Easyjet Incident With Disabled Dr. Sabry Unacceptable, Green MEP says
- Written by Roberto Castiglioni
Green MEP Keith Taylor slammed budget carrier Easyjet, stating that the incident involving disabled businessman Martin Sabry was unacceptable.
"Clearly, the Easyjet incident was unacceptable," Green MEP Keith Taylor told Reduced Mobility Rights.
"Paragraph 58 of my report which covers regulation 1107/2006 underlines the importance of appropriate training of flight crews to cover the ´different and individual needs of PRMs`," the European member of Parliament explained.
"In my capacity as a member of the Parliament's Transport and Tourism committee (TRAN), I met with many stakeholders over a number of months, in order to inform the first draft of the report "on the functioning and application of established rights of people travelling by air", which covers regulation 1107/2006," Green MEP Keith Taylor told Reduced Mobility Rights.
The report will be voted on next week in the European Parliament's plenary session. "I am confident that it will be adopted, Taylor said.
Although non-legislative, the report will become the official position of the Parliament
Disabled businessman Martin Sabry, 39, from Cambridge, arrived at Gatwick airport on 4 January 2012 to catch the Easyjet flight to Montpellier, France.
After boarding the aircraft, Mr Sabry was harassed by the flight purser who had him removed from the airplane. "I was made to read safety-card aloud in front all other boarding passengers and say "I can" after each sentence," he says, remarking the unnecessary humiliation. "We will not take you," the purser told him.
"I am pleased to hear of the unreserved apology given to Dr Sabry," Keith Taylor said. "However, it is extremely regrettable to hear that due to lack of resources, the CAA will not be able to pursue this case further."
In the days following the incident, Carolyn McCall OBE, Easyjet's Chief Executive Officer, apologised in person to Martin Sabry. "Our chief executive Carolyn McCall called Dr Sabry directly to apologise," A spokesperson for Easyjet told Reduced Mobility Rights.
The budget airline received a verbal warning from the UK CAA. "In relation to the Dr Sabry’s situation, we have been in touch with EasyJet regarding the incident, to remind them of their obligations to people with reduced mobility," A CAA spokesperson said.
Despite the incident representing a clear violation of Regulation 1107/2006, there will be no enforcement of the law on Easyjet. The Department for Transport is trailing behind most EU states, having failed to provide the CAA a set of sanctions and adequate enforcement powers. "Unfortunately, [enforcement] powers are not very flexible or proportionate and make it difficult for us to take action," Dame Deirdre Hutton, Chair of the Civil Aviation Authority said.
"I think that there needs to be better implementation by the National Enforcement Bodies of the rules that do exist," Keith Taylor said. "Paragraph 3 of my report acknowledged gaps in Member States' implementation and enforcement of Regulation 1107/2006. In subsequent paragraphs the report talks of the need for the Commission to work with NEBs in order to "promote a uniform and prompt enforcement of air passenger rights."