Everybody knows that flight crew members these days won’t help you lift a bag into the overhead compartment, even if you are a 90-year-old woman. Still, one wonders whether there wasn’t something Ryanair could have figured out to do in the following case.
A British man recently was forced to carry his disabled wife on board a Ryanair flight departing Luton, England for France after the airline’s flight crew refused to help, citing company safety and health regulations, according to the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper.
The Ambulift device required by 54-year-old Jo Heath, who is bound to a wheelchair, never showed up at Luton for her flight, despite the fact that Heath had told Ryanair she needed it when she booked her ticket.
The flight crew said it was Ryanair policy to leave behind passengers who could not board themselves, the Mail said.
The next flight left in three days, so Heath’s husband decided to throw her over his shoulder and climb the stairs to the plane himself.
She told the newspaper: “It was quite a dangerous thing for Paul to attempt. If he had slipped over or dropped me God knows who would have helped us out.
“I was scared and very embarrassed by it and you could see other passengers were starting to get a bit ratty. I had done everything I needed to for Ryanair to get me on the plane.”
The couple said the airline’s actions were a violation of the UK’s Disability and Discrimination Act.
Ryanair did apologize to the couple, and said it was company policy for the flight crew not to lift passengers up stairs because of health and safety concerns.
The couple did receive a voucher from Ryanair good for about $200.
It’s easy to bash Ryanair on this one. Fine. Sometimes company regulations should be overlooked.
But what about this: Were there any good Samaritans on board the plane that day who could have lent a helping hand? Appears not. They were busy getting “ratty.”