Sahar Mourad

Travel Trouble

Paralympian told she can’t board plane with wheelchair

Paralympian told she can’t board plane with wheelchair

A paralympian has been left embarrassed after Jetstar staff refused to allow her to board with her wheelchair. 

Karni Liddell represented Australia at the 1996 and 2000 Paralympic Games and had booked with Jetstar to fly from Brisbane to Proserpine on Wednesday. 

She was however told she would not be allowed to board the plane because there was a lithium battery on the wheelchair - even though she had a dangerous goods certificate issued by Qantas and Jetstar.

“I was told on the phone beforehand that I could fly, but I couldn’t bring my wheelchair,” she said on Sunrise on Thursday. 

“I asked her again to repeat it because I actually thought it was quite funny.

“I said ‘that would be like me telling you to take your legs off, to jump on the plane and fly without your legs’ and she said ‘stop being so rude’.”

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Karni explained that this is not the first time she has been discriminated against on recalling about 10 incidents over the past few years.

She said every time she arrived at the airport she was riddled with anxiety and is questioning why it’s so hard to accommodate those who need a bit of extra help.

“It’s so common for us, we are always fighting to fly. So I just want to find out why? Why is it so hard?”

Jetstar has since made a statement in response to the horrific incident which saw Karni miss out on an income. 

“Unfortunately her booking was made through a travel vendor and did not include the requirement to travel with a 25-kilogram lithium-battery-powered wheelchair,” the statement read. 

“Carrying a 25-kilogram lithium battery on our aircraft requires special clearance in advance of the flight’s departure.”

Images: Instagram

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