A woman paralysed from the waist down has revealed her “humiliating” experience on a recent flight where she was forced to struggle along the floor on her bottom because the plane didn’t have an aisle chair.
Jennie Berry, a prominent advocate for disability rights, shared her “degrading and embarrassing” flight after it took off from Newcastle International Airport in England.
In a video shared across her wheelie_good_life social media pages, Ms Berry was shown navigating her way down the aisle, using her hands to shuffle herself slowly backwards until she reached the bathroom.
It was her only option after staff rejected her request to go to the toilet, according to a post she shared to Instagram.
“They just said ‘no we don’t have an aisle chair on-board’, with no suggestions of what I was to do,” Ms Berry recalled.
“As you all know – when you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go – so thankfully as I have good upper body strength I proceeded to drag myself down the aisle towards the toilet, while staff continued to serve drinks.”
After reaching the cubicle, the situation got even worse.
“Staff told me that ‘disabled people should wear nappies on board’ Apparently that’s their solution – to ask disabled passengers to pee in their seats,” she said.
“Staff were huffing and puffing while I held up their all important drinks cart and told me that ‘in 27 years of working on airlines, they never saw the issue of disabled people having to wear nappies before’.”
Ms Berry, based in Hartlepool in England, was left paralysed from the waist down after developing a neurological condition due to an accident in 2017.
She told followers that every flight she had since taken was stocked with an aisle chair and “compassionate staff regarding the struggles disabled people face when travelling”.
“Life as a disabled person can sometimes be downright degrading and embarrassingand unfortunately, this was one of them times,” she wrote.
“To be outright told to my face that I should wear a nappy when I don’t need to and that they are happy with that policy, made me feel humiliated.”
Ms Berry and her partner had originally been booked on a TUI Airways flight but it was changed to a smaller airline with just six planes in its fleet.
The airline has been contacted by news.com.au for comment.
Originally published as Paralysed woman reveals ‘degrading’ flight experience