Monday, 18 April 2011

Portsmouth's new terminal welcomes first cruise passengers

Portsmouth's new terminal welcomes first cruise passengers
Monday, April 18, 2011
The first cruise passengers to use Portsmouth International Port’s newly opened terminal arrived last week.
Classic International Cruises’ ship Athena, arrived on Thursday from Freemantle in Australia on March 6.

The new terminal opened its doors to passengers on April 1 and is designed to accommodate both ferry and cruise ship passengers. The building is part of a £16.5 million investment in new facilities at the port.

Commenting, Martin Putman, port manager said: "This is just the start of a busy season of cruise ship visits for us at Portsmouth International Port. The changes we've made are already attracting more business from cruise ship companies."

The port is expecting around 34 cruise ship calls between now and the end of December, with All Leisure Group basing three ships in Portsmouth for their summer season.

Other visits will include the expedition ship the National Geographic Explorer, and Fred Olsen’s Boudicca.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Ryanair found guilty of disability discrimination case

Ryanair left a wheelchair-bound passenger on the runway at Luton Airport because “all it was interested in was getting the plane airborne on time” according to a judge.

Jo Heath, who suffers multiple sclerosis, had to be carried on to the aircraft by her husband Paul using a fireman’s lift. Northampton County Court ruled the airline broke disability discrimination laws and breached its contract with Heath after its staff refused to help the couple in June 2008. The court awarded the Heaths £1,750.

Husband Paul said: “Ryanair tried to brush us under the carpet. They offered us more money than we eventually received but we refused it because they wanted us to sign a confidentiality clause.”

Jo Heath said: “I’m not terribly impressed with the pay-out but it’s not a question of money. It’s about standing up for people with disabilities.”

Judge Paul McHale ruled: “I find as a matter of fact that anything that interfered with the [aircraft] turnaround time was going to be ignored. All the defendant was interested in was getting the plane airborne on time.”

Ryanair said it would appeal on the grounds that Luton Airport was responsible for assisting the passengers under European Union law. The couple had submitted a special requirements request for a hydraulic Ambulift, which failed to turn up on the day.