Man With Cerebral Palsy Thrown Off Flight Because ‘Wheelchair Was Too Heavy’

A 24-year-old British man with cerebral palsy was thrown off a vacation flight as a result of his wheelchair “was too heavy” to elevate off a conveyor belt.

Brandon Aughton, 24, of West Bridgford, was as a consequence of fly with Irish airline Ryanair from East Midlands Airport in Derby to Malaga, Spain, for a vacation together with his carer on October 11. Aughton’s situation impacts his motor abilities, together with his stability, motion and coordination.

But after Aughton and his carer boarded the airplane and so they had left the wheelchair with Swissport, Ryanair’s air cargo dealing with firm, they determined it was too heavy to elevate off the conveyor belt and into the maintain. The pilot then made the choice that Aughton couldn’t board due to flight schedules being delayed whereas it was attempting to deal with the difficulty.

Aughton was then escorted again by airport officers and needed to re-book a flight and fly out late the subsequent day for his first vacation for the reason that starting of the COVID-19 pandemic. But he was devastated that he missed out on hours of his vacation because of the mishap.

“I’ve flown twice like that before and never had any issues, I was angry,” Aughton informed Nottinghamshire Live.

His carer Orla Hennessey, 41, stated: “Brandon got really upset at one point—it felt like no-one wanted to help us.

“It was Swissport’s accountability to place the wheelchair on the airplane and inform the bottom crew that it must go on the airplane however they did not do it and there wasn’t any tools to elevate it as it is a 270kg [595lbs] chair,” Hennessey added.

“There had been 4 of them there saying they may not elevate it due to well being and security and so they unceremoniously booted us off the flight although we had the letter from Ryanair to say the chair was not too heavy and it could possibly be taken.

“The lady from Swissport said we gave them wrong information, but we told them they had the information as Ryanair said it was all fine.

“When we were going through customs, I was told I had a dangerous item in my bag, but it was an Allen key [hex key] to take apart Brandon’s chair, so I queried this and was told I would be let through this time, but don’t let it happen again.”

“Brandon still wanted to go on holiday and a disability holiday agency managed to get flights for us the next day but we had to take a manual wheelchair – which is completely unacceptable for Brandon’s needs.

“He did not have his mobility and it is principally like taking somebody’s legs away from them – it was fairly distressing.”

A spokesperson for Swissport said: “We are saddened to listen to the client’s claims about an incident at East Midlands Airport.

“We take our responsibilities towards disabled passengers extremely seriously and understand how important it is that travel for all passengers runs smoothly.”

An East Midlands Airport spokesperson stated that airport was “sorry to learn” of the incident.

A spokesperson for Ryanair stated: “We liaised with this customer directly and this has been resolved.”

Ryanair flight
A Ryanair Boeing 737-8AS plane flies over the tagus River as she approaches the town’s worldwide airport for touchdown through the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic on October 6, 2021 in Lisbon, Portugal. A 24-year-old British man with cerebral palsy was thrown off a Ryanair flight as a result of his wheelchair “was too heavy” to elevate off a conveyor belt.
Horacio Villalobos/Getty

Leave a Comment