Easyjet forced to pay compensation to 11 passengersSeptember 2, 2010
The airline Easyjet has had to pay a group of deaf people over £ 5000 compensation after they were refused permission to fly with them.
The group of 11 were thrown off the Amsterdam-bound Easyjet flight from Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport minutes before the plane was due fly. The group were in their seats preparing for the take off.
The captain had believed them to be unfit to fly on safety grounds and so asked them to leave the aircraft. He mistakenly believed them to fit into the same category as special needs passengers, and as such would need to be accompanied by carers in case of an emergency evacuation.
Each of the 11 passengers received £500, a public apology, and several free flights from the no-frills airline.
A spokeswoman said: “The group was not accompanied by carers and the pilot was unsure that in the event of an emergency he would be able to clear the plane within 90 seconds. But there was no problem communicating with these deaf passengers. They were able-bodied and did not need physical assistance.”
She added: “Once we realised what had happened, we put them on the next flight and apologised profusely.”
Easyjet have apologised to the group and admitted what happened was a terrible mistake. The company has also asked the Merseyside Society for the Deaf to help train its staff in disability issues.
A solicitor representing the group said they had all found the experience extremely humiliating.