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The German air company AirBerlin refused to permit the group of Russian disabled people on the wheeling chairs to get onboard the airplane. The disabled people were planning to fly from the Moscow airport Domodedovo to Dusseldorf for a conference over the barrier-free environment for people with disabilities. The pilot of the air company cited the internal rules, which permit him to refuse from the transportation of these passengers.
From 34 disabled people 11 members of the delegation departed by the AirBerlin flight, a member of the group, State Duma deputy Vladimir Krupennikov said. The Russian delegation was to participate in several specialized seminars to study the German experience to create an accessible environment for the disabled people, the Vechernaya Moskva daily reported.
Officials of the air company AirBerlin humiliated the Russian disabled people with special cynicism, the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily reported. “The tickets for the whole delegation were bought 1.5 months ago,” Maria Gendeleva, who was not permitted to get onboard the airplane, said. “Meanwhile, some passengers are disabled people on the wheeling chairs, the flight documentation said. Early in the morning on October 8 we arrived at the Domodedovo airport, checked in, handed in the luggage, passed all customs controls, and no one had any problems. No one even said a word about any restrictions. Only when the embarking on the airplane began, AirBerlin officials refused to let us in suddenly! It turned out that this air company has its rules that not more than two disabled people on the wheeling chairs can be permitted to get on the airplane. In our case even two disabled people did not fly. When all these disputes began, we were said that the commander of the airplane personally banned any disabled people to take this flight.”
“This is the convention on the rights of disabled people practiced in the special German style. But we flied to acquire their experience!” Vladimir Krupennikov said in his microblog.