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Paraplegic athlete sues Luton Airport after he was forced to DRAG himself through the terminal when his wheelchair was left behind on a flight (2 Pics)

A paraplegic man is suing Luton airport after his self-propelling wheelchair was left behind on a flight in August 2017.
Justin Levene, 29, arrived at the airport only to find his custom-made wheelchair wasn’t waiting for him.
The international wheelchair athlete, trainer and mentor to disabled athletes told the BBC that he’d asked to be transported in a motorised buggy, but Luton did not have one.
Instead, staff offered to push him through the airport in a high-backed wheelchair, an idea which Levene rejected.
“I’ve worked very hard for a number of years to try and maintain all of my independence,” he said, adding that being in one of the chairs he was offered would make him feel “humiliated and degraded”. 
Staff allegedly insisted that they would have to strap him down in the chair, meaning Levene wouldn’t have been able to adjust himself and would have been at risk of getting a pressure sore.
Levene’s custom-made wheelchair has a cushion to help reduce sores.
Without the option of being transported on a self-propelling wheelchair or motorised buggy, Levene said his only choice was to drag himself along the floor until he reached the terminal exit, where he pulled himself onto a baggage trolley. He pushed himself from there to get to his taxi.
Levene said that every airport he’s been to, “no matter how small”, has always had some form of appropriate equipment, whether it be a self-propelled wheelchair or a buggy.
The athlete is now suing the airport, arguing there should be the proper equipment at every airport to facilitate disabled travellers’ ability to travel independently. Levene said he was “angry” that airport staff hadn’t seemed to understand his predicament at the time. 
Sue Willman, a partner at Deighton Pierce Glynn, Levene’s solicitors, says suing Luton airport isn’t about money, but rather “access to justice”.
Luton airport said in a statement: “On discovering that Mr Levene’s flight had arrived without his wheelchair, our teams worked hard to find a solution, offering Mr Levene an assisted wheelchair as a temporary replacement.
“Mr Levene declined all offers of help as he deemed them unacceptable.
“While we apologise if Mr Levene was dissatisfied with the service he received, we are satisfied that our agents and staff did all they could in difficult circumstances.”

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