A WHEELCHAIR-user has been banned from using an airline because she cannot walk.
Kim Swift, 50, of Larkspur Close, Ruislip, was told by Monarch Airlines she could not fly with them unless she had a carer.
Mrs Swift, who is unemployed but volunteers as a committee member for Hillingdon Shopmobility in The Chimes shopping centre in Uxbridge, has been using the airline for six years and has never had problems with them until now.
She booked a flight from Luton to Faro in Portugal in July, but when she phoned the airline on Monday to reserve a extra leg room seat for her flight on September 21 she was told she could only fly if she had a carer with her.
The mother-of-one said: "I am just appalled. In this day and age there's so much modern technology that makes life so much easier, but we are tied up with all this bureaucracy.
"They have stripped me of my self worth.
"When I called them to reserve the seat they asked me if I could walk from the door to the seat, and I said no, so they said I can't fly because the rules have changed.
"They said the only way I could fly is if I took somebody with me, but when I asked them if they would pay for the extra seat, which would cost me £250 return, they said no."
Monarch claims it is following new rules from the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
Mrs Swift said: "I called the Commission and they told me I'm good to fly alone, so I went back to Monarch and they would not give in at all.
"I don't want to knock them because they have been so good in the past and I am very loyal to them, but I don't believe in their policies right now.
"They offered me a refund and I said no, but since then I have called Easy Jet and they said I can fly with them so I have booked a flight and got my refund."
Monarch said the new legislation states wheelchair-users must be accompanied on flights when they are "unable to fasten their seatbelt, leave their seat and reach an emergency exit unaided".
It said: "The level of assistance Mrs Swift is requesting would indicate she is unable to fulfil the above criteria. In light of this she was advised that she would be required to travel with a carer."