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'Absolutely humiliating': Paraplegic flyer forced to drag herself across floor to the toilet after crew refused to help

According to Jennie Berry, when she asked for help, the crew said, 'Disabled people should wear diapers on board'
Jennie Berry was told by the crew that disabled people 'should wear diapers on board' (wheelie_good_life/Instagram)
Jennie Berry was told by the crew that disabled people 'should wear diapers on board' (wheelie_good_life/Instagram)

NEWCASTLE, ENGLAND: A paraplegic woman revealed her “humiliating” experience on a recent flight where she was forced to drag herself along the floor on her bottom because the plane didn’t have an aisle chair. Jennie Berry is paralyzed from the waist down and was refused help by crew members of Spain’s Albastar Airlines, after it took off from Newcastle International Airport in England. 

According to the Metro, Berry lives in Hartlepool, Durham. In a video shared across her Instagram page 'wheelie_good_life', Berry posted a video showing her navigating her way down the aisle, using her hands to shuffle herself slowly backwards until she reached the bathroom. It was her only option after staff rejected her request to go to the toilet, according to the post. “They just said, ‘No we don’t have an aisle chair on-board,' with no suggestions of what I was to do,” Berry said, adding, “As you all know – when you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go – so thankfully as I have good upper body strength I proceeded to drag myself down the aisle towards the toilet, while staff continued to serve drinks.”


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Berry, who is also a prominent advocate for disability rights, finally reached the cubicle after dragging herself past at least eight rows. However, the situation got even worse there. “Staff told me that ‘disabled people should wear nappies on board.’ Apparently that’s their solution – to ask disabled passengers to pee in their seats,” she said. “Staff were huffing and puffing while I held up their all-important drinks cart and told me that ‘in 27 years of working on airlines, they never saw the issue of disabled people having to wear nappies before.’” 


Initially, Berry was supposed to to fly with TUI UK but she chose Albastar on her way to her holiday destination due to a last minute change. She claimed that a staffer told her she could not sit anywhere near the front of the plane, upon her arrival at the airport. Being on the front seat makes it easier for a disabled person to travel using an aisle chair. “Life as a disabled person can sometimes be downright degrading and embarrassing and unfortunately, this was one of them times,” she wrote. “To be outright told to my face that I should wear a nappy when I don’t need to and that they are happy with that policy, made me feel humiliated,” she added. 

In a separate post on her Instagram story, Berry told her followers, "It is really important to remember that although I was able to crawl to the toilet not every disabled person is capable of doing that. So, what are they expected to do? Other people in this scenario are just expected to piss themselves and that is just the policy? It is just absolutely absurd." She later added, "Without this footage, disabled people are simply not believed."