A Queensland woman said she was embarrassed by Jetstar workers when they couldn’t supply a wheelchair for her to exit the aircraft as she was about to do so. After being made to crawl on the ground to her own wheelchair, Natalie Curtis, who has used a wheelchair since high school, claimed she had never felt so embarrassed.
On her travel from Singapore to Bangkok, Ms. Curtis claimed she was given a typical “aisle” wheelchair, but when she arrived, she was informed she would have to pay to use a different chair to exit the aircraft.
On Monday, Ms. Curtis told Sunrise: “I didn’t really comprehend it and I was like, ‘No, I’m not paying to be able to get off this plane’,”
Because of a knee ailment, her friend Natasha Elford could not help her off the plane. The only choice left, according to Ms. Curtis, was to crawl on the ground for eight rows to get to her own wheelchair. She said: “It was extremely humiliating,”
Ms. Elford claimed she was in disbelief as she witnessed the incident. She said: “My first instinct was I was pretty much gutted, I was like, ‘Is this actually happening?”
She added: “I couldn’t physically lift her so I felt really hopeless and I couldn’t believe this was really happening.”
The flight attendants “didn’t really try to do anything,” according to Ms. Elford, when she attempted to find out if it was possible to deliver a wheelchair to Ms. Curtis quickly. Budget airline in the country has been criticized for months due to frequent flight cancellations, delays, and crew shortages.
Woman Forced To Crawl Off Jetstar Plane
A Jetstar representative said the company had offered Ms. Curtis a heartfelt apology for her experience as well as a refund and further compensation. They said: “We unreservedly apologise to Ms Curtis for her recent experience while travelling with us,”
“We are committed to providing a safe and comfortable travel experience for all our customers, including those requiring specific assistance.”
A Queensland woman with a disability has been filmed crawling along the aisle of a Jetstar flight after being asked to pay for a wheelchair to be transferred from her seat. Natalie Curtis refused because the service is normally free. https://t.co/VZ3A1cpmr5 #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/Q5e9EBhybo
— 7NEWS Brisbane (@7NewsBrisbane) October 31, 2022
According to the spokeswoman, Jetstar employees do not charge for using a wheelchair, and investigations into the event showed that a language issue caused a cost to be misunderstood. They said: “We are looking into what happened as a matter of urgency,”
The airline, according to Ms. Curtis, should take additional measures to prevent a repeat of this.