Although Ryanair claims that they have an onboard wheelchair on all their flights, apparently there wasn’t one available when Daniel Rooney needed to use it on his flight from Birmingham to Portugal earlier this summer.
Normally this wouldn’t be an issue for Mr. Rooney, but in this particular instance his leg bag had fallen off, so he was unable to use it. He asked the passengers around him if he could discretely use a hand-held urinal, and while they had no objection, the flight attendant put the kibosh to that idea.
So with no onboard wheelchair, his friend carried him to the lavatory. Unfortunately at some point Mr. Rooney fell and broke his arm. Apparently he is seeking compensation from Ryanair, and although I certainly wish him the best, I’m hoping we can turn his unfortunate experience into a little “what if” exercise. What if this happened to you? What would you do?
First and foremost, always make sure the onboard wheelchair is aboard before the flight leaves the gates. Ask the flight attendant to check, as sometimes the do get offloaded. Let’s face it, you can’t always predict when nature will call, but if you have an equipment failure like Mr. Rooney did, well you are most likely going to need to visit the lavatory. And if you can’t walk, you will need that onboard wheelchair.
So what about asking the passengers around you if you could discretely use a hand-held urinal? I think it’s very considerate that he asked – and nobody objected – but my unofficial poll says most men wouldn’t ask, but instead be discreet with a jacket, blanket or towel. And nobody said they would ask a flight attendant. The prevailing mantra was “just do it.”
In the end it was an unfortunate incident – one that I don’t wish on anybody, and I hope that Mr. Rooney heals quickly. And finally I wish we lived in a world where things like this just didn’t happen.