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Blind passenger slams British Airways for making guide dog lie crammed between seats


British Airways has been blasted after a blind woman claimed her guide dog had to travel crammed in between narrow seats at the back of the plane.

Inger Stokke has hit out at the airline after she and her service dog Billie had to sit all the way back on row 30 on the flight.

The working pooch was clearly not happy either as he had to travel in a foot-wide gap between the seats.

Inger said she felt like she was being the “difficult blind lady” complaining about the situation.

And she posted of her frustration on a British Airways Facebook page saying the journey had been “upsetting” and “not easy”.



Inger Stokke with her guide dog Billie
Inger Stokke with her guide dog Billie

Inger, 52, who lives in London, said: “Row 30!!!!! All the way at the back of the plane, not easy. It’s so narrow it’s almost possible for Billy to get in and safety wise…?!?

“Security today was really strange because they denied me to do what I’ve done for last 12,13 years with a guide dog. Removing harness and leash, using home and go through. Easy. But NOT this time!”

Inger added two sad-looking pictures to her post, showing Billie crammed in between seats.

She also said she had complained to BA about the situation on the flight out of Heathrow.



Billie on the recent British Airways flight
Billie crammed in between the seats on the recent British Airways flight

Inger is a frequent flier who flew almost weekly before the first Covid-19 lockdown kicked in. But she said she had never had such difficulties as this week when she made a short trip with her dog.

She garnered dozens of messages of sympathy on the Facebook group, which has almost 50,000 members.

Ciara Mason said: “For me, the biggest concern is that Billy is obstructed into a tight place and would struggle to do his job should there be an evacuation. He’s in a very tight space and is unable to move freely!”

Inger replied: “But they won’t hear. I’m being the difficult blind lady.”



Billie, who was stuck between narrow seats on a recent BA flight
Billie, who was stuck between narrow seats on the British Airways flight

Ciara replied: “Please don’t think that. This could [have] all been easily rectified and I just know the crew I rubbed shoulders with would of done everything to ensure your safety.

“I would contact British Airways and they usually bend backwards for our four-legged customers.”

Inger then said: “I’ve done that more times than I care to remember… Nowadays there’s not much understanding and therefore no bending. Too many changes at the same time?!? I don’t know.”

British Airways claims to treat every pet that flies with them “like a VIP”.

The blurb on its website says: “If you’re travelling with a recognised assistance dog, it can travel with you free of charge in the cabin of your British Airways flight.”

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A spokesman for the airline said: “We’re pleased to offer anyone flying with an assistance dog additional space by allocating an extra seat free of charge.

“On this occasion we were able to offer an entire row of six seats towards the rear of the aircraft, to provide even more space than usual.”





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