Home > Uncategorized > Airline allegedly doesn’t allow deaf passengers to fly alone

Airline allegedly doesn’t allow deaf passengers to fly alone

April 12, 2008

By Rod McGuirk
Associated Press

CANBERRA, Australia — Ludwig van Beethoven would not be allowed to fly alone on a Tiger Airways flight if he were alive today because of the Singapore-owned airline’s purported policy on deaf passengers, a government minister said Friday.

Bill Shorten used the example of Beethoven — who famously continued composing until his death in 1827 despite losing his hearing — in condemning the treatment of deaf passengers by the Australian subsidiary of Singapore-based budget carrier Tiger Airways.

The policy bars deaf passengers from flying unless accompanied by a fare-paying adult care provider, a Tiger Airways reservations agent who said she goes by only one name, Jinky, told The Associated Press.

But airline spokesman Matt Hobbs denied that the airline had such a policy, and said he was investigating why air crews and call center staff in the Philippines were telling passengers otherwise.

Shorten, Australia’s parliamentary secretary for disabilities and children’s services, said he telephoned the airline Friday to tell them that barring deaf people from flying alone was wrong.

“Under this, Beethoven would never have been able to catch a plane” on his own, Shorten told Sky Television. “Just because people are deaf doesn’t mean that they’re stupid.”

A group of four deaf adults has lodged a complaint with the Australian government’s anti-discrimination watchdog agency after a representative of Tiger Airways Australia told them last month that they could not make an interstate flight without a care provider who could hear, the Herald Sun newspaper reported Friday.

The group was eventually permitted to take their seats on the March 4 flight but a flight attendant told them they would not be allowed to fly alone again on the airline, the newspaper said.

Hobbs, Tiger Airways Australia’s head of corporate communications, said the cabin manager had written the four a note saying: “In future, so you know, you’ll need to travel with a carer for safety reasons.”

“We’re clarifying with all staff that deaf people do not require a carer to travel with them,” Hobbs said, adding that he could not explain the widespread misunderstanding within his company.

“We are apologetic and very sorry that the people involved in this feel in any way that they’ve been discriminated against or upset by this in any way,” he said.

Hobbs said his company’s sister airline, Tiger Airways Singapore, had changed its policy that once required deaf passengers to be accompanied by a care provider.

The Australian subsidiary of Singapore-based Tiger Aviation entered the Australian domestic aviation market last November. Its Australian competitors allow deaf passengers to fly alone.



Categories: Uncategorized
  1. JODI IN THE Netherlands
    April 12, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    Nasty experince for the deafies,, I feel for them,, I think 16 deafies in the UK had a similar experince,, they were all taking a trip to AMSTERDAM for the weekend ,, and RYAN AIR threw them off,,,
    it was on the news

    We do not need baby sitters for heavens sake !!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  2. Ravenblackpaw
    April 12, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    Geez! That’s new to me….I’ll remember that but I’ll ensure in advance that any foreign airline would allow me to fly alone. Tiger Airways’policy does discriminate against any deaf passenger who flies alone. Thanks for the information.

  3. Prism
    April 12, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    AUDISM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HATE that! They need to be educated about the Deaf people.

  4. MGFC
    April 13, 2008 at 10:19 am

    Interesting! I have flew to another country once just myself alone. I had to keep my eye on the flight schedule if anything is delay or change. Yeah, it is sucks for deafies cannot understood from the intercom if there is anything change. That is why I come to the flight attender from the counter to let them know that I am hearing impaired and cannot hear the intercom. Would be appreciated if they could let me know in person if anything is change by the intercom. I had no problem so far.

    Maybe the change new laws? Yeah that is so sucks.

  5. Jacey125
    April 17, 2008 at 11:46 am

    I have fly so much.. it have had never happen to me…They hired wrong wokers who have treat them!

  6. April 26, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    So….rather than write a simple note…..they prefer to charge deafies double rate…..on already ballistic prices. Is that a fair deal……..throttle thier throats.
    geeeez….that wouldn’t really help security matters……idiots….lazy idiots in the world….are we such an inconvenience….what happen to service….we need to service businesses now? Customers exist to serve the needs of employees and businesses now??? pay double rates cuz of a tiny inconvenience??? the world is functioning backwards….spoiled. They are dealing with it…but it shows you that still lazy morons out there.

  7. Silence Blue
    July 24, 2008 at 8:56 am

    I guessed, it showed that we deafies still have a long way to go to improve our civil or human rights…….

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