Disabled German teen thrown off flight over safety concerns with electric wheelchair

2019-01-03 13:34
Photo. (Getty images/Gallo images)

Photo. (Getty images/Gallo images)

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A German father and his disabled teenage son were forced off a flight on Irish airline Ryanair, causing them to miss a Christmas holiday with family.

The reason given by the airline was concern that his electric wheelchair could cause complications on the flight or even explode, Metro reports.

Noel Diaz (19) from Aachen, Germany, and his father, Jose, were looking forward to spending Christmas in Alicante, Spain. They'd booked their flight tickets weeks prior to the date and submitted all necessary documentation about the type of wheelchair and its specifications.

Noel suffers from muscle atrophy, which has left him wheelchair-bound since the age of 12. Muscle atrophy is a condition which causes severe wasting away of muscle tissue, Healthline writes.

The pair travelled to Cologne Bonn Airport in Germany on Christmas Eve to board the flight, but shortly before take-off they were asked to leave the plane.

"My severely disabled boy and I just had our seatbelts fastened when the flight crew asked us to leave the aircraft," Jose said.

"Noel’s wheelchair couldn’t be transported because of safety reasons. They said there was a danger of explosion," he added. This despite Jose having cleared all the wheelchair’s specifications with the airline beforehand – their boarding passes even showed they'd be travelling with an electric wheelchair.

Their protests fell on deaf ears and the pair was eventually forced to leave the plane. Jose alleges that the flight crew even got physical with him and his son.

"The Ryanair personnel were tough as nails, heaving my defenceless boy out of the plane seat, pushing him onto the tarmac," he said.

Noel’s mom, Natalia, says that the incident has severely traumatised the young man and he doesn't even want to think of ever boarding an aircraft again.

Jose claims the airline is also refusing to refund the €120 (Nearly R2 000) he paid for the tickets.

Sources: Metro, Healthline, The USA Times

Read more on:    ryanair  |  germany  |  bizarre news
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