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"We need airlines, aviation authorities and airports to stop hiding behind inconsistent and outdated policies and woolly responses around safety testing.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.