UHI Shetland - Open the door to your future
Tuesday 18 June 2024
 10.5°C   NNW Moderate Breeze
Ukraine fundraiser - 18 June 2024

Transport / Investigations underway after ‘humiliating’ experience at Glasgow Airport

AIRPORT handling agent Menzies Aviation has apologised to a Shetland family for a humiliating experience at Glasgow Airport earlier this week which resulted in their six-year-old son having to be carried off a Loganair plane down the steps in his wheelchair because a pre-booked ‘ambi-lift’ – just metres away – could not be used.

Both Menzies Aviation and Loganair have launched investigations into the incident.

Mother Emily Jamieson took to social media on Tuesday to write an open letter to the airline and to Glasgow Airport demanding an explanation why the special assistance arrangements that had been booked through the NHS for her six-year-old son, a full time wheelchair user with quadriplegic cerebral palsy and other disabilities, were not in place.

An ambi-lift helps passengers with special assistance or mobility requirements to get on and off planes.

While boarding at Sumburgh went as planned, on arrival at Glasgow passengers were told none of the Menzies ground handling staff was qualified to drive the ambi-lift or the ramp, both parked nearby.

A second wheelchair user on the flight was in the same predicament.

The situation could only be resolved when two members of the ground staff took it upon themselves to carry the boy in his wheelchair down the steps, described as in no way a suitable solution.

Senior vice president UK at Menzies Aviation, Phil Lloyd, said the company was in the process of “contacting the passenger directly to offer our apologies for their experience, which falls short of our high service standards”.

He added: “We take such incidents very seriously as our number one priority is the safety of all our customers and their passengers.

“We will be conducting a full investigation into the incident to ensure that correct procedures are followed in the future.”

Jamieson confirmed this morning (Thursday) that she had been contacted by Lloyd with an apology and an acknowledgement that these failings by Menzies UK were unacceptable and undignified.

Become a supporter of Shetland News


“Their investigation into it is ongoing but to his knowledge two members of ground staff were qualified to operate the relevant machinery to safely disembark disabled passengers,” she added.

Meanwhile Loganair said it was investigating why its “third-party provider at Glasgow Airport failed to provide trained personnel to operate the correct equipment to meet the aircraft”.

“The communication request from Loganair to provide support was correctly sent to our airport ground handling partner, but it appears that for reasons currently under investigation, they were unable to meet their obligations,” a company spokesperson said.

“Loganair cares deeply about all our customers, and we won’t rest until our investigation into this issue is completed and remedies are agreed with our third party to ensure it is not repeated.”

A representative for Glasgow Airport said they were aware of the incident but said it was a matter for the airline and handling agent to deal with.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.