If you’re disabled, getting on a plane can be uncomfortable, unsafe and undignified. While the rest of us have benefited from cheaper flights, disabled people have been left behind. The problem received widespread attention after a video of a disabled man dragging himself across the floor of Luton Airport went viral.
I introduced a Bill to the House of Commons in July to make airlines and airports take accessibility more seriously to help end the inconsistent and often degrading experience of catching a flight. I decided to change the law after a man from Kingswood visited me at my surgery to tell me what a nightmare he's had recently at an airport.
The Government has listened and today introduced a new aviation strategy.
A passenger charter will be introduced to encourage airports and airlines to improve storage of wheelchairs on flights, to strengthen accessibility and service standards for disabled people, and to improve staff training – all things Helen called for in her Bill.
I’m delighted the Government has listened to my campaign to make flying fairer. I was outraged when I heard from a disabled constituent about how difficult it was for him to catch a flight – something which most of us take for granted.
Air travel isn’t just for leisure – many jobs need employees to get flights for meetings, and this is another barrier for disabled people in the workplace.
The Government’s proposed passenger charter will help to end this