Ryanair passenger left 'humiliated' after he had to drag himself onto Birmingham Airport bus

  • Watch Roberts Murphy report

A Ryanair passenger says he was left 'humiliated' after he was forced to drag himself up the stairs of a coach after his flight to Bristol was diverted to a different airport.

Spencer Watts, who is from Devon and is paralysed from the waist down, says he was not provided any support from the ground staff to help him board the coach in Birmingham.

While he was trying to crawl up the stairs Spencer says he was even scolded by the driver who said he was not insured for this.

Spencer said: "Unfortunately there was no ambi-lift on the aircraft to get me off the airplane so I was on the airplane waiting for an hour before they could actually get me into the arrivals hall.

"In that time I was reassured that there was private transport to assist me on to my onward journey to Bristol. It was not met so I eventually got off the aircraft and there was nothing there for me to obviously to transfer onto.

Spencer Watts was a guest on Good Morning Britain this morning (3 March) Credit: ITV

None of the coaches that had been booked for the onward journey were wheelchair accessible, but he says he was told the only option to get back to Bristol was for him to get onto the coach.

Spencer added: "I had the upper body strength to be able to shuffle onto that coach but there is a lot of people out there that would not be able to do that and would be stranded in Birmingham that evening."

Sophie Morgan, TV presenter and disability campaigner, said: "There needs to be systemic change, this isn't an isolated incident there have been so many stories not just recently but for decades.

"For us as a community this is not (shocking) it has become the norm. What we are seeing however is a blame game going on.

"Unfortunately the airlines can blame the assistance companies, they can blame the airport. We then fall through the cracks and our experience of flying and of going on holiday go wrong.

Sophie Morgan has set up a campaign to give more powers to the Civil Aviation Authority Credit: ITV

"There is a huge amount of fear in the disabled community about flying now."

She is campaigning to get the government to give the Civil Aviation Authority the powers to fine airlines.

In a statement, a Ryanair spokesperson said: “This flight from Alicante to Bristol (17 Feb) diverted to Birmingham due to adverse weather conditions at Bristol Airport.

"Special assistance at Birmingham Airport is managed a third-party provider – not Ryanair.

"As the flight was not planned to arrive at Birmingham Airport, special assistance had not been pre-arranged, however the crew of this flight requested special assistance upon arrival at Birmingham Airport, which the provider at Birmingham Airport failed to provide.”

Birmingham Airport said: "“Following the diversion of his flight from Bristol to Birmingham on February 17, the BHX assisted travel team reacted as swiftly as possible, using an ‘ambulift’ vehicle to get Mr Watts off the aircraft and safely into the terminal.

“Airport colleagues then accompanied Mr Watts to staff at the airline’s ground handler, whose job it was to guide affected passengers on to the onward road transport back to Bristol.”