Ian St John was told his wheelchair was too big (Picture: Liverpool Echo/Getty)
A man was denied access to his flight after Ryanair staff told him his wheelchair was too big.
Ian St John, who has been paralysed for seven years due to spinal cancer, arrived five hours early for his flight from Cork to Liverpool on Saturday.
The 45-year-old said he sent the airline the dimensions of his wheelchair when he booked the flights.
But as Mr St John arrived at the departure gate, he was told by Swissport airport staff his wheelchair was too big, and he was forced to make other arrangements.
‘By not telling me I could not travel until I got to the airport, Ryanair stranded me,’ he told the Echo.
‘My heart was racing – I felt sick when I realised I was stranded.
‘I was crying in the middle of the airport. The Swissport staff, who were brilliant in trying to get me on the flight, were very upset by what happened.
‘I was at the airport from 3-11 and was kept waiting for all that time by Ryanair. I have never witnessed discrimination like it.’
Ryanair claim they were never sent them the wheelchair dimensions, but Mr St John claims he never received any emails.
‘Travelling as a wheelchair user is arduous and you have to be meticulous. I would not have proceeded with booking the flights unless I was sure everything would be fine,’ he said.
Mr St John, a professional golfer, was travelling to play at the EDGA golf event at Formby Hall.
But he was forced to withdraw and lose world ranking points.
‘I was so looking forward to the match, Ryanair blew it out the water. In 2023 to face this kind of discriination is just astounding.’
Ryanair said: ‘This passenger travelling from Cork to Liverpool Saturday, (Sep 2) chose not to fly after being informed by ground staff at Cork Airport that their mobility equipment exceeded the maximum dimensions permitted for carriage onboard Ryanair aircraft.
‘This passenger received an Electronic Mobility Form on Fri (Sept 1) which clearly stated the maximum dimensions and weight permitted for carriage of mobility equipment onboard Ryanair aircraft but regrettably they arrived at Cork Airport with mobility equipment that exceeded the maximum dimensions permitted.
‘We regret that this passenger’s mobility equipment exceeded the maximum dimension permitted and as a result we were unable to carry their equipment.’
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‘I was crying in the middle of the airport.’