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24.03.2021 news ‘It’s Illegal’ — FCCPC Slams Dana Air’s N9,000 Wheelchair Charge on Physically Challenged Lady

Published 24th Mar, 2021

By Damilola Adeyera

Babatunde Irukera, Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) on Wednesday described as “illegal” the actions of Dana Air towards Uzoamaka Stella, a Physically challenged woman. 

FIJ had reported details of how Stella was discriminated against by Dana Air and asked to pay an extra N4,500.00 as “wheelchair charges” for each leg of a two-way trip. She also accused a Dana air attendant at the Abuja terminal of discrimination. 

When FIJ reached out to Dana Air to find out if they truly charged Stella for her “wheelchairs”. Dana air confirmed that they did, but they blamed it on the pandemic, saying they used to offer the services for free prior to Covid-19 outbreak. 

“Yes, we used to offer the services free of charge before now but due to the pandemic, especially the second phase of the Covid 19, it was necessary to contract the services out to a specialised company to handle the process for the safety of both passengers and staff hence the charge for anybody who is in need of the services,” the airline told FIJ via WhatsApp on Monday. 

READ MORE: Dana Air Bills Lady N9,000 Extra for Being Physically Challenged

Responding to this development, Irukera said the additional burden placed on Stella by Dana air is “Illegal, discriminatory, unjustified and inconsistent with global standards”. He promised to “ensure this doesn’t happen, and ensure appropriate retribution where PWDs have been mistreated on account of disability”. 

Following the response by Irukera, Dana Air said they’re currently investigating and will take a decision soon. The airline restated its commitment to ensuring the well-being of Persons with Disability. 

But Olawunmi Okupe, Programmes Director, Inclusive Friends Association, the organisation who catered for Stella’s flight itinerary said Dana Air had not reached out or offered any form of apology to Stella. “They should have sent out like a personal message to her, but they’re not saying anything”, she said.

Published 24th Mar, 2021

By Damilola Adeyera

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