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Air France blasted for refusing to take man's wheelchair

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Photo: @GordonAikman/Twitter
08:57 CET+01:00
The French airline has been criticised after it refused to allow a disabled Scottish man to fly to Paris for his honeymoon, because his wheelchair was too big for the hold.

Gordon Aikman, who has been left disabled by Motor Neurone Disease, is totally reliant on his wheelchair.

However his honeymoon trip to Paris was almost scuppered when Air France told him, two days before he was due to fly, that his wheelchair was too big for the hold and they couldn't take him.

He was forced to cancel his ticket and shell out for a new one with a different airline at the last minute.

When the 30-year-old disability campaigner tweeted out news of what happened it provoked a storm of reaction.

“It took more than a week calling a rip off a premium number and spending a fortune asking whether I could take the wheelchair on board before I finally got an answer,” Aikman told Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper.

"Finally they got back to me and told me I could not take my wheelchair with me because it was too big for the hold.

"I am paralysed. Life without my chair would not be worth living. It is my legs. No one would say to an able-bodied passenger 'Your legs are too big'.

"Air France needs to change the way it treats disabled people. It is disgusting they should be treating people like this in 2016.

Air France told The Local that it was the dimensions of the wheelchair that proved to be the problem, and "regretted not conveying this information to Aikman quickly enough". 

The airline added that it will send an apology to Aikman, and will refund his tickets and offer compensation as a gesture of goodwill. 

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