Paralympian Anne Wafula Strike left on Ryanair plane for 45 minutes after it lands

Anne Wafula Strike was left on a Ryanair plane for 45 minutes after it landed (Picture: Rex)

A Paralympian was left to wait on a plane for 45 minutes after it landed before she was helped by airport staff.

Anne Wafula Strike took a Ryanair flight from Berlin to London Stansted on Friday and had booked assistance a month in advance.

She was returning from the World Para-athletics European Championships in Germany.

But after the plane landed two hours behind schedule, she was forced to wait a further 45 minutes before she could be helped off the aircraft.

The 49-year-old wheelchair racer from Harlow, Essex, told the BBC: “I felt angry and very neglected, it’s not good when you are abandoned on a flight and everyone else is picking up their bags and walking off.

“That’s the time you start to think ‘I wish I could just walk like them and get my luggage and walk off the plane’ but I have to rely on assistance to get off, it was bad.”

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Stansted Airport says it is investigating the incident.

Mrs Wafula Strike was given an MBE in 2014 for her services to disability sport and charity (Picture: PA)

Mrs Wafula Strike said an airport employee told her they were short staffed and unsure if her flight had landed.

“When someone like me speaks up or raises their voice people will think it is only happening to one or two people but it is becoming a common occurrence for people with disabilities to be left neglected on planes or not able to get into trains,” she said.

“These things should not be happening when men have walked on the moon.”


Ryanair said a company called Omniserv is responsible for helping disabled passengers at Stansted.

A spokesman for the airport added: “We are disappointed to hear about Anne’s experience at Stansted on Friday evening.

“We are in the process of investigating how such a situation arose and have asked Omniserv, the company responsible for looking after passengers with reduced mobility, for a full explanation of why Anne had to wait for such a long time on the aircraft.”

Last year, Mrs Wafula Strike received compensation after she was forced to wet herself on a train because a wheelchair accessible toilet was out of order.

Mrs Wafula Strike was awarded an MBE in 2014 for her services to disability sport and charity.