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Russia Allows Airlines To Refuse Disabled Access

Russia's Supreme Court has backed airlines' right to refuse to board wheelchair-bound passengers if the plane is not properly equipped.

According to a decree by the Transport Ministry, airlines have the right to refuse to provide service for passengers in wheelchairs and on stretchers, if they lack necessary equipment or space.

The case was filed by a consumer group, Public Control in Action, after a group of disabled passengers traveling from Moscow to Duesseldorf, Germany, were not allowed to board their flight by Air Berlin.

An Air Berlin pilot claimed the plane wasn't equipped to carry more than two wheelchair users per flight.

The group was traveling, ironically, to attend a seminar to learn about Germany's experience in creating a society accessible to disabled people.

Based on reporting by,, and

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