Woman crawls down S'pore-BKK Jetstar plane aisle after allegedly being told to pay for wheelchair service

She'd rather crawl.

Belmont Lay | October 31, 2022, 11:41 PM

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A woman from Queensland, Australia who makes use of a wheelchair to get around, was seen crawling down the aisle of a Jetstar flight plane for about 4m after staff allegedly refused her request to use an aisle wheelchair for free, 7news.com.au reported.

She was allegedly told by crew to pay for an aisle chair to disembark, it was further reported.

She was on a Jetstar flight from Singapore to Bangkok when the incident happened about a week ago.

The woman, Natalie Curtis, described the episode in a Facebook post on Oct. 31 as "definitely the most humiliating experience I have had travelling".

What happened

Curtis had flown from Brisbane to Singapore with “no drama” previously.

On her flight from Singapore to Bangkok, she used an aisle chair to get to her seat.

It was when she landed in Bangkok that she was allegedly told that she would have to pay to use the same aisle chair.

According to Curtis in an interview with 7news.com.au, she refused to pay as she had never been asked to pay before.

So, she decided to crawl for about 4m.

Curtis also admitted that there was a bit of a language barrier between her and staff.

“When we arrived (the staff) were asking us to actually pay and I didn’t really comprehend it, and I’m like ‘no I’m not paying to be able to get off this plane’,” she said.

“They all just sat around for a while and the option that was left was for me to get on the floor and crawl.”

Filmed by friend

Curtis was filmed by her friend, Natasha Elford, who was travelling together.

Elford filmed her friend crawling down the aisle.

She said she wanted to carry Curtis off the plane but could not, due to a knee injury.

The video was put up by Curtis in the Facebook group, but she later took it down explaining it was to provide proof initially of what she said did happen and she explained it was not to seek attention.

Some of the initial comments in response to Curtis blamed her for making a fuss and blowing matters up.

Jetstar responds

7news.com.au reported that it understood Jetstar staff were informed that an aisle wheelchair was not available for at least 40 minutes when the plane arrived in Bangkok.

Curtis’ own wheelchair was brought onto the plane, but it was too big to fit down the aisle.

In a statement from Jetstar, which was also carried by CNA, a spokesperson denied the aisle wheelchair was withheld due to a request for payment.

“We unreservedly apologise to Ms Curtis for her recent experience while travelling with us,” the spokesperson said.

“We are committed to providing a safe and comfortable travel experience for all our customers, including those requiring specific assistance.

“Regrettably, this was not the case for Ms Curtis following a miscommunication that resulted in the delay of an aisle chair being made available at the gate on arrival and we are looking into what happened as a matter of urgency.”

Jetstar said it has offered Curtis a refund and additional compensation.

Curtis said in response that she will never fly with Jetstar again.

She said: “It was extremely humiliating so I definitely don’t want anyone else to go through what I had to go through.”

Top photos via Natalie Curtis