A Paralympian Was Left Stranded on a Ryanair Flight for 45 Minutes
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
While every passenger on board a Ryanair flight that landed at London’s Stansted Airport (STN) grabbed their luggage, Paralympian Anne Wafula-Strike was left stranded for 45 minutes before any airport staff helped her.
The flight had already landed two hours behind schedule. Wafula-Strike was returning from the World Para Athletics European Championships in Berlin and had booked assistance a month in advance, BBC reported.
“I felt angry and very neglected,” Wafula-Strike told BBC. “It’s not good when you are abandoned on a flight, and everyone else is picking up their bags and walking off.”
When a staff member finally reached the Paralympian, they claimed they were understaffed and were not aware her flight had landed in Stansted. Ryanair said a company called Omniserv was responsible for assisting disabled passengers at Stansted, but, Omniserv’s website says it is only responsible for passenger services at London Heathrow (LHR) and Manchester Airport (MAN).
A Stansted spokesman expressed the airport’s disappointment with the event that left Wafula-Strike abandoned for nearly an hour.
“We are in the process of investigating how such a situation arose and have asked Omniserv, the company responsible for looking after passengers with reduced mobility, for a full explanation of why Anne had to wait for such a long time on the aircraft,” the spokesman said.
TPG reached out to Ryanair for comment, but did not receive a response by time of publication.
This is yet another instance that demonstrates what it’s like traveling with a disability. In the US, of the 56.7 million of Americas who have a disability, 72% expressed major obstacles with airlines, and 65% reported issues with airports, according to the Open Doors Organization and the Travel Industry Association of America.
“When someone like me speaks up or raises their voice, people will think it is only happening to one or two people, but it is becoming a common occurrence for people with disabilities to be left neglected on planes or not able to get into trains,” Wafula-Strike said.
Wafula-Strike is part of the group of Paralympians who launched the #TransportJustice campaign Wednesday to help people with disabilities use the law to challenge transport discrimination. The campaign is supported by Inclusion London, a charity group that promotes equality for London’s deaf and disabled people.
Along other Paralympians, disabled people and Inclusion London we are launching the #TransportJustice campaign, a new legal fund to hold transport providers to account when they fail to provide equal treatment for disabled people!! https://t.co/townBNVSnu
— Anne Wafula Strike (@Anne_W_Strike) August 29, 2018
Featured image by Tony Marshall – EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images.
WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.