Disabled passenger can’t get home because airline says he’s TOO HEAVY – despite flying him out

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A DISABLED passenger was refused a flight home for being “too heavy” despite travelling with the same airline on his outbound journey.

Ian Smith, from Australia, travelled with Jetstar from Ballina to Sydney on January 22.

Disabled passenger Ian Smith was prevented from boarding for being 'too heavy'
Disabled passenger Ian Smith was prevented from boarding for being ‘too heavy’
7News

He then flew from Sydney to Melbourne on February 2 without difficulty.

On both occasions, he was assisted by staff from the airline.

However, the airline refused to allow the 67-year-old to travel back to his home in Ballina on February 8, citing his weight as a problem.

He was left stranded in a hotel room for five days while trying to sort out his return flight.

Ian, who served as a police officer for 29 years before being left wheelchair bound by a stroke, described the experience as “b****y traumatic”.

Ian was left stranded for five days at a hotel in Sydney
Ian was left stranded for five days at a hotel in Sydney
7News
He travelled from Ballina and Sydney with Jetstar just days earlier without any problems
He travelled from Ballina and Sydney with Jetstar just days earlier without any problems
7News
The 67-year-old served as a police officer for 29 years, before suffering a stroke
The 67-year-old served as a police officer for 29 years, before suffering a stroke
7News

He told 7 News: “They treat me like an idiot and I’m not an idiot. I’m disabled, but I’m still a human being.”

His son, David, said the airline didn’t give a “distinct reason” for why he was denied boarding.

According to 7 News, Jetstar confirmed Ian’s weight was the issue and said the staff who aided him on recent flights were breaching company policy and should not have allowed him to board.

Ian was eventually flown home by Qantas, Jetstar's sister airline
Ian was eventually flown home by Qantas, Jetstar’s sister airline
7News

They have since apologised to Ian for the incident and the 67-year-old was flown home five days later by Qantas, Jetstar’s sister airline.

However, Ian has since claimed he would never fly with Jetstar again after feeling “gutted” about the whole experience.


A disabled passenger was reportedly left stranded at an airport in Chicago overnight last year after her flight was cancelled.

Olimpia Warsaw, 67, was said to have been abandoned by staff and forced to spend hours by herself in her wheelchair when they failed to help her to her hotel.

In another incident, a British passenger was forced to miss his holiday to Madrid when he was left stranded in his wheelchair at Manchester Airport after being denied boarding.

Sun Online Travel has contacted Jetstar for comment.



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