Video footage posted on social media shows there were seven staff at the VietJetAir counter at Danang airport in the central coast city of the same name late in the afternoon but they refused to check in disabled passenger Nguyen Thi Van.
The only male staff member among the seven present at the counter did not even look up when a woman who would be flying with Van asked whether or not they would be checked in. In the end two of the staff responsible for the case just handed a minutes stating the official refusal of servicing the disabled passenger even though Van had no problem flying with this carrier from Hanoi to Danang.
The Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) said the refusal by two VietJetAir staff at Danang airport to transport a disabled customer last Thursday amounted to a violation of various air transport regulations.
This denial of check-in service infringed the Ministry of Transport’s Circular 36/2014/TT-BGTVT on quality of passenger services at airports, and its Circular 39/2012/TT-BGTVT guiding implementation of national standards for transport infrastructure and assistance and priority policies for disabled users of public transportation, according to CAAV.
The two employees of the local budget airline also violated Pronouncement 153-15/TB-VJC-BGD issued on February 3, 2015 by VietJet Aviation Joint Stock Company on services for passengers who need a wheelchair.
The Central Airports Authority, after being informed of this discrimination against disabled passenger Van, scrambled to make a report and then imposed a maximum administrative fine of VND5 million on each of the two VietJetAir staff.
CAAV has also requested VietJetAir to strictly deal with its chief representative and deputy chief representative at Danang airport over the incident, and publicly issue a letter of apologies to passenger Nguyen Thi Van.
VietJetAir and Danang airport have been told to abide the regulations provided in Official Dispatch 1551/CHK-QLC issued on April 1, 2015 by CAAV regarding compulsory assistance for disabled passengers at airports.
This official dispatch requires airports to make equipment and staff available to assist the physically disabled to embark on and disembark from aircraft in accordance with Item 3 in Article 5 of Circular 39. At the airports where no wheelchair lifts are available, they must assign staff to help disabled people to get on and get off planes.
After a five-hour wait in vain, Van was forced to buy a Vietnam Airlines ticket at the airport to fly back to Hanoi at 10 p.m. without encountering any problem.
Last Friday a VietJetAir representative explained that airlines have rules requiring physically impaired passengers to book assistance services in advance to allow airlines to have some time to ask airports to prepare equipment and staff.
VietJetAir’s rules require physically disabled passengers to inform the airline of their conditions at least 48 hours before departure time since airports in Vietnam will not have enough assistance devices for the disabled if several flights need such assistance at a time.
The airline said Nguyen Thi Van had not booked assistance service as required, so its staff at Danang airport did what the airline’s rules allow them to do.
For the flight from Hanoi to Danang, Van was allowed to get on board because the airport in Hanoi had a jetway available for passengers to use, which made it possible for the wheelchair to directly get on board, so staff of the carrier flexibly checked Van in though she had not booked assistance, said VietJetAir.
Meanwhile, at Danang airport, passengers had to take a bus to the parking area far from the departure lounge and use air-stairs, so Van was denied check-in for safety reasons.
However, the carrier admitted the behavior of its staff at Danang airport was inappropriate and said it would take serious sanctions against those responsible.
Đăng ký: VietNam News