A quadriplegic passenger on a plane spent more than an hour and a half waiting for a team at Gatwick Airport to be able to get off the plane with her wheelchair, in London. After backlash on social media, the airport apologized and described the treatment as “unacceptable”.
The case was registered last Saturday (4). Victoria Brignell told the British newspaper the Daily Mail that she was returning home from a holiday in Malta – her second trip abroad – when a wheelchair was prepared for her on arrival.
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The service that would help get her off the plane was booked three months before the trip with airport staff and recalled two weeks ago. However, no one showed up.
“Shortly after I landed, British Airways airline staff came to me and said they were sorry, but the people who were supposed to help me off the plane wouldn’t be there for 50 minutes. Time passed and I was told it would be more half an hour on top of that. In the end, I was waiting an hour and 35 minutes,” he told the newspaper.
“I’m paralyzed from the neck down, so I can’t use my arms or legs. To get off a plane, I need two people to get me out of the plane seat into an aisle chair, which is a narrow wheelchair specially designed to push me down the aisle out of the plane and put me in my wheelchair waiting. outside,” he explained to the Daily Mail.
While waiting on the plane, friends questioned the airport on Twitter and posted a photo of Victoria alone on the plane.
“Hi @Gatwick_Airport my disabled friend Victoria has been left waiting on a plane which has landed for an hour now. This is really unacceptable,” wrote Sonia Sodha.
“Friend stuck on a plane and unable to leave because there is no wheelchair assistance. Because? Why is this still happening?” asked another friend.
The messages reverberated on social media and even mobilized former Paralympic Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson.
“Does anyone have any contacts for Gatwick board members? They can’t do anything in time but that’s not acceptable,” he tweeted.
A British Airways team managed to get her off the plane, despite it not being their responsibility. Now, the British company plans to file an official complaint against the airport.
Gatwick Airport — Photo: Disclosure