Sussex

Easyjet forces disabled man off plane at Gatwick Airport

Martin Sabry
Image caption Martin Sabry said he has flown many times before without encountering similar treatment

A wheelchair user who was forced off an Easyjet plane at Gatwick because of safety fears has criticised the airline.

Martin Sabry, from Cambridge, who was paralysed from the chest down 17 years ago, was asked to leave the Montpelier-bound service by cabin staff.

The 39-year-old was told they were not satisfied he could reach the emergency exit in the event of a crash.

The airline has apologised to Mr Sabry and launched an investigation.

Mr Sabry said that after he was told to leave the 4 January flight, the purser asked him to read aloud a card with the airline's safety guidelines as other passengers walked by.

'Quite degrading'

"In the gangway he was asking me to read the card aloud line by line and at the end of each line say 'yes I can do that'," he said.

"I've been in a wheelchair for 17 years and I've seen an awful lot, but this is quite degrading."

By the time that Mr Sabry - who has used Easyjet several times - was allowed to reboard the plane it was ready for take-off so he missed his flight.

Catherine Lynn, director of customer service and revenue at Easyjet, apologised to Mr Sabry.

She said: "Certainly this is not the experience that we want to give to any of our passengers, particularly passengers who have mobility difficulties.

"It has gone wrong, we have made some mistakes and we are doing a full investigation.

"The good news is that we carry successfully over 1,000 passengers with reduced mobility every day, but we got it wrong on this occasion and we're really sorry."

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites