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DWTS pro Karen Byrne slams Irish airline – after they said her sister’s wheelchair was ‘too heavy to fly’

The professional dancer hit out at the airline on social media

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Pic : Brian McEvoy

Dancing With The Stars pro Karen Byrne has slammed Irish airline Aer Lingus, after they told her sister that her custom wheelchair was too heavy to fly.

Just one day before she was due to fly to Puerto Rico, Karen’s sister Linda Duffy received a message from Aer Lingus, telling her that she wouldn’t be able to fly with her custom wheelchair – because of a new weight restriction.

Appalled by their message, Karen took to Twitter to call out the airline, and wrote: “My sister who is wheelchair bound decided a few months ago that she was going to book a rare holiday to Puerto Rico.”

“She was due to go on holiday tomorrow and today she received a message from Aer Lingus to say that ‘due to new rules, her custom wheelchair would not be able to fly as it is over 120kg.”

“I am absolutely shocked and appalled that Aer Lingus have left it until a day before her holiday to tell her that because her chair is a few kilograms over their ‘NEW’ weight restriction, that she will not be able to fly with the chair.”

Karen continued: “If I ever travel with a bag overweight I’m allowed to pay for the extra weight. Why is it not the same when my sisters wheelchair is a few kilograms over your ‘NEW’ maximum wheelchair weight.”

After spotted her tweet, Aer Lingus responded to Karen via email to say that her sister’s wheelchair had been cleared for carriage “as an exception by higher management”.

Karen shared a screenshot of their message on Twitter, and said: “Thank you @AerLingus for sorting this issue for my sister to be able to fly and enjoy her well deserved holiday tomorrow!”

Responded to Karen’s complaint, an Aer Lingus spokeswoman told The Irish Sun: “At Aer Lingus, the safety of our guests is our number one priority. The procedures that we have in place to accommodate guests who require special assistance ensure that our teams on the ground and in the air are fully informed and can offer the necessary care within a safe environment.”

“As detailed on our website, due to regulatory restrictions we are unable to accept wheelchairs that weigh over 120kg and regrettably, Ms Byrne’s wheelchair exceeded this weight restriction.

“However we are happy to confirm that, on this occasion, we will be able to accept the wheelchair, as it can be adjusted to remain within the accepted weight range.

“As with all our guests, we seek to assist in whatever way possible to ensure a pleasant experience flying with Aer Lingus.”