Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Disabled man Alan Sage rails against extra first class charge on Eurostar train
The mistake was later acknowledged by the train company, but only after 60-year-old Alan Sage’s travel agent took up the battle on his behalf.
The trip had been part of a holiday to the French capital to celebrate Mr Sage’s 60th birthday on January 1, and had been booked by his wife.
The couple were also travelling with two friends and all four have now been granted first class travel as “a gesture of goodwill” from Eurostar.
Mr Sage, who uses a wheelchair, said: “My wife booked this for my birthday for four of us to go to Paris.
“They came back to say we would have to pay extra because their disabled area was in first class.
“They wanted an extra £113 and the couple we were going with had to pay an extra £300.
“To charge people extra for being in first class when you can’t go anywhere else is not on.”
Paul Smith, owner of Quartz Travel in Heworth and organiser of the trip, said: “We booked it and confirmed it then they rang back and said we would have to pay extra.
“I have been fighting this for two months.”
A spokesman for Eurostar put the extra charges down to a mistake with one of their own travel agents.
He said the disabled spaces were located in first class because there were more staff and the doors were wider.
“If you have a wheelchair you may sit there (in first class), with one companion, at no added cost,” he said.
“In this incident, because of a mix-up, the client was told he would have to pay more.
“As a gesture of goodwill the four have been allowed to travel together.”