Etihad Airways, STOP discriminating against people with disabilities!

Petisi ini membuat perubahan dengan 49.469 pendukung!

I am writing this not because I’m angry, but because no disabled person should have to endure and be treated like this ever again.

So this is the irony. I was on my way from Jakarta Indonesia to Geneva, to participate in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability, when i was discriminated against. It was quite straightforward, Etihad Airways refused to fly me, because i was in a wheelchair.

When I checked-in in the Etihad counter before boarding, I was told that i needed a special wheelchair to get in the airplane cabin. I always do this before the flight. When I boarded, I was also escorted by the ground staff into the airplane.

But the problem came 20 minutes after I sat down on the plane. The head of the crew came to me and continued to “interrogate” me in a very condescending way about my disability. He then asked me whether I can evacuate myself without assistance if something were to happen to the the plane. I said, I would need assistance to evacuate.

Not long after, came Mr. Abrar, the Airport Operation Officer. He asked me if I could walk. I said I can only walk if there is a railing. He then said, according to the cabin crew, I need to step out from the airplane because I didn’t have an assistant.

I was shocked to hear that because I have never encountered that when i travel alone. I tried to explain to the crew that this was not the first time flying alone. But he insisted I have to get out of the plane, because I couldn’t evacuate without assistance.

They argues that this was part of the rules in Etihad that I should have read before booking the flight. Below is the rules on their website, and I couldn’t find such a thing: It even said “US Rule for non-discrimination on the basis of disability”.

This was extremely unfair! But at the time, there was not much I can do except to get off the plane.

As a disabled person and a defender of rights of disabled persons in Indonesia, I know that these things happen to the majority of them often. Not only with international airlines, but also domestic.

Ethically, and legally, Etihad Airways have conducted discrimination and a violation of disaability rights. The convention clearly states the principles of non-discrimination, which means no one should be treated differently, especially people with disability.

Through this petition, I demand Etihad Airways to stop this discriminative conduct. I also ask the government to make sure that regulations are in place to make it illegal for airlines to discriminate against people with disability.

Hari ini: Dwi mengandalkanmu

Dwi Ariyani membutuhkan bantuanmu untuk mengajukan petisi "@EtihadAirways, STOP discriminating against people with disabilities! #ShameOnYouEtihad". Bergabunglah dengan Dwi dan 49.468 pendukung lainnya hari ini.