Ryanair bans sick pensioner from carrying life-saving device on board


Pensioner stopped from taking oxygen mask on Ryanair flightPA

An oxygen-dependent pensioner was refused permission to carry her life-saving medical device on board a Ryanair flight - because it constituted a "second piece of hand luggage".

Bridie O'Donnell, 70, has told how she "feared for her life" after being told she wouldn't be allowed to carry her oxygen with her on a flight from London Stansted to Derry.

Ryanair check-in staff staff told her that the medical device, which resembles a small laptop, constituted a second piece of carry-on baggage and would have to be checked-in - even though she had no problems carrying it on her outbound flight.

Ms O'Donnell, who suffers from a number of health problems including sleep apnea and asthma, had been told by her doctor to keep the breathing apparatus with her at all times.

Ms O'Donnell told the Belfast Telegraph: "I had a letter from the hospital saying that I have the condition and need it, but when we got to the gate I was told I couldn't bring it on.

"I said it was medical equipment and tried to show her the document, but she asked for a letter from Ryanair.

"She said I had to check it in - but I was totally out of breath, feeling terrible and there was no way I could have done that with my health. There was no compassion."

Fortunately, Ms O'Donnell managed to squeeze the device into her friend's carry-on bag and was allowed to board the plane.

However, she aid she felt "embarrassed" and "exhausted" by the experience.

When contacted about Ms O'Donnell's ordeal, Ryanair said that it was her responsibility to contact them in advance to inform them of her needs.

A spokesperson told the Belfast Telegraph: "Unfortunately this passenger failed to contact Ryanair's low-call special assistance line ahead of her flight to inform us of her special requirement.

"Therefore our handing agent asked her to accommodate all items in her one free 10kg carry-on bag, which she did before boarding the aircraft."

Unsurprisingly, Ms O'Donnell has vowed that she will never fly with the budget airline again.

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