July 7th, 2011
AOL Travel reported that two-year-old Theo Scott, who suffers form Down syndrome and a non-neurogenic bladder, and his family were not allowed to take his stroller on board a Jetstar A320-aircraft. They were told to check in the 18-pound (about 8kg) stroller, which folds up to the size of an umbrella at the boarding gate.
Theo's mother Trudi Scott said, "It's almost like you're having to justify your son's disability to them." She believed that the staff had no sympathy and treated them badly. When they boarded the plane, they saw a flight attendant put a large musical instrument bag on one of the plane's back seats. Adding to their ordeal, Theo's stroller was damaged during the flight. On the return flight the stroller was again put in the cargo hold, despite the plane only being half-full.
According to Jetstar, their policy is to not allow strollers on the A320 aircraft because of the number of people that try to board with them. Musical instruments can be strapped into extra seats if the passenger paid for the extra seat.
A spokesperson for Jetstar said the airline "sincerely apologised" to the Scott family. The airline promised to cover the cost to either repair or replace Theo's stroller. They also sent the family four $50 (about R362) vouchers.