UK & World News
Wheelchair Users 'Can't Access Plane Toilets'
Disabled people risk "hurt and humiliation" when they travel by air, according to a report published today.
The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign's Trailblazers group says some have had to urinate in bottles on flights because of inaccessible toilets, while others have had vital equipment damaged.
The charity says disabled people can be "put off flying for good" because it is a "source of anxiety and embarrassment" for many.
Tanvi Vyas, a spokesman for Trailblazers, a network of disabled people, said: "This report should be a wake-up call on the need to drastically overhaul services in order to meet disabled customers' basic needs, from booking a ticket to going to the toilet.
"We need airlines, aviation authorities and airports to stop hiding behind inconsistent and outdated policies and woolly responses around safety testing.
"If we can fly a man to the moon, we can put a wheelchair-accessible toilet on an aeroplane. It is time for disabled customers to be able to trust airlines and to feel confident when flying."
A survey of young disabled air passengers by Trailblazers found 90% of wheelchair users were unable to use airline toilets and have to avoid drinking before or during flights.
Around two-thirds felt unsafe when transferring from a wheelchair to an airline seat, and half of those questioned said their disability caused them difficulties when trying to book tickets.
The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign is meeting airlines, MPs and the Civil Aviation Authority later to discuss the treatment of disabled air travellers.
what do you think?
While i respect that disabled people want to fly but then at the same time they have to be realistic and accept the limitations that flying presents for example getting on a plane is not like getting on a bus you can not simply be pushed on and put the brakes on in the disabled space you have to be seeted in an acual certified seet and having 1 disabled lift let alone one for every seat is simply not posable due to the wieght and size of them. As for toilet access well planes do not have alot of internal space and the walk ways are narrow even for able people and the toilets are small this simply a limitation on the space available and there is simply no way they could posable install a disabled toilet that would probly consume 5 or 6 times the space of the normal toilet
While I feel very sorry for them, the trouble is that the amount of space available for toilets on aircraft is limited by the circumference of the fuselage. They are usually very cramped even for people who have no disability. Pressurised aircraft have round fuselages because that is the best way of coping with the pressure - and are completely different from the more squared-off shape of a railway carriage.
The size of aircraft toilets is not really the issue. I often need assistance to get in and out of these cramped toilets. One airline goes out it's way to help me and unfortunatley it is not British but hey they always cater for me everytime I use them. On long haul flights lasting a minimum of 10 hours as a disabled person you need help. The one thing that I see as different is the cabin staff seem to know how to help you so I have to assume that they have had additional training to cater for disabled people or they just go out of their way to help. Either way they are a credit to that airline. The others could follow their example