After a 90-minute delay at the airport, the husband dropped the disabled woman off the plane.

A woman with a rare form of muscular dystrophy had to be picked up from a plane by her 66-year-old husband. The couple suffered two flight delays that prevented them from returning and left them in a state of shock.

Suzanne Kraft, 53, had to get help from the plane while passengers were waiting to board the gate when the rescue team failed to return. The incident occurred 90 minutes late on a flight from London to Newcastle.

The same thing happened to Suzanne on the flight from Newcastle to London. Muscular Dystrophy UK has now called on the government and the aviation industry to take action to ensure that persons with disabilities receive the assistance they are legally entitled to when traveling by air.

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The charity says wheelchair users are now afraid to travel. Passengers with disabilities or low mobility are legally entitled to accessible assistance when traveling by air.

Suzanne, a retired dental practice manager, flew from Newcastle Airport to Heathrow last Thursday after attending a clinical study at a Newcastle hospital. However, when Suzanne’s BA flight landed at Heathrow, her husband and crew on the next flight helped her off the plane after failing to get special help.

The passengers on the next flight were ready to board their gate. Earlier in the day, Suzanne experienced a similar 90-minute delay in boarding the same flight at Newcastle Airport because no special assistance or equipment was available to assist her board at the time.

Due to the delay, the flight was delayed by one hour and Suzanne was very upset.

Suzanne said: “I was very embarrassed and shocked.

“The rest of the passengers had already boarded. They had been given breakfast and water for so long – and they were not happy.”

He added: “As a wheelchair user, it was a disgrace to be in front of everyone on the plane and in my seat. And felt guilty. Delay in knocking on the following flights. ”

Suzanne’s condition – limb girdle muscular dystrophy – causes severe muscle wasting and weakness and means that she is completely dependent on her wheelchair – which has to be checked in the hold of the plane – To move

Suzanne explained: “When the flight landed at Heathrow, everyone else got off, but special aid failed to arrive.

The crew and captain of the next flight boarded and both captains were radioing for special assistance, but no one was available.

“Finally, my husband of 66 years, with the help of new staff, had to lift me off the seat, and they had to put me in a folding isle chair with no seat belts. When my husband was holding my legs, That a kind member of the next flight’s crew pushed me into the lounge that arrived. It’s not waiting – I’m used to it. It’s disgraceful and humiliating. “

Suzanne Kraft

He continued: “It’s not good enough. I don’t want to disturb the cabin crew and the captain – they were very helpful and kind. The captain delivered our luggage to the taxi. And I know the special assistants.” Doing great work

“I was shocked by the recent tragedy in Gatwick – and I think it’s my duty to speak up.

“Immediate action from airports is needed to prevent further tragedies. Apologies are not enough.”

Suzanne concluded: “The way I feel at the moment, I never want to fly again, but the study I am taking part in at Newcastle is very important to me and to others in my condition. I am saddened that something like a flight, which opened up so many opportunities and experiences for me, has now turned into something I would be afraid of. “

Robert Burley, director of communications, care and support at Muscular Dystrophy UK, said: “Those air travelers are legally entitled to support what is called ‘special assistance’ when traveling by air – but the airport repeatedly fails to do so. Deliver recently and the Civil Aviation Authority will have to hold these companies accountable.

“We are concerned that as we emerge from the epidemic, people with disabilities, including muscular dystrophy and muscle wasting conditions, are facing obstacles in resuming daily life.

“Evidence suggests that the lives of people with disabilities have been most affected by COVID-19, and that inequality has increased. Starting, people with disabilities are still disproportionately affected. “

He continued: “It is important for people with disabilities to have access to the support they need to live their lives to the fullest extent possible, and to include all forms of transportation for both business and pleasure. Involves the use of

“To ensure this, the government must take action to ensure that all transport is immediately accessible to persons with disabilities. Addressing people, staff training and assistance included a pledge to enable persons with disabilities to travel with confidence, but this did not specifically cover air travel. . “

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