use a guide dog. I am sick and tired of the hassle at check-in and the condecending attitude that they are doing me a favour by allowing my dog on board.

I don't want "special" treatment, I just don't want to be subject to blood pressure raising arguements every time I check in.

Dual ground
17th Dec 2009, 05:34
"The law is very clear. A person cannot be discriminated against merely because they have a guide dog. I do not know what the Qantas guide dog policy is, but it MUST comply with the law.

I lost my eyesight ten years ago and use a guide dog. I am sick and tired of the hassle at check-in and the condecending attitude that they are doing me a favour by allowing my dog on board."

You're right it must, and I'm sure it does otherwise they would have been pulled up for it long ago. Who is giving you hassle at check-in then? I guess it isn't Qantas if you don't know their T's and C's of carriage.

boy-wonder
17th Dec 2009, 06:01
Dear Dual ground. No it is not Qantas, it is another domestic carrier that I won't name as I have a complaint lodged with the Human Rights Commission.

There seems to be widespread ignorance amongst ground staff that the accommodation of a guide dog is a discretionary or good will issue for the airline. It is not.

All public transport organisations are required by law to accommodate a guide dog with the owner.

They would need to have a very good reason to refuse.

flying-spike
17th Dec 2009, 09:00
Apparently a skydive mob refused this woman lessons. They said it would scare the [email protected] out of her guide dog!

RedTBar
17th Dec 2009, 21:39
You're right it must, and I'm sure it does otherwise they would have been pulled up for it long ago
So dual ground QF does nothing wrong in the eyes of the law as they stand?
How do you explain the cargo price fixing debacle?
The problem boy-wonder is that dual ground must be suffering from the cold in sweden and thinks that QF can do no wrong and this was probably a set up by the media.
The reality is that if someone is not allowed on board they have been refused carriage.Plain and simple.
This could have been a perfect time for a PR coup but as usual it was a stuff up.
Any airline that is giving the new generation 787 aircraft to it's Low cost off shoot before it's loyal premium pax you begin to understand it's priorities.Jetstar have brand new aircraft while QF are using 767's that have been around for years and now Jetstar are getting the first 15 787's.
Small wonder a lot of Australians feel no loyalty to QF and are happy to fly with other carriers.

boy-wonder
17th Dec 2009, 23:07
"You're right it must, and I'm sure it does otherwise they would have been pulled up for it long ago."

Not necessarily. For example, if Qantas have the "two dogs max" policy, like other carriers, this is open to challenge. If it went to court it is possible that it would be ruled unlawful.
.

p.j.m
18th Dec 2009, 00:15
Apparently a skydive mob refused this woman lessons. They said it would scare the [email protected] out of her guide dog!

Such discrimination is atrocious!

They definitely should have let her go, and given the guide dog appropriate instructions about how to pull her rip cord at the appropriate time!

plainmaker
18th Dec 2009, 02:55
Not necessarily. For example, if Qantas have the "two dogs max" policy, like other carriers, this is open to challenge. If it went to court it is possible that it would be ruled unlawful.

BW you are incorrect. There is a provision in the legislation that allows for the 'capability' of the provider. Best way to describe it is by booking a 5 seat taxi. It is permitted to carry 5 pasengers, but clearly is not permitted to carry 5 disabled persons PLUS their assistance animals.

QF's 'two animal' policy is quite legal, in that they are NOT refusing to carry animals, but clearly limiting the number based on their ability to adequately cater for their duty of care responsibilities.

That extends also to being able to adequately prepare and provide for such an event. Their policy requires that sufficient notice is provided to allow them to perform the service. Hence the restriction on disabled pax rocking up to the counter and expecting a level of service inconsistent with the carriers normal service provision. Do you expect if 150 disabled pax fronted for a particular service that the carrier MUST provide them with the capability?

From my reading of the (reported) facts, QF did not refuse to carry her. They said they could not carry her at the time for the flight she requested. I suspect that the lack of delegation at the counter to book /onload is a method of ensuring that the airline has sufficient time to prepare for the event (allocation of staff, time to brief, provision and fitting of protective mat etc) and thus meet their obligation under the legislation. It would be UNLAWFUL for them NOT to provide the facility, but it is reasonable in the circumstance to require a period of notice to ensure that their obligation is met.

Do we know what the timeframe was between her fronting to the counter, and the STD? That is the most relevant issue as to whether QF met their (implied) obligation.

An area of the law I am well acquainted with - even more so now having obtained a disability in my later years. I sure as heck do not front up at -26 like I used to and still get on. Disability requires adjustment by ALL parties.

Plainmaker