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Wheelchair User Left To Crawl Off Ryanair Plane In Sweden

May 3, 2023

    A wheelchair user who crawled down metal steps from a plane when no-one could help him disembark has described the incident as “unacceptable”.

    Adrian Keogh, from Wicklow in the Republic of Ireland, was told assistance would take an hour to arrive after his flight landed at Landvetter Airport in Sweden on Saturday.

    Mr Keogh said cabin crew on the Ryanair flight told him he could crawl from the aircraft instead of waiting.

    He has used a wheelchair since 2015.

    The airport has apologised and Ryanair said it was looking into the incident.

    Mr Keogh, who has a spinal injury following a construction accident, told BBC News NI he was not able to wait for an hour for assistance disembarking the plane as he was in pain after the flight and needed to use the bathroom.

    He was travelling with his brother who offered to carry him down the stairs but Mr Keogh declined as he felt that would be too dangerous.

    “They were steep, corrugated steel steps,” he said.

    “If he fell we would have both been hurt so I had to bunny-hop down myself.”

    Mr Keogh said air travel as a wheelchair user could sometimes be frustrating.

    “This is not the first time I’ve been stuck on a plane after everyone else has disembarked,” he said.

    “It’s unacceptable – all I ask for is to be able to travel with dignity.”

    In a social media post, Landvetter Airport apologised, blaming busy flight traffic and a medical emergency for the delay in assistance.

    BBC News NI has approached the airport for comment.

    Ryanair said special assistance at Landvetter Airport was provided by a third-party service provider.

    The airline said it was looking into the incident.

    Similar issues have been reported at other airports, including by the BBC’s security editor Frank Gardner, who was left on a plane at Heathrow Airport.

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    How do you book (and complain) about airport assistance?

    • The UK government recommends that passengers request assistance through their airline, tour operator or travel agent at least 48 hours before travel
    • If a passenger has not pre-notified, assistance will always still be provided but you might have to wait longer to be helped
    • If things go wrong and you’re unhappy, the Civil Aviation Authority recommends you take your complaint directly to the airline or airport
    • If you remain dissatisfied, you can refer your complaint to an alternative dispute resolution body which provides alternative methods, such as mediation and conciliation, instead of going to court
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