Although my blog is filled with stories about denied boardings, this most recent incident ends with a little twist. And for those of you who like happy endings, I’ll be the spoiler — it’s a good twist.
It didn’t start out so well though. Last week, Glen McDonnell was about to board a Jetstar flight from Bangkok to Singapore, when the Station Manager informed him that they would not take him because he was a wheelchair-user who was traveling alone. Of course this mystified Mr. Mc Donnell, as he had no problems traveling to Singapore, unescorted, on the same airline.
Apparently the deciding factor was that Mr. McDonnell couldn’t walk at all. That’s what gave him the final boot from the flight. And according to Mr. McDonnell, the Jetstar staff wasn’t very nice about it at all. In his own words, they were “very arrogant”.
But as I said, the story has a good ending. Jetstar eventually put up Mr. McDonnell overnight in Bangkok and then put him on a flight home the next day.
OK, it doesn’t make up for the humiliation, but at least it offers a ray of hope that maybe some of these airlines are starting to “get it”. You don’t have to be able to walk to fly. After all, the airplane does most of the work.
Hopefully the tide will turn in Asia and Australia soon (which have the highest incidence of denied boardings) and the archaic process of screening passengers based on how many steps they can or can’t walk will end.
I think we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.