A trip from England to Spain ended in disappointment for a 24-year-old man. Wheelchair user Brandon Oughton was removed from the plane because his wheelchair was too heavy to be carried on the plane as baggage. that reports daily Mail.
Source: Daily mail, telegraph
The man was from Nottingham, England, with his caretaker, Orla Hennessy (41), traveling from East Midlands Airport to Malaga with Ryanair. But the flight left without Oughton, who has cerebral palsy. His 270-pound wheelchair was too heavy to mount in suspension.
After the couple was already on board, Swissport – the airport’s ground handling services company – came to this conclusion. The pilot came in person to tell Oughton and Hennessy to get off.
Oughton was angry and sad. He’s flown twice before and never had any problems. “Brandon was upset,” Hennessy said. “I felt like no one wanted to help us.” daily Mail. Swissport’s responsibility was to put a wheelchair on board. But the appropriate equipment was not available. Four employees told us they were unable to lift it due to their health and safety. They kicked us off the plane without mercy, even though we have a message from Ryanair saying the seat wasn’t too heavy and could be taken.” Swissport, in turn, claims it was misleading.
Oughton and Hennessy were finally able to fly Ryanair to Malaga late on Tuesday 12 October for their first vacation in two years. But he had to contend with a totally unsuitable lighter wheelchair. For him, this was like “dislocating his legs,” says Hennessy.
“Brandon still wanted to go on vacation, and a disabled vacation agency was able to arrange flights for us the next day, but we had to bring a manual wheelchair. This one is completely unsuitable for Brandon’s needs.”
A Swissport spokesperson commented: daily Mail. “We are saddened to hear this customer’s allegations. We take our responsibility towards disabled passengers very seriously and understand the importance of smooth travel for all passengers.”
An East Midlands Airport spokesperson added: “We regret to learn that Brandon’s wheelchair was too heavy. After escorting Brandon and his companion off the plane, we were informed of the decision not to accept his wheelchair. We understand he can book a flight the next day.”
Ryanair also responded in the meantime. “We have contacted this customer directly and this situation has been resolved.”