, 2022-12-08 16:57:22,
Craig Nolan has spent 5 days in Melbourne airport after being removed from a Qatar Airways flight. Photo / Supplied, Craig Nolan
An Australian expat says he was kicked off a plane for ‘flying alone’ and was left stranded in Melbourne Airport with his wheelchair.
Five days later, the passenger is still at the airport waiting for a flight and compensation.
Helsinki-based Craig Nolan said the incident was a first for him and left him feeling “frustrated” as he tried to travel back home to Finland for Christmas.
Nolan, who was born with spina bifida, requires a wheelchair for mobility. Having lived abroad for years he was used to flying as a solo-traveller and had traversed the world without incident until this point.
On Monday he was asked to disembark his Qatar Airways flight from Melbourne to Doha for a reason he thought was odd.
Having been allowed onto the plane and assisted to his seat using the plane’s aisle chair, 10 minutes into boarding he was told by the cabin crew that he would have to get off the plane. He was already seated, when the decision was made to offload him.
When he asked why, Nolan says he was told it was because he was travelling alone.
Talking to SBS the traveller said that he had no option but to get off the plane and wait for his wheelchair to be returned.
The airline paid for one night’s accommodation but only after he insisted there was no public transport and he had nowhere to go.
“All this went down after midnight, so it took quite a lot of…
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