TV reporter Jodi Lee has taken to social media with an angry tirade against budget airline Jetstar.
Canberra based Lee was holidaying in Thailand when she snapped her Achilles tendon.
She says that despite a doctor’s letter saying she needed to keep her leg raised on the flight home and four vacant seats in business class the airline refused to upgrade her.
“[S]taff over the phone, at the check in counter and on board refused to upgrade my seat ‘due to policy’,” she wrote on the airline’s Facebook page.
She says she was then furious to be made to pay for a pillow and blanket.
Her predicament did not improve when the plane landed in Sydney, with a Lee claiming “no lift arrived to help me safely disembark from the plane onto the tarmac”.
“I was forced to wait alone on the plane for an hour after landing then hop down a flight of stairs in the rain to a waiting bus,” she said.
Ms Lee said her pre-arranged wheelchair was not waiting for her, and when it did arrive she was taken to baggage claim and “abandoned”.
“My travel partner [was] forced to push two suitcases and my wheelchair through customs,” she said in her post.
“I understand you are a budget airline but surely concessions can be made for passengers clearly suffering injury or illness,” she wrote.
A Jetstar spokesman told Fairfax Media that the airline did not agree to Ms Lee’s request for a free upgrade to business class, but did organise an empty seat next to her in economy.
“[Staff] allocated her and the person she was travelling with seats towards the front of the aircraft so her flight was more comfortable,” the spokesman said.
Jetstar had contacted Lee to get more information about the wheelchair with the spokesman saying her experience “doesn’t sound accurate”.
Many on social media have defended the airliner saying Lee was trying to use her position as a reporter to get an advantage.
“You get exactly what you pay for, it is outlined in the ticket terms & conditions. If you wanted an up grade pay for it like the rest of us do.”
A Jetstar spokeswoman replied in the comments of Lee’s post, writing: “I can only imagine how uncomfortable travelling with a ruptured Achilles would be, and I was concerned to hear about your experience with us on your return flight.”