A woman has gone viral on TikTok after sharing a video of her degrading experience as a wheelchair user needing to use the bathroom on a flight.
Jenny Berrie, from the UK, was filmed dragging herself down the aisle of an AlbaStar plane, saying in a voiceover that the cabin crew had refused to help her on the Spanish airline’s flight from a Newcastle airport to Palma, Spain.
In her video, which has garnered over 5 million views, Berrie added that a crew member on the flight told her that “disabled people should just wear” diapers to avoid such a situation.
Here’s how I had to get to the toilet on my recent Albastar Airlines flight. They told me I should wear a nappy and wee in my seat instead of having an aisle chair onboard…♬ original sound – Jennie Berry
Airlines often transport passengers with disabilities using aisle chairs, specially built wheelchairs that are slim enough to fit through the galley of a plane.
While Berrie said she was transported to her seat on an aisle chair, she said AlbaStar told her it could not keep one on board for her to use during the flight.
Berrie did not immediately respond to a request for comment. She said on her Instagram profile that the high number of negative comments related to her viral video had led her to switch off her phone for long periods.
Writing about the ordeal on Instagram, Berrie said she was told by staff that “in 27 years of working on airlines, they’ve never seen the issue of disabled people having to wear nappies before.”
“Life as a disabled person can sometimes be downright degrading and embarrassing, and unfortunately, this was one of them times,” she said. “To be outright told to my face that I should wear a nappy when I don’t need to and that they are happy with that policy made me feel humiliated.”
In a statement to Insider, AlbaStar said it had expressed its “sincere apologies for the event that recently took place on one of our flights in relation to the flight experience of a passenger with reduced mobility.”
It added: “Aisle wheelchairs are not mandatory as per current regulation, not even recommended nor mentioned when talking about aircraft equipment/furnishing.”
In response, Berrie has launched a petition to have aisle chairs mandatory on all UK flights and has gotten almost 5,000 signatures.
Speaking on Instagram, Berrie said she was happy she “got video footage of it all,” adding: “I know it’s not something people want to see, but without this footage, disabled people simply aren’t believed.”
She said it was “incredibly embarrassing and degrading” to share these experiences online but that she did so to “ensure that things change.”
Wheelchair users and their chairs are sometimes mistreated when flying. A Department of Transportation analysis of complaints against US airlines found an average of 35.8 wheelchairs were broken or damaged daily on flights last year.
The lack of accessible bathrooms on flights is a prominent issue for travelers with disabilities, with Theo Donnelly, a wheelchair user, previously telling Insider that he’s forced to resort to urinating in bottles if he wished to fly.