EU warning to airlines which discriminate against the less abled

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Disabled air travellers are still facing “unjustified refusals” from airlines, the European Commission has warned.

Four years after EU laws made it illegal to discriminate against passengers on grounds of disability or “reduced mobility”, the Commission published new guidelines to clarify their rights.

The move has been deliberately timed ahead of the anticipated arrival in London for the Olympic Games of thousands of disabled paralympians and spectators.

It also comes less than a month after publicity about complaints by partially paralysed BBC journalist Frank Gardner that he was refused permission to board a Kenya Airways flight at Heathrow because of the size of his walking frame.

EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas said yesterday: “Dealing with disability in life is a tough enough challenge: things shouldn’t get even tougher when you arrive at the airport.”

The guidelines cover travellers at all EU airports and EU carriers anywhere in the world.