‘It’s like having your legs broken’: The truth about flying as a disabled traveller

Lost and broken wheelchairs; getting stranded on planes for hours; being ‘dropped’ by cabin crew supposedly in charge of their safety: the litany of indignities and injustices endured by disabled passengers is endless. TV presenter Sophie Morgan tells Helen Coffey why the aviation industry is so desperately in need of an upgrade

Saturday 08 July 2023 07:00 BST
<p>Sophie Morgan is on a mission to change the aviation industry</p>

Sophie Morgan is on a mission to change the aviation industry

Sophie Morgan is angry and she doesn’t care who knows it. “It’s completely and utterly disabling. Infuriating. Ridiculous. Unfair. Awful. And, for me, enraging.”

The 38-year-old TV presenter and disability advocate is describing the moment she discovered her wheelchair was broken after a flight – something that has happened to her not once, but twice, in the past six months alone. It is hard, perhaps, for a non-disabled traveller to grasp the true gravity of being reunited with the device upon which your mobility entirely depends, only to find it no longer works. But Sophie paints a vivid picture.

“Imagine what it’s like to have your legs broken – that will give you an idea,” she tells The Independent. “It’s like that. There aren’t many words to put to it.”

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