TAP prevents guide dog from boarding

Blind Spanish pianist accuses TAP

blind Spanish pianist Ignasi Cambra with his guide dog

JN on the mainland report that the blind Spanish pianist Ignasi Cambra has accused the Portuguese flag-carrier TAP of having “completely discriminated against” him on December 30, by preventing him from boarding with his guide dog. The airline regretted what happened, assuring people that it was reviewing procedures.

Through social media, and in a statement quoted by the EFE agency, Ignasi Cambra said that he was “trapped” for a few hours at El Prat – Barcelona airport: “[ TAP ] refused to let me travel with my guide dog”.

The musician added that he booked the flight on Wednesday (29th) at night and tried to send the necessary form to the website to say that he was travelling with a care animal, but the submission “did not work”.

“So I went to the counter, as I always do in a situation like this, and they simply refused to take me with my guide dog, because they say I didn’t inform them more than 48 hours in advance,” he said

In light of this, the pianist left a question: “How am I supposed to notify them 48 hours in advance when I booked the flight the night before? This means that, as a blind person traveling with a guide dog, I am not allowed to book a last-minute flight like all the others?”

The musician stressed that he tried to contact the staff of the Portuguese airline by phone, for an hour, “without success”. Finally, as a “favour”, he explained, he was allowed to board another plane, but he ended up not arriving in Portugal until noon on Friday.

Ignasi Cambra wondered, in an ironic tone, whether he should thank the company for making “an exception to its rule”.

TAP reviewing procedures for guide dogs

Press agency Lusa contacted TAP, which, in a written comment, “regrets what happened and the inconvenience caused by this situation”, and guarantees that “it is reviewing procedures in order to streamline the process in the future”.

However, they stressed that to ensure the best possible service in the transport of animals, and to alert everyone involved, “it is necessary to book the service in advance”.

As it was not possible in this case, “TAP made sure that the passenger and the guide dog were accommodated as quickly as possible, on the immediately following flight, having thus boarded a few hours later than originally planned”, he concluded.

Thanks to PeterA for the link

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5 thoughts on “TAP prevents guide dog from boarding”

  1. As someone who is ‘severely sight impaired’ (blind) I have always found airlines and airports very helpful as long as you register in advance that you need ‘special assistance’. The problem here is that the blind traveller with a guide dog was unable to register as he was travelling the day after he booked the flight. It is hardly surprising that if you turn with an ‘assistance’ dog unannounced you will encounter a problem as they will not have adequate notice to be unprepared for you and your dog.

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  2. Good on TAP for facilitating Mr Cambra on a following flight

    Mr Cambra as a professional pianist is probably used to travelling on a regular basis and is no doubt quite used to the heads up required to make sure things run smoothly

    He would require one of the long legroom seats in order to accommodate his guide dog which as you know are much sought after and usually booked in advance

    Mr Cambra should in reality be thanking TAP for their diligence in assisting him as quickly as possible while making sure he was comfortable and kept up to date

    I am no fan of any particular airline company but do hope that TAP look carefully at their procedures in such situations

    Human beings are usually to quick to judge, a balanced view is always preferable

    Roll on 2022

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