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Paraplegic woman barred from flight

By : Global Times|Updated: 2011-11-07

A wheelchair-bound woman from Sichuan Province is suing Chengdu Airlines for refusing to let her board a plane earlier this month, in the latest case ex-posing discrimination against the disabled among domestic airlines.

Zhu Lanying, 26, was about to board a Chengdu Airlines flight at Kunming Airport in Yunnan Province on October 8, when she was told by staff that the flight could not accept wheelchair travelers.

Zhu, who is paraplegic, claimed that she fell out of her wheelchair as airport staff pushed her away from the boarding gate, bruising her head and arms.

Zhang Honglei, Zhu's lawyer, told the Global Times that his client is pre?paring to sue both Chengdu Airlines and the airport and will seek 10,000 yuan ($1,573.76) in compensation.

"(What happened at the airport) was clearly discrimination and a brutal viola?tion of Zhu's rights," Zhang said.

Chengdu Airlines was not available for comment by press time on Wednesday.

Zhu's case was detailed in a report released Tuesday by Equity and Jus?tice Initiative (EJI), a rights group for the disabled in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, which exposed the barriers facing passengers with various types of disabilities.

According to the report, 22 of the 24 carriers surveyed, including Air China and China Eastern, have strict rules lim?iting the travel of disabled passengers. The other two did not provide informa?tion about the matter.

Some of the companies may refuse to allow a disabled traveler onboard on three grounds:

If the passenger failed to inform the company of their disability in advance; the passenger does not have a medical certificate to prove they can fly, or the carrier believed the traveler could cause discomfort to other passengers.

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