Fly South African Airlines In Discrimination Row Against Paralympian

Fly South African Airlines In Discrimination Row Against Paralympian

Tyrone Pillay, a shot-putter who won bronze medal for South Africa in the recently-concluded Paralympic games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil was denied entry into a Fly South African Airlines (FlySAA) aircraft while carrying a spare prosthetic leg on Tuesday.

The shameful incident happened as Pillay boarded the aircraft from Johannesburg to Durban. A clearly devastated Pillay took to social media to vent his disappointment. Pillay wrote on his Twitter account that the airlines told him his spare leg was too big.

“Worst airline to fly with @flysaa. Terrible treatment of a Paralympic athlete as the staff refuse to allow my prosthetic leg on board,” Pillay wrote on his Twitter account.

The action is against the airline’s policy that allows passenger assistive devices to be allowed into the cabin. FlySAA apologized to Pillay said that it would listen to the staff member responsible before taking any further action.

“From what we have been able to gather up to now is that the incident happened just before he got on board the aircraft. He was flying….from Johannesburg to Durban. SAA has already made contact with Mr. Pillay and we have apologized to him,” Business Day Live quoted Tlali Tlali, Fly South African Airlines spokesperson.

The South African Airlines also wrote a direct message to Pillay on Twitter, requesting him to explain the events, with a possible punitive action against the attendant responsible.

Pillay thanked the airlines for its apology.

The athlete, who was born with abnormality on his left leg and is described as an above-knee amputee threw a personal best of 13.91 meters to win bronze medal, behind Sajad Mohammadian of Iran and Aled Davies of Great Britain.

The South African Paralympics team won 17 medals, seven gold, six silver and four bronze to finish 22nd globally and second in Africa behind Nigeria, Sport24 reported.

The discrimination against Pillay came barely two months after another discrimination row involving Kukula.com, a low-cost airline in the nation.

Sarah Kate Hooper a mother who was breastfeeding her child was ordered by an attendant to cover herself in July. The hostess told her that her decision to breastfed her 18-month-old child was disgusting and disrespectful to other passengers.

The incident happened in full glare of the rest of the passengers, who included Hooper’s husband, Traveller24 reported.