NDCS urges action on airlines' policies

Transport secretary Alistair Darling is being urged to sort out the chaos surrounding deaf airline passengers that has seen people being thrown off flights minutes before take-off.

The National Deaf Children's Society has written to Darling after conducting a survey that revealed only seven of 14 airlines had policies or guidelines for deaf travellers.

Irate deaf travellers have contacted the charity twice in the past year, most recently last month when 23 deaf teenagers were ordered off an Iberia flight on the Heathrow runway.

Iberia claimed only four passengers "with reduced mobility" were allowed on board at one time and said the travel agent should not have accepted the booking.

"There is a thorough voluntary code of practice on the issue but hardly any airlines have taken it up," said society spokeswoman Zoe Mendies.

The charity wants airlines to adopt five procedures, including the provision of hearing neckloops and subtitled safety videos.

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