By Martyn Sibley
A warning! This post is unusually a little ranty. Very out of character I know, but I’ve had a few struggles recently. I figure it’s my responsibility to share these struggles (to show life isn’t always rosey), to raise awareness of some issues, and beyond havind some closure – I hope that larger scale good may come of it.
Broken Wheelchair From Flying
Port de Soller, Mallorca
The difficulties started back in October. Upon returning from a beautiful trip to Mallorca, my wheelchair was damaged after the flight. Upon sitting in the chair at Stanstead I noticed:-
*Scratches on the backrest, control box and sides *The metal footplate had totally snapped off on one side *The joystick was bent forward *My tray couldn’t attach to the armrest as that was bent down at the front
I went to the Swiss Port desk and reported the issue. They were very helpful. Taking photos and completing a form. The lady said she’d never seen anything like it.
Before I tell you the airline responsible, please know 2 things: 1) They don’t actually deal with the luggage. Another sub-contracted company do; 2) The airline called me the next morning and agreed to pay the costs of repair. No evasive tactics or excuses.
Did you guess which airline it was then? It was Ryanair. Despite bad press, I still use them a lot and am broadly happy. I’d like to thank them for how they helped me too on this occasion. I would encourage new training and processing with baggage handlers to stop this from happening. It goes on all to often with mobility equipment.. It’s very expensive to repair and very inconvenient for all.
My local mobility aids shop in Peterborough were also amazing. Jason and the team got me in the workshop asap and bent what they could back in place. Plus my PA Eileen used duct tape and string. Unfortunately the weekend spent in a wrecked chair played havoc with my balance and joints. But it was much better from after this patch up job.
Next week I’ll tell you about my trip to Egypt and my plane transfer injury.