Disabled TV presenter Sophie Morgan hit out at British Airways for the poor standard of service on her flight from Buenos Aires to Heathrow on Monday. The star, who has presented shows for the BBC and Channel 4, including the latter's Paralympics coverage in 2016, shared the details of her ordeal with her 16,400 Instagram followers in a series of video stories.
Sophie is a TV presenter and a disability activist
She says she rang the call bell for over half an hour during the 12-hour journey from the Argentinian capital to London, as she needed water to take her medication, but no one answered. Sophie, who has used a wheelchair since a car accident when she was 18, is paralysed from the chest down.
She was reluctant to shout for help as it was an overnight flight but revealed to her followers that she was eventually able to attract a flight attendant's attention without disturbing the rest of the cabin by throwing headsets down the aisle.
However, when she did receive help, she was disappointed with airline staff's response. She says that a cabin manager responded by saying, "Calm down, you should just calm down, that's not our fault."
The presenter has used a wheelchair since she was 18
Clearly visibly upset, the 34-year-old posted a video in which she tried to articulate her frustration. "To try to explain what it feels to not have any means of moving – short of dragging myself along the floor – is impossible. It's not okay to be treated so badly," she said. Ironically, she had been in Buenos Aires as a speaker at the Global Disability Summit, a conference designed to ensure that disabled people are fully included in all aspects of society.
She shared her feelings with her Instagram followers on Monday
Sophie also took to Twitter to complain about the incident, where she was backed up by Paralympic athletes including Sam Ruddock and Owen Hamilton, the latter saying. "No airline should treat us wheelchair users that badly."
British Airways, who were a sponsor of the Paralympic Games, said in a statement, "We carry hundreds of thousands of customers with disabilities each year and we work hard to provide help and assistance throughout the whole journey."
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