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Disabled passenger 'humiliated' as he had to drag himself up coach stairs

Disabled passenger 'humiliated' as he had to drag himself up coach stairs

"I was left with no option but to bum shuffle onto a coach"

A disabled passenger was left 'humiliated' after having to drag himself up a set of coach stairs and make his own way to his seat.

Spencer Watts, who is paralysed from the waist down, was flying back to the UK from a family holiday in Lanzarote on 17 February.

But when his Ryanair flight to Bristol was unexpectedly diverted to Birmingham, he claims the airline failed to accommodate his wheelchair.

The dad-of-two let the cabin crew know he needed an accessible coach for his journey home, and Watts was reassured that this had been arranged.

However, the 27-year-old's family were disappointed to find that no suitable transport was available when they got to arrivals.

Shocking footage shows the moment Watts, who works as a sales advisor, had to drag himself backwards up six steps before lifting himself to the seat using his arm strength.

Speaking about the incident, Watts, from South Devon, said: "My assistance at the airport had been booked a month in advance.

Spencer Watts had been on holiday with his family.
Kennedy News and Media

"They were fully aware that there was someone on that aircraft in a wheelchair that needed assistance on and off the aeroplane.

"I was left with no option but to bum shuffle onto a coach.

"I [felt] so embarrassed and humiliated in terms of having to do that in a crowded audience of people.

"Pressure sores are a big thing for us. Being put in that kind of situation, where I have to shuffle across a bare floor, there's obviously a very high risk of me getting a pressure sore and becoming bedbound for at least a few months.

"It's not a good thing. It's not exactly a comfortable manoeuvre for me to have to drag myself along the floor."

He went on to say that his son is also 'severely autistic', and so 'change is a massive thing' for him.

"When he's seeing his dad bum shuffling on a coach, a child worries about the fears of anything could happen," he added.

"So he's like, 'Dad, what if there's a fire on this coach, how are you going to get off?' It was a concern for my whole family, it wasn't just me.

"The upset, and the uproar for my family, all of us, wasn't needed and could have been avoided really easily. I would not fly with Ryanair again until I get an apology from them. They failed their duty of care."

The passenger wants Ryanair to apologise.
Kennedy News and Media

But a Ryanair spokesperson has claimed that the responsibility is with Birmingham Airport.

They said: "This flight from Alicante to Bristol (17 February) diverted to Birmingham due to adverse weather conditions at Bristol Airport.

"Special assistance at Birmingham Airport is managed a third-party provider – not Ryanair.

"As the flight was not planned to arrive at Birmingham Airport, special assistance at Birmingham Airport had not been pre-arranged.

"However, the crew of this flight requested special assistance upon arrival at Birmingham Airport, which the provider at Birmingham Airport failed to provide."

LADbible has contacted Birmingham Airport and Ryanair for further comment.

Featured Image Credit: Kennedy News and Media

Topics: UK News, Health, Travel