Qantas 'rejected girl for too-high wheelchair'

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
Assalamu alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu

Neil Hickey

October 09, 2006 01:00am

Article from: The Courier-Mail

A TOWNSVILLE woman is considering legal action against Qantas after the airline refused to carry her daughter, who has cerebral palsy, because her wheelchair was 12cm too high.

Mother-of-three Donna Pemberton said she would seek advice today about taking action in either the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission or the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal.

The possible action comes after her five-year-old daughter Kate was not allowed to board a Townsville to Brisbane flight last Monday because her wheelchair was 96cm tall and a model that could not be collapsed.

"I find this totally unbelievable that you can't get a five-year-old's wheelchair on a flight," she said. "It's one of the smallest wheelchairs you'll ever see. If she can't get on the plane, what do adults do?"

Mrs Pemberton and her daughter, who is unable to speak, were preparing to fly to Brisbane so Kate could take part in a camp run by the Cerebral Palsy League of Queensland.

She was ultimately flown to and from her camp by a Virgin 737 that had no such restrictions on wheelchairs, Mrs Pemberton said.

Margaret Scott, the head of the Cerebral Palsy League of Queensland, said she would seek an explanation from Qantas.

A Qantas spokesman said last night the airline's wheelchair restrictions were "well publicised" when they were revised in December last year but confirmed the company would investigate the matter.


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