Disabled passenger says she was left 'humiliated' after having to drag herself down plane aisle to use toilet

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By stefan armitage

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A woman paralyzed from the waist down has said that she was left "humiliated" after having to drag herself down a plane aisle in order to use the restroom.

Blogger Jennie Berry - who often touts disability rights on her wheelie_good_life social media pages - says she was flying from Newcastle International Airport in England with Spain's Albastar Airlines when the "degrading" incident occurred.

Sharing a video of her having to crawl on the floor of the plane's aisle, Berry tweeted: "SHOCKED AND DISGUSTED WITH ALBASTAR AIRLINES - told me I should wear a nappy on board as I’m disabled and they don’t have an aisle chair. This is what I had to resort to. Please share - This isn’t acceptable!!!"

The video shows Berry using her arms to shuffle backward between rows of people, before she finally reached the lavatory. Once there, she was helped onto the toilet by her partner, saying in the voiceover: "When you've gotta go, you've gotta go."

In a lengthy Instagram post detailing her experience, Berry revealed that she was originally supposed to be flying with TUI, but that the flight provider was changed to Albastar Airlines.

After after arriving at the airport, she was informed by staff that "here was no possibility of sitting anywhere near the front of the plane for ease getting on and off as a disabled person needing to use an aisle chair."

An "aisle chair" is a compact wheelchair that allows passengers with limited mobility to be transported from their own wheelchair to their seat.

She claims that once the plane took off, she asked to go to the toilet. However, she says she was told by crew members: "No we don’t have an aisle chair onboard", and was provided with no other suggestions.

Berry claims that while crawling to the bathroom, "staff continued to serve drinks".

"Once I reached the toilet, staff told me that 'disabled people should wear nappies on board,'" Berry writes, adding: "Apparently that’s their solution - to ask disabled passengers to pee in their seats."

size-large wp-image-1263169986
Credit: Amos Dor / Alamy

The post continues: "Staff were huffing and puffing whilst I held up their all important drinks cart and told me that 'in 27 years of working on airlines, they’ve never saw the issue of disabled people having to wear nappies before'".

Berry says that on "every flight" she's has ever been on, the plane has been equipped with an aisle chair and had "compassionate staff regarding the struggles disabled people face when traveling".

She then stressed that "a lot still needs to be done" when it comes to accessibility and attitudes within the travel industry.

"Life as a disabled person can sometimes be downright degrading and embarrassing and unfortunately, this was one of them times. To be outright told to my face that I should wear a nappy when I don’t need to and that they are happy with that policy, made me feel humiliated," she concludes.

VT reached out Albastar Airlines for its response to Berry's experience, with a spokesperson saying via email: "Albastar would like to express its sincere apologies for the event that recently took place on one of our flights in relation to the flight experience of a passenger with reduced mobility.

"Our main concern is the safety and comfort of all our passengers on each and every flight we operate.

"We are working to investigate the incident to ensure that this isolated incident does not happen again on any of our aircraft."

The spokesperson added that "aisle wheelchairs are not mandatory as per current regulation, not even recommended nor mentioned when talking about aircraft equipment/furnishing."

Regarding Berry's particular flight, the spokesperson added that "the passengers’ list received before the flight didn’t show the presence of a 'Wheelchair C passenger', meaning Albastar was never informed of the presence of a disabled passenger.

"In the aircrafts, there are no special seats for disabled passengers onboard. Instead, there are seats where disabled passengers cannot seat due to regulations, namely emergency exit/windows seats. The first row requested by the passenger is to be considered 'Emergency Exit Row' due to being the closest one to door."

Featured image credit: Markus Mainka / Alamy

Disabled passenger says she was left 'humiliated' after having to drag herself down plane aisle to use toilet

vt-author-image

By stefan armitage

Article saved!Article saved!

A woman paralyzed from the waist down has said that she was left "humiliated" after having to drag herself down a plane aisle in order to use the restroom.

Blogger Jennie Berry - who often touts disability rights on her wheelie_good_life social media pages - says she was flying from Newcastle International Airport in England with Spain's Albastar Airlines when the "degrading" incident occurred.

Sharing a video of her having to crawl on the floor of the plane's aisle, Berry tweeted: "SHOCKED AND DISGUSTED WITH ALBASTAR AIRLINES - told me I should wear a nappy on board as I’m disabled and they don’t have an aisle chair. This is what I had to resort to. Please share - This isn’t acceptable!!!"

The video shows Berry using her arms to shuffle backward between rows of people, before she finally reached the lavatory. Once there, she was helped onto the toilet by her partner, saying in the voiceover: "When you've gotta go, you've gotta go."

In a lengthy Instagram post detailing her experience, Berry revealed that she was originally supposed to be flying with TUI, but that the flight provider was changed to Albastar Airlines.

After after arriving at the airport, she was informed by staff that "here was no possibility of sitting anywhere near the front of the plane for ease getting on and off as a disabled person needing to use an aisle chair."

An "aisle chair" is a compact wheelchair that allows passengers with limited mobility to be transported from their own wheelchair to their seat.

She claims that once the plane took off, she asked to go to the toilet. However, she says she was told by crew members: "No we don’t have an aisle chair onboard", and was provided with no other suggestions.

Berry claims that while crawling to the bathroom, "staff continued to serve drinks".

"Once I reached the toilet, staff told me that 'disabled people should wear nappies on board,'" Berry writes, adding: "Apparently that’s their solution - to ask disabled passengers to pee in their seats."

size-large wp-image-1263169986
Credit: Amos Dor / Alamy

The post continues: "Staff were huffing and puffing whilst I held up their all important drinks cart and told me that 'in 27 years of working on airlines, they’ve never saw the issue of disabled people having to wear nappies before'".

Berry says that on "every flight" she's has ever been on, the plane has been equipped with an aisle chair and had "compassionate staff regarding the struggles disabled people face when traveling".

She then stressed that "a lot still needs to be done" when it comes to accessibility and attitudes within the travel industry.

"Life as a disabled person can sometimes be downright degrading and embarrassing and unfortunately, this was one of them times. To be outright told to my face that I should wear a nappy when I don’t need to and that they are happy with that policy, made me feel humiliated," she concludes.

VT reached out Albastar Airlines for its response to Berry's experience, with a spokesperson saying via email: "Albastar would like to express its sincere apologies for the event that recently took place on one of our flights in relation to the flight experience of a passenger with reduced mobility.

"Our main concern is the safety and comfort of all our passengers on each and every flight we operate.

"We are working to investigate the incident to ensure that this isolated incident does not happen again on any of our aircraft."

The spokesperson added that "aisle wheelchairs are not mandatory as per current regulation, not even recommended nor mentioned when talking about aircraft equipment/furnishing."

Regarding Berry's particular flight, the spokesperson added that "the passengers’ list received before the flight didn’t show the presence of a 'Wheelchair C passenger', meaning Albastar was never informed of the presence of a disabled passenger.

"In the aircrafts, there are no special seats for disabled passengers onboard. Instead, there are seats where disabled passengers cannot seat due to regulations, namely emergency exit/windows seats. The first row requested by the passenger is to be considered 'Emergency Exit Row' due to being the closest one to door."

Featured image credit: Markus Mainka / Alamy