Disabled passenger misses flight after Birmingham Airport staff left her at gate and never returned

An 87-year-old disabled girl missed her flight to Spain on Sunday after Birmingham Airport employees “failed on assist her on board”, based on her son.

Sheila Cottrill arrived at Birmingham Airport three hours earlier than her Ryanair flight on 1 Could, which she was taking with a purpose to go to son Jeremy, who relies in Barcelona.

A wheelchair person, she had booked “assisted passage” assist through Ryanair’s web site when buying her tickets, and anticipated to be helped by the airport and on to the three.50pm flight.

Arriving in her wheelchair, Ms Cottrill was helped at first by the airport’s Particular Help employees, who escorted her close to to the gate from the place her flight would depart and advised her she could be taken to the aircraft when it was prepared to depart.

As a substitute, she says she was merely left close to the gate and needed to watch the flight depart with out her.

She was then advised to return to the airport the next day and instructed to pay £100 for a brand new flight to Barcelona.

Jeremy Cottrill advised the Birmingham Mail he fears the expertise will put his mom off visiting him once more.

“My mum, who’s 87 years outdated and disabled, organized a most likely final journey to see me who lives in Spain. This was one thing which wasn’t attainable through the Covid pandemic,” he mentioned.

“It’s not the best way to deal with an aged disabled passenger who was travelling on her personal on her first vacation post-Covid.

“Previous to all of this she mentioned she had misplaced her confidence in travelling. Now I worry this would be the final time she’ll contemplate doing so.

“Assist is meant to be there for disabled folks. There was a complete lack of care and sympathy.”

Ms Cottrill mentioned that airport employees had advised her there was a scarcity of “Ambulift” drivers to assist wheelchair customers attain their flights.

“She was then unceremoniously mainly taken again to landside and dumped on the ‘Assisted Journey’ desk six hours after arrival on the airport,” her son mentioned.

“She was advised to make her personal approach residence and if she wished to journey once more to make her personal approach again to the airport the following day the place she may ebook one other Ryanair ticket for the extra price of £100.”

Mr Cottrill says his mom was one in every of 14 “assisted passage” passengers who missed flights on 1 Could – and claims that, when she returned on Monday, she was almost forgotten once more.

“Tonight, they forgot her once more and she or he needed to remind employees to get her to the gate. Then she needed to get out of her wheelchair and ‘run’ onto the tarmac and climb the steps,” tweeted Mr Cottrill.

A Birmingham Airport spokesperson advised The Impartial: “We really feel dreadful in regards to the expertise Mrs Cottrill had. We’re trying into what occurred with a view to creating issues proper.

“We had over 110,000 clients journey by between Friday and Monday. Practically 57,000 have been departing passengers and 99.6 per cent efficiently caught their flights.”

A Ryanair spokesperson added: “Wheelchair providers at Birmingham Airport are operated by OCS, who failed to help Ms Cottrill to her flight on time for its scheduled departure at 15.50, 1 Could.

“As a gesture of goodwill, Ryanair reaccommodated Ms Cottrill on the following accessible flight from Birmingham to Barcelona the following night at 20.50, 2 Could, freed from cost.”

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