Gold medal winning Paralympian Dylan Alcott was left stranded on a Qantas plane after the airline forgot to bring his wheelchair to the gate after landing.
Alcott took a ‘selfie’ as he was left sitting in his seat – in the background, flight attendants can be seen chatting to each other.
The photo was posted by Alcott on Twitter on Friday, who said:
“Left on ANOTHER PLANE without my wheelchair being brought to the gate. No idea where it is. Waiting for TOO LONG! Australian airlines need to sort their shit out. It is inhumane and unfair taking peoples independence away and not caring about it.”
Swamped with messages of support
Alcott was swamped with messages of support.
“Unacceptable Dylan. This must be so frustrating for you. Sending love and yes let’s raise awareness to ensure the airlines lift their game. Hope it turns up soon for you x,” wrote one Twitter user.
“I have a disabled 24 yo son. We are always put on first and taken off last. Like Dylan often left waiting for wheelchair. We are told that in an emergency, to stay seated and crew will come and help. I don’t think so!,” wrote another.
Qantas quick to respond and apologise
Qantas was quick to respond to the tweet, sending this message to Alcott:
“Hi Dylan, we’re really sorry for the delay in getting your wheelchair, we’ll DM you to follow up.”
Bad look for Qantas
Industrial relations advocate Miles Heffernan from Harassment Claims said it was a bad look for Qantas.
“Both Qantas and Virgin have dedicated and hard working staff who I’m sure do their best to deliver excellent service to their customers, but clearly there was a kink in the system here,” he said.
“It is unlawful for people with impairments and disabilities to be treated less favourably than other people, so it’s important that all companies make sure they make reasonable adjustments where required.
“Hopefully this public shaming exercise will remind the airlines, and all companies for that matter, to be mindful of accommodating the special needs of people with impairments and disabilities in our community.”
If you have suffered discrimination on the basis of an impairment or disability, you may be entitled to compensation.
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