Wheelchair-bound passenger’s rage as he is kicked off a Qatar Airways flight because ‘we don’t let disabled people travel on their own’
- A Qatar Airways passenger said he was forced off a flight due to his disability
- Craig Nolan, who has spina bifida, had boarded a flight to Finland on Monday
- Mr Nolan boarded the flight from Melbourne to head back home to Helsinki
- The airline told him he wasn’t allowed to travel because he was alone, he claimed
- But the avid traveller and sportsman has flown the world before without a hitch
- It is understood the airline said there was a miscommunication with Mr Nolan
A wheelchair-bound passenger claims he was booted off a Qatar Airways flight and left stranded in the middle of no-where because of his disability.
Mr Nolan, who lives with spina bifida, said he was frustrated with the airline barring him from going home to his partner in Helsinki.
‘It was absolutely discrimination because there is no justified reason [for the airline] throwing me off the flight,’ he told Nine News.
Craig Nolan, (pictured, with his partner) who lives with spina bifida, said he was frustrated with the airline’s actions that barred him from going home to his partner in Helsinki
He said airline staff told him ‘you are travelling as a disabled person alone, which we don’t allow’.
The Geelong-born traveller has flown across the globe four times on his own and said this is the first time he has had trouble because of his wheelchair.
Mr Nolan told the airline on check-in that he was flying alone and he would need access to his wheelchair on arrival at the Qatar stopover, SBS News said.
At the gate he was brought onto the plane with an aisle chair, which is used to help immobile passengers transfer to their seats and to use the bathrooms.
A staff member approached Mr Nolan asking what he needed for the flight, before ten minutes later another one told him wasn’t able to travel on the plane by himself.
Mr Nolan’s friend Bridget Mullahy told SBS the incident was ‘unacceptable’.
‘It was absolutely discrimination because there is no justified reason [for the airline] throwing me off the flight,’ he told Nine News
‘I’m aware of what he has to deal with, just as a result of being in a wheelchair,’ Ms Mullahy said.
‘To think that something as simple as travelling back to Finland – a trip he’s done so many times before – and then this happens on his home turf? It’s unacceptable.’
She said he was taken off the plane in the middle of the night with no where to go but was able to get accommodation after some negotiation.
‘Everyone has to stand up for their rights, specifically disabled people who are not listened to and if they are there is always that pre perception of what they can and can’t do,’ Mr Nolan said.
Mr Nolan’s friend in Melbourne Bridget Mullahy (pictured, right) said the incident was ‘unacceptable’
Mr Nolan said he is still waiting for an apology and a refund for the flight, while he tries to return home.
Qatar Airways reportedly insists there had been a miscommunication.
Daily Mail Australia has approached the business repeatedly for comment.
Mr Nolan said he is still waiting for an apology and a refund for the flight, while he tries to return home