Wheelchair users face particular difficulties during travel. While many nations have laws that demand accommodations for wheelchair users, those who use wheelchairs often find that actual levels of compliance with these regulations are lackluster.
For example, there have been numerous cases of wheelchair users taking to the internet to share the difficulties they’ve experienced with rideshare apps like Uber. There have also been a sizable number of wheelchair users noting the trouble they’ve faced utilizing airports, ranging from being forced to walk, to staff improperly stowing their chairs, to being made to push themselves down the aisle of the plane, and more.
This is not to mention the multitude of examples of airlines losing chairs or damaging them beyond repair—errors that can leave wheelchair users without proper means of movement for days, weeks, or even, given the complexity of some chairs, months.
Now, another wheelchair user is calling out London’s Stansted Airport after facing an issue with the staff of the airport.
@chronically_lottie My horrible experience with special assistance- this is one conversation of many- after I asked the lady to ask next time she immediately shoved me off the the man- I was not being listened to- you would think that when your job is to help disabled people that you would be more educated and kinder- about 5 people pushed me without asking or even talking go me and they all got mad when I tried to correct it, they kept taking my items off me and doing things I could easily for myself, going so fast my friend with our suitcase trolly couldn’t keep up- I had a panic attack at security and had to keep ringing mum just to get through it and she spoke to them- when he spoke to my mum and realised who she was and my mum explained my disabilities he was ridiculously nice #specialassistance #Stanstedairport #chronicillness #disabled #wheelchairuser #airport #bpd #neurodivergent #disabilityrightsarehumanrights ♬ original sound – Chronically_Lottie
According to TikTok user Lottie (@chronically_lottie) in a video with over 1 million views, she was in the airport when staff pushed her chair without notice or her permission. In the video, Lottie can be seen telling the staff to simply ask before they push her chair—a request that is met with resistance.
For context, moving a wheelchair user’s chair without their permission is wrong for a variety of reasons. Apart from being disrespectful to the wheelchair user, moving a chair incorrectly may cause damage to the chair or, in the worst cases, cause the wheelchair user to fall. This is why most wheelchair users advise simply asking the person in the wheelchair about their needs and preferences.
The conversation captured by Lottie goes back and forth for some time, with Lottie asking the staff to respect her position as a wheelchair user and the staff appearing to ignore her. Lottie later posted a follow-up video explaining how the video came to be and some of the issues caused by staff during her time at Stansted Airport.
@chronically_lottie Replying to @Bebberrz Some answers for you all🤍 #specialassistance #Stanstedairport #chronicillness #disabled #wheelchairuser #airport #bpd #neurodivergent #disabilityrightsarehumanrights ♬ original sound – Chronically_Lottie
Near the end of the video, Lottie suggests that others who have dealt with similar issues should report their experience to the airport.
“A lot of people have said that this has happened to them at Stansted, and if we all report what happened, it backs each other up even more,” she explains.
In the comments section, users shared their thoughts on Lottie’s experience.
“This is so hard to watch. The way they’re talking down to you as if you’re a child boils down to ableism. So sorry you had to experience this,” wrote a user.
“They could have de-escalated this so quickly. They just kept adding more inconsiderate comments,” added another. “Thats genuinely awful to listen to.”
The Daily Dot reached out to Lottie via Instagram direct message and Stansted Airport via email.