A 64-year-old wheelchair-user was left fuming and exhausted after ‘Cabin Crew failed to help him’ leave a Jet2 plane.
Elliot Pinsley was ‘forced to drag himself’ off the Jet2 aircraft at Manchester airport, alleging that Cabin Crew had refused to help him disembark.
Jet2 Cabin Crew said they were not allowed to offer help because of health and safety regulations.
Mr. Pinsley had been on holiday in Marbella celebrating his wife’s 60th birthday. They had pre-booked special assistance for both ends of their journey. They had no trouble at Malaga airport but were left waiting for 90 minutes upon arrival at Manchester.
Staff shortages at UK airports have been all over the news, with a particular scarcity of ground staff, including those who provide extra assistance to disabled passengers.
Special assistance staff were already busy attending to other travellers, meaning that Mr. Pinsley was left stranded on the aircraft. Despite requesting help from Cabin Crew, he was denied support. Cabin Crew duties do not include physically assisting passengers on and off aircraft.
Mr. Pinsley was left frustrated and needing to use the bathroom. So he dragged himself down the aisle by himself by holding onto the backs of chairs, leaving him exhausted.
A Cabin Crew member did escort him down the aisle, but without touching him or physically aiding his progress.
It’s disgraceful. I can’t believe I was treated so badly. They said they couldn’t help me at all due to health and safety reasons. It’s totally ridiculous. What would have happened if there had been a fire? I can’t walk but I had to haul myself up using the backs of the seats and physically drag myself off the plane. It was a huge, huge effort – for me it was like running a marathon or climbing a mountain. You wouldn’t treat an animal like that.“
Were Cabin Crew right?
Elliot Pinsley now wants airports to take action to ensure other disabled passengers aren’t left in the lurch. But what can Cabin Crew actually do to support travellers with extra requirements?
Paraneoplastic syndrome is a neurological condition which Mr. Pinsley has suffered with since 2005. He has used a wheelchair since 2013.
Pinsley’s wife Jakki also weighed in on the incident, saying:
We were just abandoned in our seats and we waited and waited. Eventually the crew got off and a new crew took their place. Why would you treat someone like this? It’s inhumane, undignified, disrespectful and appalling.”
After waiting half an hour, the couple were informed there weren’t enough special assistance staff to help them at that time. Once they had been waiting on the plane for an hour, it was revealed there was a lack of wheelchairs which meant further delays.
Blame the pandemic!
Airports nationwide have blamed the ongoing travel chaos and staffing issues on the Covid-19 pandemic.
Jet2 confirmed that Cabin Crew followed Elliot down the aisle, but were restricted from providing any further assistance due to strict policies.
A spokesperson clarified that an apology had been issued directly to the Pinsleys, but that Cabin Crew had followed protocol.
Airports across Britain claim staffing problems in the wake of the Covid pandemic had led to problems at airports.
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