Jetstar, AGAIN – this time they refused passage to woman with guide dog

Further to incidents where Jetstar expected Fearnley to cool his heels, completely dependent, in a non-self-propelled aisle chair for 90 minutes between checkin and boarding (“Let us drive the wheelchair! It’s safer!), and another incident where someone being pushed in a chair by airline staff was tipped on their head into a gutter (“No really, safer!”), Jetstar have gone the extra mile this week – refusing passage to a guide dog, then shouting at the customer.

The Age reports:

Blind pair says Jetstar refused guide dog

Two weeks ago, Glen Bracegirdle, who is significantly visually impaired but manages without a guide dog, called Jetstar’s call centre to book flights for himself and his partner, Kathryn Beaton. Ms Beaton requires the assistance of Prince, a four-year-old black labrador guide dog.

He said he explained that they would need to fly with the guide dog, at which point the clerk told him: ”No dogs, no dogs, no dogs.”

When he attempted to explain that the dog was trained by Guide Dogs Victoria, the clerk refused to budge.

He said he was later cut off by a manager who became ”quite loud and angry”.

Jetstar claimed this was a “breakdown in communication”, and once again claimed that they carry hundreds of passengers with disabilities each week without incident.

The couple have sent a complaint to the Human Rights Commission.



Categories: Miscellaneous

Tags: , ,

8 replies

  1. Most human passengers would be more disruptive than a guide-trained black labrador.

  2. From the Qantas website:
    Service Dogs
    Service Dogs are specially trained to provide assistance to passengers with disabilities. Service Dogs can include Guide Dogs, Hearing Dogs, Mobility Assistance Dogs or any other assistance dog that assist a person with a disability.
    All Service Dogs carried by Qantas in the aircraft cabin must be registered as a service animal.
    Qantas allows Service Dogs to travel in the aircraft cabin on all domestic and single-sector international flights. From 1 March 2006, as a result of changes to UK quarantine regulations, Qantas also allows the carriage of Service Dogs to the United Kingdom, via Singapore or Hong Kong only.
    For a Service Dog to travel with you in the aircraft cabin you must:
    Confirm that the Service Dog is registered as a service animal at the time of booking.
    Carry and present a recognised Service Dog ID card or documentation at the time of check-in.
    Provide documentation that confirms that the Service Dog has been trained to an acceptable level (where requested).
    Provide evidence of your disability and how the Service Dog assists to alleviate the effect of that disability (where requested).
    Jetstar:
    Service dog
    Customers travelling with an accredited service dog must advise Jetstar that they have a disability and are travelling with a service dog at the booking stage.
    Customers travelling with a service dog whose accreditation falls within (a)-(c) below can book their flights through Jetstar.com or by contacting Jetstar Reservations. Customers who are deaf or hearing impaired can call Jetstar Reservations through the National Relay Service (see National Relay Service section for contact details). Customers must provide appropriate service dog ID cards or documentation at check in.
    Customers booking travel with service dogs whose accreditation does not fall within (a)-(c) described below but falls within (d) below, can book their flights through Jetstar.com or by contacting Jetstar Reservations. However, if flights are booked through Jetstar.com, customers must also contact Jetstar Reservations to complete the necessary application in order to seek clearance for travel with their accredited service dog in the aircraft cabin. This application must be submitted to Jetstar at least 14 days prior to travel.
    An accredited service dog includes the following:
    (a) Guide Dogs as accredited by a relevant guide dog association (eg: Guide Dogs Victoria, Guide Dog Assoc of NSW & ACT and Seeing Eye Dogs Australia);
    (b) Hearing Dogs as accredited by a relevant hearing dog association (eg: Lions Hearing Dogs Inc);
    (c) an assistance dog accredited by any of the following associations
    i. Canine Helpers for the Disabled, Inc.;
    ii. Assistance Dogs Australia;
    iii. Association of Australian Service Dogs; and
    iv. Australian Support Dogs; and
    (d) any other service dog which is trained to assist and assists a person with a disability to alleviate the disability. Jetstar accepts bookings for up to two customers travelling with an accredited service dog on each flight. Where there are already two bookings made for service dogs on the flight the customer wishes to book, Jetstar will contact the customer to make alternative arrangements which may include:
    (a) moving the customer to an earlier or later flight where the limit has not been exceeded;
    (b) re-routing the customer to their intended destination; or
    (c) providing a full refund.
    Further information about service dogs at the airport and in-flight.
    No excuses Jetstar. This couple did exactly what they were supposed to do.

  3. The whole, “they claimed that they carry hundreds of passengers with disabilities each week without incident” is bizarre. What does it mean? That the couple are being overly sensitive because apparently Jetstar carries lots of dys-abled passengers each week “without incident”? That what happened to the couploe doesn’t matter because the majority of Jetstar passengers don’t report issues?
    Maybe instead of sidestepping blame and euphemising what happened, they should give a public explanation of WHY their staff aren’t properly trained in how to accomodate dys-abled passengers.

  4. It is the corporate equivalent of “I’m not prejudiced – some of my best friends are [marginalized group]

  5. Oops, sorry – didn’t realise all your horrors were from the same airline. Feel free to delete my comments if it keeps the thread on-topic.

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