A quadriplegic woman was stranded on a plane at London’s Gatwick Airport for more than an hour and a half because she was not helped by staff getting off the plane. The case was registered last Saturday (4).
Victoria Brignell, a radio producer, suffers from neck-down paralysis. She was returning home from a holiday in Malta, her second trip abroad.
The passenger told Good Morning Britain that shortly after landing, an airline employee went to her and told her that it would take at least 50 minutes for the airport crew to take her off the plane.
“And then the time passed and I was told they were going to take another half hour, and in the end I was stuck for another hour and 35 minutes.”
Victoria stressed that it was the airport’s responsibility to get her off the plane, not the British Airways team, which she said was great.
“It was very frustrating and humiliating. I booked support two months ago, it wasn’t like they weren’t expecting me, they knew I was coming.”
The radio producer also told the British newspaper Metro, that he was not the only one affected by the situation, as the plane was unable to take off until its descent, which delayed the next takeoff.
“Improving service for people with disabilities is important because it improves service for everyone.”
The case had repercussions on social media, especially on Twitter, where the victim’s friends questioned what had happened and posted a picture of Victoria sitting in her seat with the plane already empty. The flyers even rallied former Paralympic Baroness Taney Gray Thompson, who also criticized the passenger’s neglect.
Victoria was taken off the plane by employees of the same airline and said she plans to file a formal complaint at Gatwick Airport.
A spokesperson for the station spoke out and apologized for what happened, as well as saying the treatment Victoria received was unacceptable. The case will be promptly investigated by the airport and the Wilson James Company, a company he has hired to help passengers with disabilities.
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