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Ryanair refuses to carry disabled woman’s wheelchair on flight

Helen Coffey
Standard issue: the Boeing 737-800 is the only aircraft type that Ryanair flies: Simon Calder

A disabled woman was told she could not take her wheelchair on a Ryanair flight as it was “too big”.

Belen Hueso, who suffers from Friedreich’s ataxia, a rare genetic disease that causes damage to parts of the brain and spinal cord, was due to fly from Seville to Valencia on 9 December.

She registered the dimensions and characteristics of her wheelchair when booking the flight as requested.

However, the budget airline said the chair exceeded the stipulated height limit and refused to carry it.

Ms Hueso’s electric wheelchair does not fold down and measures 102cm in height. Ryanair says: “Per our terms and conditions, the dimensions of wheelchairs when collapsed must not exceed 81cm (height), 119cm (width) and 119cm (depth).”

The carrier suggested she travel “with a manual and folding chair”, but her condition precludes her from doing this.

At first, Ms Hueso claims Ryanair refused to give her her money back, despite the fact she’d no longer be travelling with them.

However, since sharing her story with Spanish media, the airline has relented and issued a full refund of €70 (£85).

Ms Hueso will now fly with rival airline Vueling, which “costs double”, but will allow her to take her wheelchair.

She said she is “used to her rights being violated” and that it “does not surprise [her]”, reports the Mirror.

A Ryanair spokesperson told The Independent: “This has been resolved with the customer directly.”

They added that the customer’s wheelchair exceeded the airline’s maximum dimensions and that they “regret any inconvenience caused”.

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