- Jamila Main had to spend five days of her vacation without her wheelchair after Qatar lost it.
- After a friend who works at the airport found the chair, Qatar said they were still looking for it.
- The passenger said she lost her independence and felt “abandoned” and “terrified”.
A Qatar Airways passenger was forced to spend five days on vacation without her wheelchair after the airline lost it on her trip from Australia to Scotland.
Jamila Main, 28, was told by her staff 30 minutes after landing in Edinburgh on July 30 that her wheelchair was missing and that she would have to return one supplied by the airport when leaving the terminal.
“It’s taken away my independence,” Main told Insider. “I’m relying on my family to drive me around and take me on public transport. I’ve had to delay some parts of my holiday as well as do seated activities and plan every minute of the day.”
The ambulatory wheelchair user checked it in before her flight from Adelaide, Australia, and was given a wheelchair to take her to her seat.
She submitted a lost baggage claim to Edinburgh airport after being told it was missing, but didn’t hear anything back and thought that it got lost when changing planes in Doha.
“It’s essentially my legs, not lost baggage. It’s equivalent to them damaging a walking person’s legs. You wouldn’t fly if there was a risk of kneecapping.”
Main told her friend, who happens to work at Edinburgh airport, who was able to find it and then dropped it off to her on Friday.
However, she also received a call from Qata customer service saying they were looking for the wheelchair.
Main told a customer service agent in a WhatsApp message, viewed by Insider, that it had already been dropped off. The airline then stopped responding.
“I felt abandoned and terrified that I wasn’t going to see my wheelchair again,” she told Insider. “I view it as an extension of my body and to be separated from it has been really upsetting.”
Main is set to return to Australia on September 1, but is “apprehensive” and concerned that her wheelchair could be damaged. The actor and writer says she often travels for work and this experience has left her “fraught” about having to travel with her wheelchair.
“I feel traumatized and it’s distressing. I wasn’t treated with the weight of what’s happened and Qatar’s customer service has been atrocious,” she said.
Qatar Airways and Edinburgh airport did not respond to Insider’s request for comment.