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A disabled passenger went viral this week after she had to drag herself down the aisle to reach her seat on the plane.
Jennie Berry claims she was “shocked and disgusted” when flying with Albastar Airlines due to their lack of aisle chairs for those who use wheelchairs.
Jennie shared a video of herself struggling to get to the toilet on-board.
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It was widely circulated on Twitter with over 63,000 likes and 23,000 retweets.
Jennie wrote: “SHOCKED AND DISGUSTED WITH ALBASTAR AIRLINES – told me I should wear a nappy on board as I’m disabled and they don’t have an aisle chair.
“This is what I had to resort to. Please share – this isn’t acceptable!!!”
In the clip, Jennie sat on the floor of the plane and used her arms to pull herself down the aisle from her seat to the loo.
She commented: “Hi everyone, I’m Jennie, I’m a wheelchair user and I’m paralysed from the waist down. I’ve recently been on holiday and this is how I get onto a plane usually using an aisle chair.”
She cut to a clip of herself shifting from a wheelchair to a smaller seat with wheels – and aisle chair – with the aid of an airline worker.
Jennie said: “This is what they got me onto the plane with but unfortunately on my flight they didn’t have an aisle chair on board.
“So the flight with Albastar didn’t get off to a great start as you can see they wouldn’t let me sit anywhere near the front of the plane even though there were spare seats. “
The wheelchair user continued: “Then when I asked if I could go to they toilet they said no, that they wouldn’t help and they just proceeded to keep serving the drinks… which was great. “
Jennie showed herself getting into the lavatory – which took her partner reaching beneath her arms and tugging her onto the seat.
She said: “This is when I actually got to the toilet, this is my partner helping lift me onto the toilet, obviously this is quite a small space so it was a bit of a struggle.
“But, when you’ve gotta go you’ve gotta go. This is what we had to do.”
And, the experience didn’t stop there.
Jennie claimed: “One staff member quite rudely told me that disabled people should just wear nappies on board which I find bizarre that people think that that is the solution to this scenario.
“They said that there wasn’t enough room for an aisle chair even though they had room to have drinks trolleys, perfume trolleys and cigarette trolleys. “
The distressed tourist noted: “There’s a lot of improvements to be made when it comes to access within the travel industry and I hope they’re made soon.
In the comments, people were gobsmacked at the holidaymaker’s ordeal. One person wrote: “I'm sorry , you were treated so badly.”
Another exclaimed: “How can this be modern day?”
“Outraged on your behalf,” said a third.
As Jennie booked through travel agent TUI, the company wrote: on social media “We are already in direct contact with Ms Berry to provide her with whatever support she needs as we take these matters very seriously.
“As Ms Berry flew on a third party airline contracted by TUI, we are investigating this with the airline as a matter of urgency.”
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An Albastar Airlines spokesperson told DailyStar: “Albastar would like to express its sincere apologies for the event that recently took place on one of our flights in relation to the flight experience of a passenger with reduced mobility.
“Our main concern is the safety and comfort of all our passengers on each and every flight we operate.
“We are working to investigate the incident to ensure that this isolated incident does not happen again on any of our aircraft.”
They noted that aisle wheelchairs are not currently mandatory in current regulations nor recommended when discussing aeroplane equipment.
The spokesperson added: “On the commented flight, the passengers’ list received before the flight didn’t show the presence of a ‘Wheelchair C passenger’, meaning Albastar was never informed of the presence of a disabled passenger.
“In the aircrafts, there are no special seats for disabled passengers onboard.
“Instead, there are seats where disabled passengers cannot seat due to regulations, namely emergency exit/windows seats.
“The first row requested by the passenger is to be considered ‘Emergency Exit Row’ due to being the closest one to door.”
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