'I think it's just a story that needs to be told'
Ryanair explained that the fault did not lie with them, and that Niamh put the staff in a bad position.
Ryanair’s website states, “If you, or a member of your party, requires special assistance at the airport you will need to book these [special assistance] services in advance. If you do not provide 48 hour’s notice, the required assistance may not be available and your travel plans may be disrupted.”
The site also explains that special-need passengers should show up to the gate at least 40 minutes before the departure in order to be transferred from their wheelchair to the specialized airplane wheelchair.
A Litany of Errors
Ryanair released a statement explaining their take on the situation, saying in part, “While we regret any inconvenience, this customer arrived at the boarding gate 13 minutes before the flight was due to depart and had not booked any wheelchair services. Our crew provided full assistance and as a gesture of goodwill, transferred this customer on to the next available flight, free of charge, and the customer flew to London Stansted.”
In 2015, traveler Patrick Collinson wrote about his experience taking his elderly parents on the low-budget flight: “Ryanair, and its partners, were brilliant. You have to tick the ‘special assistance required’ button when booking online. Indeed, the experience is so good, you’ll be wanting to borrow a granny or granddad next time you fly.”
Niamh has asserted that her group checked in more than 13 minutes before the flight and that they “had previous knowledge of my presence.”
We’ve got more information on the story next.