Heartless Ryanair Tells Wheelchair Woman She Cant Fly

Story ByMaja Mishevksa, Sub EditorMarija StojkoskaAgencyNewsflash

Picture Credit: CEN/@belen_hueso

This woman who suffers from a recessive disease claims Ryanair refused to let her fly with her wheelchair because it will not fit in the hold and told her to “look for another company”.

Belen Hueso suffers from Friedreich’s ataxia, a disease which affects her spinal cord and causes her trouble moving her limbs, claims Ryanair staff stopped her from being issued a boarding pass because her electric wheelchair did not fit in the hold of the plane.

She had planned to fly from Seville in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia to her home city of Valencia in the eastern Spanish region of the same name on 9th December but Ryanair reportedly refused to allow her to put her electric wheelchair in the hold when she informed them she wanted to.

She said: “They told me ‘go and look for another company.”

Picture Credit: CEN

Hueso claims that at first the airline refused to refund her 70 EUR for the flight but have now done so after the case was published in local media.

Ryanair sources informed to local media that they have already processed the delivery of the refund and also explained that when she gave them the characteristics of her wheelchair they told her that due to the terms and conditions the company has regarding it size, it could not be carried in the hold.

The woman says she will now fly with Vueling, saying “it costs double but they say there is no problem” to take the wheelchair.

Ryanair publish on their website that passengers with disabilities travelling with electric wheelchairs should warn them at least 48 hours before the trip about the weight and the height of the wheelchair.

Picture Credit: CEN

The battery should be a lithium-ion, cannot be more than 81 centimetres x 112 centimetres x 119 centimetres and those weighing more than 150 kilogrammes require previous authorisation.

Hueso told local media “I wish these things never happened to us,” and added that this is the first she had heard of the rules, saying: “Maybe nobody complained or the rules were set up this year”.

She says she had a “laughing fit” when she heard the news and says she is “used to her rights being violated” saying it “does not surprise me”.

Hueso published a book a year ago called ‘Los Musculos de la Sonrisa’ (The Smile Muscles) where she explains how she has lived with the degenerative disease since she was a child.

Picture Credit: CEN/@belen_hueso

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Ana Lacasa

I am a senior writer and journalist and editor of the Spanish desk for the Central European News agency.