A DISABLED passenger claims her wheelchair was handed back to her in four pieces with broken parts hidden inside by airport baggage staff.
Lisa Burton was left angry and humiliated when airport staff allegedly damaged her wheelchair while loading it on to a Ryanair flight from Barcelona to Liverpool John Lennon airport.
Miss Burton, 30, who suffers from a condition called arthrogryposis multiplex congenita (AMC), which affects her ability to walk, appeared to film staff in Barcelona recklessly loading her wheelchair on to the plane.
When she was reunited with her wheelchair in Liverpool she realised it had been damaged and discovered two suspension springs broken off and wrapped in a towel concealed in the chair’s storage space.
A Liverpool John Lennon Airport spokesman told Daily Star Online the incident happened at Barcelona Airport and a manager at Liverpool had spoken to her at the time.
Barcelona Airport and Ryanair have been approached for comment.
Miss Burton, from Doncaster, hit out at airport staff in Barcelona and Liverpool, angry at their lack of care: “It’s not just towels and knickers in a suitcase – this is people’s lives.”
Adding that after she had returned to Liverpool she faced a further ordeal lugging her broken wheelchair and four suitcases through the airport with minimal help from staff.
“The wheelchair is my life line, without it I can’t even get to the bathroom”
A picture shows how she had to load her damaged wheelchair onto a trolley and push it through the airport lobby.
She said: “The wheelchair is my life line, without it I can’t even get to the bathroom. The staff don’t even think about the impact it has – without it I’m stuck.
“With my wheelchair broken I was very nearly unable to attend my final four days on placement which meant I could have lost my offer of a job because of it.”
She added: “I spent three years in university to finally get this placement and have had to complete every day on it to have a chance of securing a job after, the staff have no idea how much not having my wheelchair has effected my prospects of having a job.”
Adding insult to injury, Miss Burton revealed that after airport staff had damaged her wheelchair, she said they demanded to know how she planned to remove the chair.
“I was furious,” she said. “They broke it and expected me to move it off the runway.”
After, she was given a manual wheelchair and left with her partner and four suitcases to make her way through the airport unassisted.
She said airports in London she travelled with before tend to have machines to remove the wheelchair, whereas Liverpool seemed ill-equipped.