Jetstar passenger crawls down plane aisle after she's allegedly told to pay for wheelchair
An Australian wheelchair user had to crawl down the cabin aisle on board a Jetstar flight after being told she had to pay for wheelchair services in order to disembark.
Ms Natalie Curtis from Queensland, Australia, was on a flight from Singapore to Bangkok last week when the incident occurred.
She detailed her ordeal in a Facebook post on Oct 27, saying that she had “never felt so degraded in my life”.
Ms Curtis wrote that she was able to board the flight using an aisle chair – a transfer wheelchair that can fit the narrow aisles of the plane – and with the assistance of the flight crew.
When she landed though, Jetstar allegedly said she had to pay to use the aisle chair.
She was allegedly told it would take 40 minutes and an extra fee for a transfer wheelchair so she could disembark the plane.
“I didn’t really comprehend it and I was like, ‘No, I’m not paying to be able to get off this plane’,” Ms Curtis said during an interview with an Australian news show.
Ms Curtis said she never had to pay for such services in the past. She decided instead to crawl back to her wheelchair – about 4 metres away – to avoid the extra charges.
“It was extremely humiliating,” she said.
Her friend and travel companion, Ms Natasha Elford, filmed Ms Curtis crawling down the aisle. Ms Elford said she had wanted to carry her friend, but was not able to due to a knee injury.
Jetstar has since apologised to Ms Curtis, reported 7News.
The budget airline explained in a statement that the incident occurred due to “a miscommunication that resulted in the delay of an aisle chair being made available at the gate on arrival”.
"At no point was an aisle chair withheld due to a request for payment."
This is the second such incident on a low-cost carrier over the past two months.
In September, a paraplegic passenger had to crawl across the cabin to get to his wheelchair on an AirAsia flight, after being asked to pay S$40 for an aisle wheelchair.