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27/03/2018

British Paralympic athlete Sophia Warner ‘asked to prove disability’ while boarding EasyJet flight

Sophia Warner

A British Paralympian said she was left devastated after she was told to “prove” she had a disability as she boarded a flight at an airport in Italy. Sophia Warner, who has cerebral palsy, said she “cried all the way home” after airport staff quizzed before she got on the flight from Milan to London Gatwick.

The 43-year-old track and field athlete, who competed in London 2012, said she was told “you look completely normal” in front of other passengers.

EasyJet, which Ms Warner was travelling with, has apologised for the incident, adding the “agent involved is employed by Airport Handling”.

She wrote on social media: “I’ve not complained on twitter before. The order to publicly prove my disability incident by @easyJet yesterday was beyond devastating.” “I was told ‘you look completely normal. Why do you need help’ I cried all the way home. I don’t even know where to begin with a complaint.”Ms Warner, who is also a Channel 4 sports reporter, added later: “Thanks everyone for all the kind words of support! @easyJet have been great so far & are on the case.”

The athlete, who competed in the T35 100m and 200m sprint at London 2012, has mobility issues with her legs and left arm.

A spokeswoman for EasyJet said. “We’re sorry to hear of Ms Warner’s experience. The agent involved is employed by Airport Handling and both he and they have assured us that he was trying to ascertain what assistance was required to help Ms Warner.

“However, this was clearly not handled as sensitively as we would have liked. We will investigate this with Airport Handling to ensure any lessons can be learned and changes are made to how they train their staff.”