Irish swimmer Patrick Flanagan, 23, said his wheelchair was broken during a trip to Tokyo to compete in the 2020 Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, which begin on August 24. He made a stopover from Ireland to London to go to Japan.
Flanagan explained on his Twitter account, “I got my wheelchair back when the plane landed, but it completely crashed.”
“In the end, the wheels are so badly damaged that they no longer turn, more potholes and scratches,” he wrote.
He described staff at London’s Heathrow Airport as “extremely defensive”. The airport’s official airport account responded to Flanagan’s tweet: “We apologize for any inconvenience caused to your wheelchair on the way to Heathrow. We understand how annoying it can be.
“We will work with the airline and the Airport of Original to prioritize how the damage occurred and how to avoid it in the future,” he added. “Please contact us if you can help us on future trips to Heathrow.”
However, Flanagan said, “an apology will do very little.” He pointed out the difficulties provided by the wheelchair he received.
“I got a big airport wheelchair. I just filled out an application form. I can barely push myself into this new chair. Simple tasks like getting around in my hotel room are very difficult. Now I have to fly to Tokyo,” he explained.
“This is not something that can happen with the use of wheelchairs. It’s unacceptable. Airlines and luggage handlers need to pay more attention to the chairs. My chair is my freedom. It takes months to assemble and order.
He posted an update on Saturday (14) saying a spare seat had been withdrawn. “But not all wheelchair users are lucky enough to get one. The problem remains, it should never happen!” He said.
(Text translated from English. Check the original Here)
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