Monday 19 February 2018

Mum had to 'carry son (16) off Ryanair plane on her back' after special assistance did not arrive

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Daire Courtney

Daire Courtney

A woman had to carry her 16-year-old son down the stairs off a plane when Ryanair’s special assistance did not arrive, her sister has claimed.

Gabriela Nadolska explained that her nephew Michael, who has drug-resistant epilepsy, needs assistance to board and disembark since he cannot use the stairs.

“My sister was coming from Warsaw to Dublin with her son, and when they boarded the plane in Warsaw he had special assistance. But when they were approaching Dublin, nobody came up to give her a hand,” Gabriela told Liveline this afternoon.

“My sister speaks no English so one of the air hostesses who was from Slovakia spoke to my sister and said there is no assistance coming. The pilot asked the air hostess to ask my sister if she could take her son on her back to leave the aircraft.

"My sister was shocked but she grabbed her son Michael on her back. A man at the bottom of the stairs got scared thinking my sister might fall, so he went up the stairs and walked in front of her but she was still carrying her 16-year-old disabled son on her back.

“I went over to the assistance desk to check what happened and the gentleman there said that it was booked – he was in shock himself. He gave me an email for OCS to make a complaint so I did. I emailed OCS and they said I need to go directly to Ryanair,” she continued.

It has been nearly a month since Gabriela’s initial complaint and so far, she has received no concrete response from Ryanair or OCS. “This happened on the 14th of September, I sent an email on the 15th – it’s a month later. I got an email on Monday saying that they’re investigating.”

Joe Duffy didn’t miss the chance to take a jab at Ryanair, telling Gabriela, “You’ve got to understand, Michael O’Leary is very busy doing his stand-up act for well-padded politicians at high-end breakfasts.”

Ryanair told “While we regret any inconvenience caused, the customer in question failed to book the correct special assistance required prior to their flight.

"All customers who require special assistance are asked to contact Ryanair prior to their flight using our dedicated special assistance phone line and web chat facility.”

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