Ryanair accused of “forcing autistic girl off plane in Faro”
Irish low-cost airline Ryanair is being accused of having forced a 13-year-old autistic girl off a plane she had boarded at Faro airport as staff did not believe she was with family.
Daisy Maddock was travelling with her aunts, uncles, cousins and godmother on Friday, August 10 and was on her way home from Faro to East Midlands Airport, having flown out to the Algarve to celebrate her grandmother’s birthday “without a problem”.
Daisy reportedly had a letter of permission and a copy of her parents’ passports as required after her mother Michelle was unable to fly because she had recently suffered a brain bleed.
But just as the plane was going to take off, staff reportedly came over and asked the youngster to get off the plane as they wouldn’t accept she was flying with family members.
Michelle claimed that her daughter’s relatives explained the situation and showed cabin crew the letter and passports, which the budget airline had told Michelle to give her.
She said a crew member left and came back with a security guard who then allegedly escorted the girl off the plane.
Michelle said: “My 13-year-old is autistic and was absolutely hysterical. Her 70-year-old godmother was made to leave the plane with her.”
The mother also claimed her daughter was left stranded at the airport, which the Irish airline denied.
A spokesman said: “Children under 16 years of age are not permitted to travel unaccompanied.
“In this instance, the child was booked on two separate bookings for the outbound and return flights.
“While we regret any inconvenience, as no other adult was travelling on the return booking, she could not travel on the flight.
“As a gesture of goodwill, the child and an accompanying adult were moved on to another booking on the next available flight, which departed to East Midlands later that day.”