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Old Sep 24, 08, 3:59 pm   #1
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News: Qantas snubs gold-medal Paralympian

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ACT paralympian Christine Wolf's return home yesterday was soured when staff on her flight from Sydney refused to allow the gold medallist to take her prosthetic legs as carry-on luggage.

Wolf whose left leg is amputated above the knee was already on the plane from Sydney to Canberra when the Qantas attendant refused to allow her to bring the valuable prosthetics into the cabin.

Australian coach Iryna Dvoskina, who travelled back to Canberra with Ms Wolf yesterday, said she would make a formal complaint.

''[The prosthetics] are just so sensitive, we never check it into luggage, we take it on the plane all the time and now, on our last flight after two months away and we are just very happy to be home, it was just so unhelpful and unfriendly,'' Ms Dvoskina said.
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news...spx?src=enews#
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Old Sep 25, 08, 12:09 am   #2
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Ugly as this is, if this is something that Qantas staff feel they should be doing (I imagine this isn't the first time) then perhaps it's just as well it was done to a passenger with such a high profile as it brings the ugliness out into the open.

I'm sure the majority of Australians will feel just as revolted as I do.

It is a strange, probably psychological, barrier though - allowing prosthetic legs into a cabin and not allowing someone else's chair.
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Old Sep 25, 08, 5:21 pm   #3
 
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I don't understand was she wearing the leg and they made her take it off?

If she wasn't wearing it then presumabley she doesn't require it for mobility so it should be treated as ordinary carry on luggage? Or am I missing something?
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Old Sep 25, 08, 5:33 pm   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bensyd View Post
I don't understand was she wearing the leg and they made her take it off?

If she wasn't wearing it then presumabley she doesn't require it for mobility so it should be treated as ordinary carry on luggage? Or am I missing something?
You're missing that it's a sophisticated, expensive, customized medical device, not to be equated with ordinary carry on luggage.

In the US per the Air Carrier Access Act, and in EU countries per Regulation No 1107/2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons when travelling by air, it would not be counted against the passenger's carry on allowance.
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Old Sep 25, 08, 5:46 pm   #5
 
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Originally Posted by bensyd View Post
I don't understand was she wearing the leg and they made her take it off? ... Or am I missing something?
I'm just guessing, but I'll bet that she has a "performance" leg and an "everyday" leg. So, maybe she was wearing one and carrying the other.

Here's what I don't get - a performer can buy a seat in the cabin for a cello. Why can't a performer buy a seat in the cabin for their leg? Cello travels in a case, right? Prosthetic leg would travel in a case when not being worn, right?
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Old Sep 25, 08, 6:13 pm   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katja View Post
You're missing that it's a sophisticated, expensive, customized medical device, not to be equated with ordinary carry on luggage.

In the US per the Air Carrier Access Act, and in EU countries per Regulation No 1107/2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons when travelling by air, it would not be counted against the passenger's carry on allowance.
Wouldn't an expensive sophiscated customised sports medical device come with a protective casing of some sort? Or as CUTiger said couldn't they buy an extra seat for the device.

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Originally Posted by EU 1107/2006
‘disabled person’ or ‘person with reduced mobility’ means
any person whose mobility when using transport is reduced
due to any physical disability (sensory or locomotor,
permanent or temporary), intellectual disability or impairment,
or any other cause of disability, or age, and whose
situation needs appropriate attention and the adaptation to
his or her particular needs of the service made available to
all passengers;
The passenger is wearing a prosthetic leg if I am correct so they secondary leg surely should be counted toward their carry on allowance. Per the EU legislation a person is classed as disabled if they have reduced mobility when using transport, if you have a prosthetic on then your not actually disabled for the purpose of the EU legislation. Is it any different to me carrying a prosthetic leg on behalf of a disabled person? I completely understand that these things can get damaged but I don't think Qantas is entirely at fault, and the athlete or at least someone at the AIS should have known the carry on restrictions.



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Originally Posted by CUTiger78 View Post
I'm just guessing, but I'll bet that she has a "performance" leg and an "everyday" leg. So, maybe she was wearing one and carrying the other.

Here's what I don't get - a performer can buy a seat in the cabin for a cello. Why can't a performer buy a seat in the cabin for their leg? Cello travels in a case, right? Prosthetic leg would travel in a case when not being worn, right?
Ahh that makes sense.

The issue I have with bulky items being stored in overhead bins is that bins open up and things fall out, I'm not sure I would want to be hit on the head by a prosthetic leg (cased or uncased). How much do they weigh?

Last edited by bensyd; Sep 25, 08 at 6:19 pm.
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Old Sep 26, 08, 12:38 am   #7
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From the quote in the story there was were more than one 'prosthetics'.
Given this athlete was competing in both sprint and long jump competitions it is likely she needed a couple of 'performance' prosthetic legs.

Was Qantas not a Beijing 2008 sponsor of the Australian team?
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Old Sep 26, 08, 8:05 am   #8
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Originally Posted by bensyd View Post
The passenger is wearing a prosthetic leg if I am correct so they secondary leg surely should be counted toward their carry on allowance.
Medical/mobility aids do not have to be in use at the moment of travel in order to be exempt; commode chairs and CPAPs are examples.
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Old Sep 26, 08, 8:15 am   #9
 
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"additional" carryons

I carry my CPAP with me, and its never counted as a carryon, its also in a "blue" medical bag so that its easily identifiable as medical equipment. Sometimes I get looks from other passengers - three bags - why is he allowed three bags, (laptop, backpack and CPAP) but I have never had a problem with flight attendants, security or gate agents - although TSA makes me take it out of my bag and they test it for explosive residue...

and given that this was probably a long haul flight on a 747 or 777 - the FA should have just put them in a closet.

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Old Sep 26, 08, 9:08 am   #10
 
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Originally Posted by Katja View Post
Medical/mobility aids do not have to be in use at the moment of travel in order to be exempt; commode chairs and CPAPs are examples.
So if I were carrying a prosthetic leg would I also be allowed to have it exempt from my carry on?
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Old Sep 26, 08, 2:05 pm   #11
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Originally Posted by bensyd View Post
So if I were carrying a prosthetic leg would I also be allowed to have it exempt from my carry on?
It would not count against your carry on allowance (i.e., you could carry it on in addition to whatever the airline's normal carry on allowance is).
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Old Sep 27, 08, 4:09 pm   #12
 
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Originally Posted by Katja View Post
It would not count against your carry on allowance (i.e., you could carry it on in addition to whatever the airline's normal carry on allowance is).
Oh well that's a different story, if there is an exemption for prosthetics being excluded from carry on allowance even for able bodied individuals then Qantas should have probably allowed, if it was safe, the carrying of the device onboard.
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Old Sep 27, 08, 4:17 pm   #13
 
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Originally Posted by bensyd View Post
Oh well that's a different story, if there is an exemption for prosthetics being excluded from carry on allowance even for able bodied individuals then Qantas should have probably allowed, if it was safe, the carrying of the device onboard.
In the US there is an exemption, but I'm not sure that there is in Australia. This is hardly the first such story from down under.
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Old Sep 30, 08, 6:31 am   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bensyd View Post
The issue I have with bulky items being stored in overhead bins is that bins open up and things fall out, I'm not sure I would want to be hit on the head by a prosthetic leg (cased or uncased). How much do they weigh?
It is also entirely possible that we are talking about a Dash-8 flight, where you are lucky to get a pretty standard bag into the o/head compartment, and it needs to weigh less than 4kg...
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