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Last Updated: Monday, 8 November, 2004, 06:49 GMT
Ryanair appeals disability ruling
Bob Ross
Mr Ross has cerebral palsy and arthritis
Budget airline Ryanair's appeal against a court judgement which found it was unlawful to charge a disabled passenger for a wheelchair begins on Monday.

Bob Ross, from Islington, London, won his case in January after being charged 18 to use a wheelchair at Stansted Airport, in Essex.

Ryanair was ordered to pay 1,336 in compensation to the community worker.

A Ryanair spokesman said the cost should fall on terminal owner BAA and described the ruling as "defective".

Ticket price rise

Mr Ross was supported in his case against Ryanair and Stansted Airport by the Disability Rights Commission.

Judge Crawford Lindsey QC at London County Court ruled Ryanair had acted unlawfully by not ensuring a free wheelchair was provided.

After the ruling Ryanair said it would add 50p to every ticket to cover the cost of providing wheelchairs.

A spokesman for Ryanair said: "We believe the Court of Appeal will find in favour of current EU [European Union] thinking, which is that these costs should be the responsibility of the airport terminal owner and operator.

"Ryanair strongly believes that BAA should provide wheelchair assistance free of charge just like the vast majority of other airports in Europe.

Alyson Rose from the Disability Rights Commission told BBC Online that she hoped clarification will be offered at the hearing as to who is responsible for providing free wheelchairs.

Ryanair loses disability ruling
30 Jan 04 |  Business
Ryanair faces disability lawsuit
03 Sep 02 |  Business

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