Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Budget carrier Ryanair refuses to allow 8-year-old autistic boy travel with sensory toys and iPad

The budget low-cost-high-fee airline Ryanair is under fire for not allowing an 8-year-old autistic boy to fly with sensory toys and an Ipad, despite the boys family paying €67 for extra hand luggage.

Photo Deadline News
Leyton Martin, from Doncaster in the UK is said to have become so distressed by the noise of the aircraft that he started to self-harm, by gouging skin from his arms and hands as his normal distractions were not available to him.

The family confirmed they had paid a fee of €67 to take on extra hand luggage to the flight from Arrecife, Lanzarote, to Manchester, last Thursday.  But the airline wouldn't allow the sensory toys or iPad on the flight, the family also claim the airline threatened to call the police when they insisted Leyton could not fly without his toys and medicine. 

Leyton's mother told the UK's Mail online, "I had paid 67 euro for extra luggage but the lady at the checkout pointed to my son's bag and said you are not taking that on board as it's not priority luggage.

When I tried explaining that to the lady that I needed Leyton's bag she said 'no' and became really aggressive. I proceeded to explain that my son, who was wearing his disability necklace, that it had his iPad, phone and sensory toys in the bag and we needed them for the five-hour journey to keep him entertained.".

"She said if we didn't go now she was throwing us off the plane and phoning the police. My son was having a meltdown begging to go home. We weren't even allowed to take out any of the items for the flight."

This is not the first time the budget carrier has been criticised for its treatment or autistic passengers, especially children. Recently a 15-year-old autistic boy became distressed after Ryanair staff tried to force him to either check in a tiny comfort doll or pay extra fees to carry the doll on the aircraft.  Leo Wakefield was returning home with his carer from Alicante, Spain.  Leo had a 'meltdown' on Saturday evening after the staff demanded they pay £25 as the item qualified as hand luggage.  Leo was forced to travel home with Jet2, who were very accommodating to Leo's needs. 

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