Disabled holidaymaker Equalities Act row win

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A disabled holiday-maker has successfully claimed for unlawful discrimination against a package holiday firm after a row over swimming pools and disabled access.

Janice Campbell, aged 67, of Gleadless, Sheffield, was told the swimming pool at her hotel would be out of action when she took a Thomas Cook holiday to Sousse in Tunisia.

She was told she could use the pool at the hotel next door, but when that arrangement was cancelled, she was unable to get to the alternative offered because of her disability.

Mrs Campbell said: “Swimming was a very important part of my holiday.

“I found it extremely frustrating when Thomas Cook refused to do anything to resolve my complaint.”

She took legal action for unlawful discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.

At the original trial, the judge found although Thomas Cook had not made ‘reasonable adjustments’ the claim could not succeed.

Thomas Cook argued it was not liable for discrimination once Mrs Campbell stepped outside Great Britain and the trial judge accepted that.

But on appeal at Sheffield County Court, His Honour Judge Robinson ruled the Equality Act 2010 did apply even though she was outside Great Britain because there was ‘sufficient connection’ to this country.

Douglas Johnson, of Sheffield Citizens Advice and Law Centre, said: “This case is good news for the millions of disabled tourists as it shows they are protected from discrimination by law. Tour operators provide a service and must not discriminate, whether at home or abroad.

“We hope this will encourage tour operators to make sure the needs of disabled tourists are provided for when on holiday.”