Paraplegic athlete Justin Levene is suing Luton Airport after claiming he had to drag himself across the floor in front when his wheelchair didn’t arrive.
Levene’s self-propelled wheelchair had been left behind on a flight, meaning he had to pull himself along the airport floor. Staff apparently offered to push him in a rigid, high-backed chair, but Levene declined as he felt it stripped him of his independence.
Levene said he felt ‘humiliated’, adding: “I was angry that none of the staff seemed to understand the position or seemed to have any empathy for what was happening.”
He believes that there should be a greater acknowledgement of how important independence is for disabled travelers.
After Levene coughed and herniated a disc at the age of 20, an operation to fix the issue went wrong. This mean he was left paralyzed below the waist. He now relies on his self-propelling wheelchair, which he says is a huge part of his self-sufficiency – having overcome his adversity to become an international wheelchair athlete, as well as a trainer and mentor to other disabled athletes.
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