As the result of a complaint by a passenger who was unable to take advantage of a discounted fare, Virgin Australia has changed their attendant policy. Previously passengers had to provide the name of their attendant at the time of booking, but because of the change, passengers can now book up to 331 days in advance and get the internet discount rate, without providing their attendant’s name.
The original complaint was filed by Jenny Brown, when she was unable to take advantage of the airline’s discounted rate for her son. “My son travels with a carer arranged by a nursing agency. We don’t usually know their name more than two weeks in advance when the agency finalises their roster, so we have had to book at the last minute,” Ms Brown said. And since discounted fares are not available on last minute bookings, many people who travel with attendants pay higher fares. The change is seen as a victory by disability rights advocates. Says Brown’s attorney, “Travel is an essential service and this takes us one step closer to equality.”