Ryanair denies claims by double amputee that they treated him like an animal

© Tadeas Skuhra / Shutterstock
Disgruntled double amputee.

REPORTS have surfaced about a dispute between Ryanair and a double legged amputee being asked to ‘crawl to the plane’. 

Ryanair are adamant that the disabled passenger has in fact invented the dramatic events which he purports to have happened on his return home from Malaga airport to Manchester with his wife and young daughter. 

The 38-year-old father of two, Matthew Parkes, lost his legs in November after contracting life threatening sepsis. He told the Manchester Evening News that Ryanair staff said he had to crawl down two ramps, a set of stairs, across the tarmac and up the steps of the plane.


“Ryanair made me feel humiliated and like I didn’t matter,” said Parkes

“I felt like a second-class citizen and was so embarrassed when this is so fresh and I’m still getting used to people staring at me. Total humiliation.”

Instead of letting Mr Parkes board first, he reports that Ryanair waited for everyone else to board and then stretchered him onto the plane. 

“They dragged me backwards from the front to the back of the plane, knocking into people. Everyone was staring at me,” he said.

Parkes then explains he had to drag himself up onto his seat without any help from the cabin crew who also explained the distraught passenger he would have to crawl up the isle to use the toilet. 

Pamela Parkes, Matthew’s wife, was appalled by the apparent offensiveness and complained to staff at the airport. 

“Ryanair treated him like an animal on the way back – he wasn’t recognised as a person, and I had to see my husband be humiliated,” She said. 

“I’m absolutely disgusted. They need to change their policy for disabled people.”

She also reported that they asked for a sandwich early so her husband could take his medication but that air crew ignored them and served everyone else first. 

On the other hand, Ryanair are completely refuting these claims, they said in a statement: “This passenger ordered, and was provided with, PRM (passenger with reduced mobility) assistance at Malaga Airport. This service is provided to all airlines by the airport operator AENA.

“We have received no reports from either the cabin crew or the PRM provider of any issues in assisting this passenger to his seat. As far as we can tell there is no truth to these claims and no complaints were made by this passenger or his two travelling companions to either our cabin crew or the PRM assistance provider.”


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© Manchester Evening News


  1. I find this extremely difficult to believe. My parents travel regularly between Stansted and Murcia on Ryanair using PRM Assistance for my father. They have always been treated with courtesy and respect by both the airport staff and Ryanair staff. He is always loaded last from the back and, having spoken to customer services in advance, both he and my mother are given seats at the back that are easily accessible and not far from the toilet. As a double amputee, I am not sure how Mr Parks would expect to be able to reach the toilet (didn’t he think of this beforehand?)…although again, I find it difficult to believe even overstretched staff would be anything other than courteous in their response. If this incident really did happen then Mr Parks has every reason to feel angry and upset and I would urge him to make a formal complaint so Ryanair and the airport authorities can investigate properly (maybe speaking to other passengers?) rather than just going to the press so that no one else would suffer this kind of treatment.

  2. I flew with Ryanair from Alicante to East Midlands last September. I am fortunate to have all my limbs, despite the hospital discharging me with the expectation that I would soon die in my own bed – at home – but the Airline and airports could not have been better. Moving me by wheelchair from the Assistance Point, to a 3-ton cabin on a scissor jack, that lifted me from the tarmac to the galley entrance. I regret the experience Mr. Parkes said he had.

  3. I have heard so much about ryan airs service that I
    just wouldn’t fly with them.
    Iberia was good untill it went in with ba and I flew then
    ametrican airlines only to find them taken over by ba
    I haven’t now seen my son for six years.
    I just refuse to sit like a sardine in a can for a 9/10hour flight

  4. kay don’t blame Ryanair for not visiting your son. That’s your fault and no one elses.Ryanair is not as bad as you say and the seating is ok.Just stop moaning and find another way to visit your son ok


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