Thai VietJet cites safety reasons for refusing disabled passengers
Thai VietJet cites safety reasons for refusing disabled passengersLegacy

Several Thai people with disabilities stepped forward to lodge complaints with the Ministry of Transport, accusing Thai VietJet Air of refusing to accommodate them. The airline responded to the accusations today, February 29, stating that it denied service to certain disabled passengers as a precautionary safety measure.

The president of the Association for the Empowerment of Disabled Women (AEDW), Saowaluck Thongkuay, submitted a complaint to Parliament President Wan Muhamad Nor Matha. Saowaluck asserted that Thai VietJet violated the rights of people with disabilities by refusing to serve them.

Saowaluck claimed that a victim was denied boarding the plane at the gate without any prior announcement or clarification from the airline that they did not welcome disabled people.

Another Thai man, suffering from visual impairment, recounted his encounter, stating that Thai VietJet Air declined to provide him with service. According to the airline, he was informed that the quota for visually impaired passengers had already been filled. The man argued that the airline should have made provisions for him, given that he had booked his flight well in advance and had notified the airline of his blindness.

Despite this, the airline remained unresponsive, and there were no updates from Parliament. Consequently, a group of disabled individuals took further action yesterday, February 28, by staging a protest outside the Ministry of Transport, gathering in their wheelchairs to voice their grievances.

The Secretary to the Minister of Transport, Sorawut Nueangjamnong, talked to the protestors and assured them that the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) would summon a representative from VietJet to clarify the matter within seven days. Sorawut warned that the airline’s operation licence could be revoked if it ignored the situation.

Safety measures 

In response to the pressure, Thai VietJet issued an official statement today, February 29, denying they banned disabled passengers.

Thai VietJet stated that the airline has been welcoming and providing service to passengers with all disabilities. According to the airline, it served 5,300 old passengers and others with health issues, mobility impairment, and other disabilities last year.

The airline outlined its rules, stating that passengers with disabilities must inform the airline 48 hours before the flight schedule and must be accompanied by an escort capable of assisting in an emergency.

The airline then clarified the document’s main incident that sparked public controversy. It clarified that a disabled passenger arrived at the check-in counter accompanied by four other passengers. However, none of the four passengers agreed to act as an escort for the disabled individual.

Thai VietJet explained that, in accordance with airline regulations and safety protocols, it was unable to permit the disabled passenger to board under these circumstances. The airline affirmed that it had promptly refunded the travel expenses to the disabled passenger following the refusal.

Thai VietJet emphasised that it welcomed passengers of all groups and nationalities without discrimination. The airline’s representative would later meet the authorities from the Transport Ministry to provide further details.

The story Thai VietJet cites safety reasons for refusing disabled passengers as seen on Thaiger News.

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Author: Petch Petpailin