Published on : Wednesday, January 3, 2018
The incident took place with Nathalie Allport-Grantham, 23, who was flying to Nice with Ryanair on 31 December when a airline member staff refused to assist her which she had confirmed ahead of her flight. She had requested the use of a wheelchair to help her to the gate, as well as assistance carrying her hand luggage onboard the aircraft.
Although she got a wheelchair at check-in, she complained saying it was later taken away from her by airport staff who then told her that she was “wasting their time” by asking for help.
Allport-Grantham suffers from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome which is a connective tissue disorder and causes chronic pain and joint dislocation and might even affect the heart when the patient is standing. Although she uses a wheelchair part-time, all are invisible disabilities.
While booking the tickets she confirmed wheelchair assistance opting not to bring her own chair because the airport would provide one instead.
Airlines such as Ryanair log the assistance needs of their passengers, but it is the airports in question that fulfill the requests. Stansted contracts its PRM (passengers with reduced mobility) service to an external provider, Omniserv.
Allport-Grantham said that her wheelchair was taken away by an airport employee, who promised to bring it straight back but never returned. On asking for assistance to carry the bags, she was told to pay £50.
A spokesperson for Ryanair said: “While we regret any inconvenience caused, wheelchair services at London Stansted are operated by Omniserv – at great expense to the airlines – and London Stansted is responsible for this service and any problems with it.”