Japan carrier Vanilla Air makes wheelchair-bound man to crawl onto plane

There was no lift at the small airport to move disabled passengers from the tarmac up to the jet's door. Kijima, who is paralysed from the waist down, said in a blog he was forced to crawl up the stairs using only his arms.

By: AFP | Tokyo | Updated: June 28, 2017 2:34 pm
EKansh Trust and Brick School of Architecture, Beyond Disabilities, Infinite Possibilities, disability architecture, news, latest news, India news, national news Kijima, a frequent traveller outside Japan, told Nippon TV on Wednesday he was “surprised” when staff said he would not be able to fly if he could not walk up the stairs. “I wondered if the airport employees didn’t think that was wrong,” he added. ( Representational Image)

A Japanese budget airline apologised today for forcing a wheelchair-bound man to crawl up a set of stairs to board his flight. Hideto Kijima, 44, was returning last month to Osaka from a vacation in Amami, a small island off southern Japan, when a Vanilla Air employee told him that company safety rules banned anyone from carrying him up the stairs.

There was no lift at the small airport to move disabled passengers from the tarmac up to the jet’s door. Kijima, who is paralysed from the waist down, said in a blog he was forced to crawl up the stairs using only his arms.

The Asahi newspaper said the man pulled himself up some 17 steps. Vanilla Air, the budget arm of major carrier All Nippon Airways, said today it has apologised to Kijima. “We’re sorry that we caused him that hardship,” a company spokesman told AFP, adding the carrier has since made it mandatory to have lifts for disabled patrons at that airport.

The airline had previously barred passengers who could not walk from boarding a flight at Amami because it was dangerous to carry someone up the stairs, the spokesman said. Kijima, a frequent traveller outside Japan, told Nippon TV on Wednesday he was “surprised” when staff said he would not be able to fly if he could not walk up the stairs. “I wondered if the airport employees didn’t think that was wrong,” he added.

The incident comes after a public relations fiasco on United Airlines in April, in which a 69-year-old doctor in the United States was dragged off an overbooked flight.

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  1. P
    Peter Raccoon
    Jun 30, 2017 at 5:20 am
    Mr. Kijima crawled up stairs to the plane after the airline staff once rejected him from boarding, the staffs proposed to help him, but he shouted at the staffs as "Don' t touch me.". His 5 freinds stood by and help him nothing. I think the airline did as possible as they could as a budget carrier. The airline's request is issued so that passengers could get better experence. He made areservation a week ago and he knew the company's request well, and he didn't have an unexpeted stuff at the time. In anese society, normally customers and company both pay respects to each other and co-operate to get better experiences, he intentionally broke the unwritten rule which stop an from being a lawsuit society. I would like to say he is a troublesome claimer. Read more: : dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4647656/ anese-airline-forced-disabled-man-crawl-plane #ixzz4lR9g93Na Follow us: MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
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