'Humiliated' Jetstar passenger forced to crawl down the aisle
A Queensland woman who requires a wheelchair was forced to crawl down the aisle of the plane and claims she didn't have access to an aisle chair on the Jetstar flight.
Natalie Curtis was flying from Singapore to Bangkok on Jetstar last week but was allegedly told she had to pay for an aisle chair to help her get off the aircraft.
Ms Curtis said she "refused" to bear the added cost of the aisle chair —a wheelchair designed to be used on board the plane — saying "I have never had to do that in the past".
But Yahoo News Australia understands Jetstar does not require payment for the use of an aisle chair and that "miscommunication" led to one not being available for at least 40 minutes.
The Queensland traveller shared the ordeal on Facebook last Thursday.
"I have never felt so degraded in my life. Absolutely disgusted in the service provided," she wrote.
The traveller said she was "embarrassed and humiliated" that she had to drag her body down the plane.
She said she boarded the plane in Singapore with ease, and with "the assistance of the staff", used an aisle chair to get on board the plane to her seat.
But on landing in Bangkok she was allegedly told she'd have to pay to use the same chair which would help her get off the plane.
Friend watched passenger struggle: 'Hopeless'
Speaking on Sunrise on Monday morning Ms Curtis explained the friend she was with — who filmed the incident — was unable to carry her or assist her due to a knee injury.
Natasha Elford said she was "gutted" seeing Ms Curtis struggle and felt "hopeless" that she couldn't help.
Ms Elford said the airline staff "offered to lift her up and carry her".
"But obviously if they drop her that would be 10 times worse," she said, adding crawling was "the safest way, unfortunately."
Jetstar responds to woman's claim
Yahoo News Australia understands the aisle chair was requested on arrival but crew were advised one was not available for at least 40 minutes.
Rather than waiting, it's believed Ms Curtis opted to shuffle down the plane to her wheelchair instead which was brought onto the plane to help her.
Jetstar apologised for the passenger's recent experience and said they've been in contact with Ms Curtis and have offered compensation.
"We are committed to providing a safe and comfortable travel experience for all our customers, including those requiring specific assistance," the company said in a statement to Yahoo.
"Regrettably, this was not the case for Ms Curtis following a miscommunication that resulted in the delay of an aisle chair being made available at the gate on arrival, and we are looking into what happened as a matter of urgency.
"At no point was an aisle chair withheld due to a request for payment.
"Our customer team has contacted Ms Curtis to better understand her experience and to offer her a refund, as well as additional compensation."
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