An outraged Tyrone Pillay shared his disappointment and shock at the treatment he received from the national carrier, South African Airways.
This after the airline refused to allow his prosthetic leg on board the flight when he returned from Rio De Janeiro on Tuesday.
The shot-putter took to social media early on Tuesday voicing his disappointed at the airline after the incident.
FlySAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali confirmed the incident‚ saying the airline had apologised to Pillay. “We confirm that we are aware of the incident after it was brought to our attention through the media.
“As one of the sponsorship partners of the Olympics and Paralympics teams that flew our athletes from Johannesburg to Brazil and back‚ we are disappointed that Mr Pillay’s otherwise pleasant customer experience got spoilt on the last leg of his journey back home‚” said Tlali.
“From what we have been able to gather up to now is that the incident happened just before he got on board the aircraft. He was flying… from Johannesburg to Durban. “SAA has already made contact with Mr Pillay and we have apologised to him.”
Tlali said the airline was following up on the matter internally and would have a session with the staff member concerned to hear their side of the story. The airline’s policy‚ according to Tlali‚ makes provision for passenger assistive devices to be carried into the cabin.
“Mr Pillay’s prosthetic legs fall under this classification and should have been allowed… We have learnt that whilst this incident had nothing to do with our cabin crew‚ they also apologised to Mr Pillay‚” Tlali added. Pillay‚ a shot-putter‚ won bronze in the in the F42 category at the Paralympics.