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The BBC’s coverage about the extra costs associated with travelling with personal care assistants is obviously timely because of the Summer Holidays but is not restricted to airlines.

As long ago as 2014, with the help of Catherine Casserley at Cloisters Chambers I succeeded in a case against SMG Group who operated amongst other venues the York Barbican theatre venue. That case was widely reported by the BBC at the time and although only at County Court level and not as binding as a Court of Appeal decision succeeded in establishing that pricing policies can be discriminatory.

If you are disabled, being charged full price for a care assistant is likely to be discriminatory because it doubles the cost of your own ticket. In other words, it costs more for a ticket to an event, or access a service simply because of a disability. This was an issue that also has resonance in train travel, theme parks, cinemas, sports events, and even hotels.

It’s also wrong to be required to be required to pay more on premium booking lines for disabled access. This is wrong in more than just the ‘disability surcharge’ way, but also if that’s the only way to book in then this will affect people who can’t use a telephone service such as people with speech differences and deaf people.

So, as we’re in the Festival season and the Summer holidays it may be worth researching some of these policies before attending and challenging them in advance. I can help provide free advice on how to do that.

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