Ryanair refuses to apologize to a 69-year-old woman who was denied permission to bring a change of colostomy bag with her on a Ryanair flight from Fuerteventura in Spain.
The woman from Louth, Frances Duff, tried to show the flight attendant a note from her doctor, but was ignored. She was then told to lift her shirt to prove she had a colostomy bag, reports TheJournal.ie.
“She just pushed it out of my daughter’s hand. She didn’t want to speak to me or know me. She humiliated me so much that I started crying in front of people. I cried all the way home and I’ve been crying ever since. One day she’ll be my age and by God I hope she doesn’t go through the same ordeal,” said Duff.
She was eventually allowed to board the plane with the colostomy bags in separate hand luggage, from which she was separated during the flight.
According to the airline, any passengers who need to carry and use medical equipment during travel must first contact Ryanair's dedicated special assistance line.
“This special assistance phone line is used by thousands of passengers each year, without issue,” the airline said in a written statement," said Ryanair in a written statement.
According to Duff, she tried to contact the special assistance line on three occasion, but each time she was forced to wait 30 minutes and could not get through.
“Why are they making me feel guilty? I did nothing wrong. I would like nothing more than to sit in a room and tell Michael O’Leary how hurt I am. I am speaking up for all the people out there like me. I am standing up to be counted.”
Gerry Adams, Duff's local TD, has called for a “full and fulsome” apology from the airline.
“Frances was treated in a disrespectful and disgraceful fashion. The staff lacked any empathy and Ryanair’s regulations did not allow for staff to exercise any common sense or discretion. Ryanair needs to examine its procedures and the resources and ensure that they have put in place the necessary resources for their dedicated assistance telephone line.”