Queensland woman forced to crawl off plane after Jetstar staff refused to let her use aisle wheelchair

Natalie Curtis had to crawl off the plane because she wasn't able to use an aisle wheelchair
Natalie Curtis had to crawl off the plane because she wasn't able to use an aisle wheelchair Photo credit: 7 News// Getty Images

A Queensland woman says she will never fly with Jetstar again after she was forced to crawl off the plane because the airline staff refused to let her use an aisle wheelchair for free.

Wheelchair user Natalie Curtis was travelling from Singapore to Bangkok and had used an aisle wheelchair to board the plane.

However, when the aircraft landed in Bangkok and it was time to depart, Curtis said a flight attendant asked her to pay to use the wheelchair.

In a Facebook post, Curtis said: "I refused to pay as I have never had to do that in the past so I had to crawl to my wheelchair. I have never felt so degraded in my life."

She was forced to crawl around four metres off the plane in front of staff and other passengers, 7 News reported.

Curtis admitted there was a language barrier between her and the airline staff and she couldn't comprehend why they had to ask her to pay for the wheelchair.

"They all just sat around for a while and the option that was left was for me to get on the floor and crawl," Curtis told Sunrise.

Curtis's friend Natasha Elford was travelling with her at the time and wanted to help carry her off the plane but couldn't because of a knee injury.

"[Staff] did obviously try to offer to lift her up and carry her but if they dropped her that would [have been] 10 times worse," Elford told Sunrise.

It's not the first time a wheelchair user has been forced to crawl on a plane.

Jennie Berry was travelling from the UK to Greece with Alba Star Airlines in September when she wasn't given an aisle wheelchair to use on the plane.

Berry said she had to drag herself down the aisle to try and get to the toilet after staff refused to help her.

7 News reported Jetstar staff were told an aisle wheelchair wouldn't be available for at least 40 minutes when the plane landed in Bangkok.

Curtis's personal wheelchair was brought onto the plane but it was too big to fit down the aisle of the plane.

A Jetstar spokesperson denied the aisle wheelchair was withheld because Jetstar staff had asked Curtis to pay for it.

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

"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 had offered Curtis a full refund on her flight as well as additional compensation.

Despite this Curtis was adamant she would never use the airline again.

"It was extremely humiliating so I definitely don't want anyone else to go through what I had to go through," Curtis said.