After an “inacceptable” delay, a desperate Ryanair wheelchair passenger felt forced to “bum-shuffle” down the plane steps in order to get off a flight.
Adrian Keogh (37), told Sky News that he wanted airports and airlines do more to accommodate people with disabilities following his ordeal in an airport in Sweden.
Mr Keogh from Wicklow, Republic of Ireland said that he paid an extra fee for priority service to make sure he received the help he needed.
He said that Ryanair offered free assistance, but he booked priority to be extra careful for his own safety.
When Mr Keogh arrived at Landvetter Airport in Gothenburg he was told that it would take at least an hour to get help for him to disembark from the plane.
Mr Keogh stated that he was forced to leave the plane because he needed the toilet desperately.
He said: “When the plane landed, most of the passengers got off, but my brother and I stayed behind to let him help me get out.
“While we waited for the steward, she told us it would take at least an hour to bring the lift to remove me from the plane.
“I decided to crawl away to the toilet.”
Mr Keogh began to “bum-shuffle” the steps.
“My brother wanted me to be lifted down, but I refused because it was too dangerous.”
He told Sky News that he had “gotten to the end” of the stairs of the plane before transferring onto the wheelchair.
Mr Keogh shared his experiences on social media.
In an Instagram posting on Saturday, Mr Keogh showed images of him seated down the metal stairs.
The post read: “Please forgive the poor picture, but this is me crawling off a Ryanair plane that landed at Landvetter Airport last night at 11pm.
I am a wheelchair user who uses it full time. I paid an extra fee to have my wheelchair lowered from the plane.
It’s not acceptable to expect me crawl down steep metal steps, but I was told that they wouldn’t have the lift ready for at least an hour so I had no choice but to crawl out of the plane.
The post continues: “Landvetter blames Ryanair, and Ryanair blames Landvetter.”
“They specifically didn’t want you to take the picture.”
“I don’t want anything but the service that I paid for, and to be able travel with dignity.
I ask you to spread this message as widely as possible to bring attention to the struggles that wheelchair-bound individuals face.
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A spokesperson for Ryanair has told Sky News, that the special assistance provided at the airport was managed by a third-party and not the airline.
The statement continued: “We regret the fact that Landvetter Airport did not provide Special Assistance for this passenger on arrival at Landvetter Airport on 29 April and we are working closely with Landvetter Airport in order to prevent this from happening again.”
Landvetter Airport responded to Mr Keogh’s post, apologising that the assistance was delayed. They said delays were caused by another medical emergency.
The airport responded: “Dear Mr., we’re sorry for the inconvenience.” There were several planes that landed around your flight’s time due to delays yesterday.
“A medical emergency and several assistants’ requirements were occurring at the same time, causing a push [sic] to be made. “Your assistance service was not overlooked but delayed.”
Mr Keogh stressed that wheelchair users should not be afraid to express themselves and to ask questions if they have disabilities.
He said, “I’d like to see airlines and airports communicate better.”
He said: “I ask that people with disabilities call the airlines and the airports if they are having any problems to resolve them before traveling. When you’re in wheelchair, it’s all about planning.
Sky News has reached out to Landvetter Airport in order to get their comments.