[Jetstar is a discount airline in Australia.]
Further to incidents where Jetstar expected Kurt Fearnley to cool his heels, completely dependent, in a non-self-propellable aisle chair for 90 minutes between checkin and boarding (“Let us drive the wheelchair! It’s safer!), and another incident where Trevor Carroll, being pushed in a chair by airline staff (after they broke his walking frame), was tipped on his 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:
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’s written policies specifically note that dogs trained by Guide Dogs Victoria, among other trainers, are eligible to fly.]
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.