Sophie Morgan: Loose Women star claims BA staff broke her wheelchair in transit from LA to London Heathrow
Sophie Morgan says airline told her to ‘send an email via the website’ when she complained
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The Loose Women star, 37, who lives in London, took to Instagram to vent about the damage caused to her wheelchair, as she explained how someone attached her wheelchair to its battery-powered attachment during transit without her permission.
Sophie has required constant use of a wheelchair since she was left paralysed by a car accident in 2003.
Boasting almost 60,000 followers, it wasn’t long before the post about her experience with British Airways racked up hundreds of comments from others who claim they’ve had similar problems when travelling.
Sophie expressed her shock over the damage in a video documenting the lengthy process “untrained staff” took to separate her wheelchair from the attachment.
The TV personality admitted that she was left “shaking” after having to spend over 30 minutes trying to resolve the situation, following an uncomfortable 10 hour flight.
Captioning the post, Sophie wrote: “Landed at Heathrow with a bang. Someone - no one took responsibility - decided to attach my wheelchair and my batec (battery-powered attachment) whilst in transit (they were checked in separately, in two parts, unattached) and they have done so a) without permission and b) COMPLETELY WRONG!!!
“It took over half an hour to ‘break’ them apart, all that time I had to sit on an aisle chair that was NOT safe and I didn’t know if I would be able to get back into my chair.
“Eventually, they broke them apart and I got back into my chair and reattached the batec but it’s not safe to use. I then discovered more damage.
“And what was I told to do by BRITISH AIRWAYS!? Send an email via the website.
“This has GOT TO STOP. Thousands of chairs are damaged by airlines every year. It’s #JustPlaneWrong.”
Over 3,000 people liked the post with a flood of commenters empathising with her situation, while many urged Sophie to take further action beyond posting on social media.
British racer Hannah Cockroft OBE wrote: “I hope you get it fixed Sophie, and I hope you take it further. We shouldn’t have to be afraid every time we want to travel! Any support I can give- just shout!”
One follower commented: “Oh this is just awful 😣 watching them attempting to get it apart makes me flinch. The cost of this kit and repairs/replacement vs having staff awareness to avoid the stress and expense (stress very much first!) seems silly. They have to stop just cramming stuff in, it’s not a suitcase!!! Train them up #justplanewrong”
Another said: “Worse nightmare for any wheelchair user. Causes untold stress when travelling. Just wrong and in my experience hasn’t got any better over the last two decades. Come on airlines step up! It’s just crap and it’s not hard to get it right 🤯”
British Airways responded to Sophie’s claims in a statement issued to Mail Online.
The spokesperson said: “We’re extremely sorry for Sophie’s experience and we’re investigating what happened as a matter of urgency.
“We’ve been in contact with Sophie to sincerely apologise and to resolve the matter with her directly.
“We carry hundreds of thousands of customers who require additional assistance each year and we work hard to provide help and support them throughout the whole journey.
“It’s extremely disheartening when things go wrong, and we don’t underestimate the impact this has. We’re committed to ensuring we deliver a consistently good service, and we’ll be working closely with Sophie and our dedicated accessibility teams to discuss how we can continue to make improvements to ensure a great flying experience for everyone.”