Wednesday, August 26, 2015

British Airways cites wheelchair as safety & security issue, deplanes disabled passenger

Disabled Luke Kenshole was 'kicked off' flight to US because he was in a wheelchair

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: August 12, 2015

A disabled man says he was kicked off a flight to the United States in full view passengers over health and safety fears - because he was in a WHEELCHAIR.

Outraged Luke Kenshole was due to fly from London Heathrow to Philadelphia with British Airways on Monday, for a two-week holiday to visit one of his best friends.

But after he had already boarded the plane, he was deemed unfit to travel and removed due to his lack of mobility with staff citing health and safety.

Luke, 32, of Paignton, Devon, said he was left severely embarrassed by his treatment and has only been offered a PARTIAL refund on his #921 ticket.

He said: "They had ample time to address the issue while I was checking in and going through security.

"But I had boarded the flight along with everyone else before I was told I would have to leave the plane."

Luke, who has cerebral palsy which affects his legs, has flown to Philadelphia with BA on his own before without a problem, most recently last summer, and said the airline's policy needed to be clear as there was no apparent difference on this occasion.

He said: "The money isn't the issue. It's the way they went about it that upset me.

"It was unacceptable. I want BA to admit they handled it wrong and make sure no-one has to go through what I did.

"They should have said from the word go I couldn't fly, but I was all set to go and they decided at the last minute I was unfit to fly. They made me look stupid in front of people."

Luke was on the plane before anyone asked him whether he was able to take himself to the toilet, and he said he needed assistance to get onto the wheelchair.

He was then told he would have to get off the plane for health and safety reasons.

His mother and her partner, who had driven Luke to the airport and were nearly home again, but had to turn around and return to pick him up.

Luke said: "They had to travel for 18 hours that day.

"This incident affected everyone's plans. My friend and I were really looking forward to seeing each other and were going to spend a week at Virginia Beach. I'm upset I'm not in America right now."

Luke said he was told he should travel with an escort, but he said he was a single man who could not afford to pay for another person's ticket.

He said: "On Monday I lost my independence and for the first time in years I felt disabled and that is a horrible feeling."

British Airways have been approached for comment but have yet to release a statement.

Source: Western Daily Press

1 comment:

Martin Stromberg said...

There are many people, around this world, who were unable to move due to their physics problems and some medical issues relating to trauma etc. But this Non-Emergency Transportation helps a lot to overcome to such situations. I really appreciate such types of practices and hope that the people will be comfort with such vehicles transportation during even during non-emergency situations.