Photograph by Yuriko Nakao—Getty/Bloomberg
By Lisa Marie Segarra
June 29, 2017

Japanese airline Vanilla Air, a subsidiary of All Nippon Airways, has apologized after forcing a man in a wheelchair to crawl up a staircase to board a flight.

Hideto Kijima posted about his experience on Facebook, saying that on his flight home from Amami Oshima island, there were only stairs, and Vanilla Air staff said he could not be carried up the boarding ramp in his wheelchair, the Washington Post reported.

“In the course of exchanges, the customer ended up going up the steps by himself, and airport staff could do nothing but just watch,” Vanilla Air spokesman Akihito Matsubara told The Asahi Shimbun. “Boarding in this fashion should never have taken place, and that was not what we had intended.”

Vanilla Air has apologized and announced a new boarding chair that will help customers using wheelchairs to get on the airline’s planes, according to the BBC.


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