Adrian Keogh from Ireland, who has been in a wheelchair since 2015, had actually booked assistance for boarding and disembarking before his flight – and also paid for it, as he wrote on his Instagram account. However, upon arrival at Landvetter Airport in Sweden, help was so long in coming that he had to crawl out of the plane on his own.
The BBC, among others, reported on the incident. Accordingly, the passenger was informed that the requested assistance would only come an hour later. Adrian Keogh said he couldn't wait that long because he was in pain after the flight and had to go to the toilet. The crew of the Ryanair plane is said to have told him that if he didn't want to wait, he should get off the plane himself.
"They were steep, wavy steel steps," said the wheelchair user. His brother, who had traveled with him, offered to carry him down, but Adrian Keogh refused, considering the maneuver too dangerous: "If he had fallen, we would both have been injured." Ultimately, no one helped the man get out, so he had to heave himself over the steps on his own. It is not the first incident in which he was stuck on the plane after all other passengers had left the machine. "This is unacceptable - all I ask is to be able to travel with dignity," Adrian Keogh told the BBC.
James Taylor of disability equality charity Scope called the incident appalling. It has long been observed that airlines and airports are abandoning disabled people. "The effects are often degrading, stressful and frightening, and discourage some disabled people from traveling at all." Ryanair and Ladvetter airport blamed each other. The airport apologized. We deeply regret the incident. A number of unforeseen events are responsible for the delay in aid. A spokesman told the BBC the long wait "is not up to our usual standard of service".
Ryanair told Der Spiegel that it regretted that the airport failed to provide assistance to the passenger upon arrival. Ryanair is working with the airport to ensure this doesn't happen again. The airline also announced that it would investigate the incident.
Sources: BBC, "Der Spiegel", Instagram