Ryanair sued after leaving wheelchair-bound woman on runway
Ryanair has been sued for leaving a wheelchair-bound woman on the runway at Luton Airport because 'all it was interested in was getting the plane airborne on time'.
Jo Heath, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, was left 'humiliated' and stranded on the runway and had no means of boarding the plane by herself. Her husband Paul had to give her a fireman's lift onto the aircraft.
Northampton County Court awarded her £1,750 after it ruled the airline broke disability discrimination laws and breached its contract with Heath when its staff refused to help the couple.
Speaking in Travel Weekly, Husband Paul said: 'Ryanair tried to brush us under the carpet. They offered us more money than we eventually received but we refused it because they wanted us to sign a confidentiality clause.'
Jo Heath said: 'I'm not terribly impressed with the pay-out but it's not a question of money. It's about standing up for people with disabilities.'
Judge Paul McHale ruled: 'I find as a matter of fact that anything that interfered with the [aircraft] turnaround time was going to be ignored. All the defendant was interested in was getting the plane airborne on time.'
But Ryanair said it would appeal on the grounds that Luton Airport was responsible for assisting the passengers under European Union law.
The couple had submitted a special requirements request for a hydraulic Ambulift, but it failed to turn up on the day, resulting in the awkward situation for Jo and her husband.
Should Ryanair have been sued? Did this woman get the right amount of compensation? We want your views!
Holiday plane loses ton of fuel before landing at Gatwick
Shock video: child groped and probed in airport security patdown
Ten ways to score a free flight upgrade