Easyjet faces €70,000 fine after removing disabled woman from flight


Easyjet is facing a €70,000 fine in France after a disabled woman was removed from
a flight because she was unaccompanied.

On Monday, a public prosecutor called on a Paris appeals court to increase a fine imposed on Easyjet in the case last year, reports the Daily Telegraph.

The airline was fined €5,000 and ordered to pay another €5,000 in damages in March 2012 in a case brought by Marie-Patricia Hoarau.

Easyjet appealed the verdict, saying it was complying with British law when she was removed from the flight for security reasons - mainly that she could not reach an emergency exit on her own.

Ms Hoarau was ordered off a flight from Paris to Nice in March 2010, despite having travelled alone the previous day.

A pilot who was travelling on the same flight had also agreed to assist her, but she was still removed.

She filed a legal complaint after contacting France's APF association for the disabled, saying she was left feeling "humiliated".

At the time, she told the Daily Mail: "I was allowed to board the plane alone, but once I was inside, they told me I couldn't travel because I didn't have a helper.

"I try to cope with this disability every day and being ordered off like that in front of my fellow passengers was a slap in the face.

"I felt humiliated and like a pariah who has no place in society."

Prosecutor Denys Millet told the court that obligation for a wheelchair-bound passenger to fly accompanied "does not fit with the idea of security needs".

The case is one of two brought by wheelchair users against Easyjet in Paris courts this week.

The second case, which will be heard on Thursday, involves another wheelchair user who was refused onto a flight from Paris because she was travelling alone.

According to the NZ Herald, she was forced to buy a last-minute return ticket with another airline to get to her son's funeral in Portugal.

15 flights from hell

15 flights from hell

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