In an interview with the BBC, a businesswoman and life coach details the trials and tribulations wheelchair-bound passengers like her endure on a regular basis.
Mary Doyle, named one of Britain's most influential people with a disability this year, says "It's not uncommon to sit on the tarmac when you come back from a destination (while) they look for your chair or (while) they look for the lift which may be on the other side of the terminal."
She shared her own personal horror story of being "carried onboard by, unfortunately, drunken ex-pats coming home to the U.K."
She's far from alone: A survey conducted by Britain's Civil Aviation Authority found 57 percent of disabled passengers said they found flying and airports difficult.
That's why the agency is proposing a new initiative to track accessibility compliance efforts by participating airlines and airports. It would allow the CAA to levy fines against those found to be in violation and enforce compensation for inconvenienced passengers, including removing a cap on payouts for damaged wheelchairs. It would also require better training for crew members and baggage handlers.
Chris Woodroofe, the chief operating officer for London's Gatwick Airport, expressed support for the new measures to The Financial Times, acknowledging, "Flying can be a challenge for people with a disability and airports, in partnership with airlines, can change that by improving their practices and infrastructure so that everyone has an equal opportunity to fly."
The proposed changes would also spur airlines to come up with their own solutions for enabling wheelchair-bound passengers to board without outside assistance so that people like Mary Doyle are not left humiliated and at the mercy of others.
"It's just massively embarrassing ... I'm quite tough but even on two occasions it's basically pushed me to basically just cry in public which I was not intending to do," she told the BBC.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Disabled passenger's bill of rights? Proposed U.K. regulation seeks to make flying easier