Now Reading
Blind Couple Traveling With Their Baby Claim Airline Refused to Let Them Board Unless They Had a Sighted Helper With Them

Blind Couple Traveling With Their Baby Claim Airline Refused to Let Them Board Unless They Had a Sighted Helper With Them

A blind couple who were travelling with their baby and trying to get back to their home in Iceland after a holiday in Greece were stopped from boarding two separate flights and stranded for a week because they didn’t have a sighted escort with them.

Eythor Kamban Thrastarson and Emilia Pykarinou had managed to travel from Reykjavík to Athens without a hitch, but on their return on December 2, the couple suddenly found themselves at the mercy of airport staff who insisted they couldn’t travel with their one-year-old daughter unless they had a helper.

The Icelandic couple had booked a flight with troubled Scandinavian airline SAS and were due to fly from Athens to Reykjavík with a short stopover in Copenhagen in order to change planes.

Eythor and Emilia say they are confident travelers and were happy to fly without special assistance from the airline. Importantly, as parents, they say they are perfectly capable of looking after their child without a sighted helper.

But on arrival at Athens airport, ground staff stopped the trio from boarding their return flight home unless they had an escort – a process that would require them to book an additional seat onboard both flights.

Eythor and Emilia refused to cough up the additional money and were denied boarding by the airline. Two days later, they again tried to get on a flight at Athens airport but were, again, denied boarding for the same reason.

In the end, the couple were stranded in Greece for a week and only returned home on December 9 after they roped in a random passenger who agreed to be their escort for the flight.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Eythór told Icelandic broadcaster RUV that “this is by no means over.”

“We are by no means comfortable with the fact that we have been asked to find a person to fly with us, let alone pay for it,” Eythór continued.

Last week, Qatar Airways was slammed by a passenger with spina bifida who was booted off a plane in Melbourne, Australia, because he didn’t have an escort with him. In that case, airline staff claimed seasoned international traveller Craig Nolan needed someone with him to get to and from the onboard lavatory.

Craig acknowledges that he requires assistance in a special aisle chair to get to and from the lavatory but can then manage himself in the lavatory. In its own disability rights policy, Qatar Airways says its cabin crew should have provided the assistance that Craig had requested.

The airline did not reply to a request for comment.

SAS has also been contacted for comment.

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

© 2023 All Rights Reserved.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to with appropriate and specific directions to the original content.