THE mother of a 15-year-old autistic boy has hit out bitterly at Ryanair staff, after the airline’s behaviour at Alicante Airport.
“They refused to let him on the flight, and wanted to charge to take his doll on board,” said Helena Estrella, mother of Leo.
She said of the low-cost airline’s personnel: “They refused to let him fly home because he became distressed when they wouldn’t let him have his doll. And they then demanded payment for it as hand-luggage.”
She added: “Leo’s carer, who was travelling with him, had not even refused to make the payment.”
Helena said the situation caused her son to have a “meltdown” when four or five officers surrounded him, after Ryanair staff had called the police.
“Special assistance had been requested because not all disabilities are visible, but we were told ‘No’ by Ryanair because Leo can walk,” she said.
The mother said Leo’s carer “was wearing the recognised Lanyair, which is used to alert airport staff of a non-visible disability”.
Helena added that Leo was taken to the airport doctor and had to be medicated, because he was “highly distressed”.
Ryanair offloaded their luggage “and offered them no other way to get home”.
After much desperation, Leo’s carer bought new tickets to get home from the Jet2 counter.
Helena praised the Jet2 staff for “the level of compassion and outstanding customer service because they got her boy home, treating him with kindness, dignity and respect”.
She said one of Jet2’s cabin-crew staff had sat on the floor with Leo, while trying to calm him down, and even the captain had checked on Leo’s well-being.
“Please accept my thanks for the bottom of my heart,” said Helena, who has asked for everyone to share her posts on Facebook to highlight Jet2’s outstanding customer service.
Ryanair replied to Helena, who also took to Twitter to report the incident, saying: “We are really sorry about this. We suggest you to contact, directly, the special assistance department”.
Another Ryanair representative replied to Helena’s third tweet, saying: “We are sorry to hear this. Please submit a complaint to contactform.ryanair.com for our customer service department to investigate”.
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