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A paralympian claims she was left ‘abandoned’ on the plane in a wheelchair after a Ryanair flight

The 49-year-old wheelchair racer and disability rights activist said that she was left waiting for 45 minutes for a Stansted airport ground crew staffer came to help her.

(Getty )

A British a paralympian claims that she left “leaving” and had to wait 45 minutes to deplane her Ryanair at the airport of London, but they had arranged for a wheelchair to exit the plane weeks before.

On 24 August, on the way home from the World Para European Championships in Athletics in Berlin, Anne Wafula Strike, Ryanair flight landed at the London Stansted Airport, almost two hours behind schedule, The Guardian reports.

“I felt angry and very neglected, it is not good when you leave on a flight and everyone is picking up their bags and walk off”

(Empics Sport)

According to the outlet, although her fellow passengers were free to walk off after a 20 minute delay, Wafula Strike was the left, “neglected” to deplane, though she had booked assistance weeks before they traveled.

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The 49-year-old wheelchair racer and disability rights activist told the BBC she was left waiting for 45 minutes for a Stansted airport ground crew staffer came to help her.

“I felt angry and very neglected, it is not good when you leave on a flight and everyone is picking up their bags and walk away,” Wafula Strike said. “That is the time that you start thinking, ‘I wish I could just walk, like them, and my luggage and walk off the plane,” but I have to trust the assistance. It was bad.”

Wafula Strike claims that when a ground crew of the pitchfork on the last came, they told her that they were short staffed and uncertain if her flight had even arrived.

“When someone like me speaks up or raises their voice, people will think that it only happens to one or two people, but it is becoming more common for people with a disability left neglected on aircraft or not able to get into trains,” she told the BBC. “These things should not happen if men walked on the moon.”

Like @FrankRGardner I had forgotten to @Ryanair last night at @STN_Airport for a long time because I needed help, that was booked weeks in advance .. then I had to wait for the luggage longer than the flight @SueWillman #fly pic.twitter.com/hPW0VXoMCP

— Anne Wafula Strike (@Anne_W_Strike) August 25, 2018

Wafula Strike wrote on Twitter that she was then forced to wait to collect her luggage at the airport longer than the flight.”

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Meanwhile, the incident struck a chord of resonance with many on social media.

“It happens every time. Things need to change,” a supporter wrote of Wafula Strike negative experience.

“Thank you for standing up, on behalf of all of us. Mistakes certainly happen with the airport assistance, as I myself have experienced (I have a visual disability, autism and severe damage to the brain),” the other chimed in. “People are not aware of the impact that it has on us.”

A Stanstedspokesperson confirmed to the Guardian that they are investigating the incident, adding that a company with the name Omniserv is responsible for the operation of the wheelchair services at the airport.

“Wheelchair services at London Stansted are operated by Omniserv – at high cost to the airlines,” a Ryannair rep confirmed to Fox News.

Also in the beginning of August, the BBC correspondent Frank Gardner, who also uses a wheelchair was stuck on a blank aircraft” to London Heathrow airport, deplaning, for the second time in six months, BBC reported at the time.

Janine Puhak is an editor for Fox News Lifestyle. Follow her on Twitter via @JaninePuhak

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