Who is Natalie Curtis? Video Shows Disabled Australian Woman Crawling Out of Jetstar Flight After Airline Tells Her to Pay for Aisle Wheelchair

Natalie Curtis, a disabled Australian woman, was forced to crawl off a Jetstar flight after she was refused the use of free wheelchair by the airline's crew during a flight from Townsville to Bangkok. Curtis, who suffers from spina bifida, dubbed the incident as the "most humiliating experience" of her life.

Natalie Curtis
Natalie Curtis Twitter

Curtis Boarded the Flight Using Standard Aisle Wheelchair

A video of the incident has surfaced on social media in which Curtis is seen crawling on the flight's aisle with the help of her hands. speaking to 7News, Curtis said that she was offered standard aisle wheelchair to board the flight during her stop at Singapore. However, the crew told her that she has to pay for the wheelchair after they arrived in Thailand.

"When we arrived (staff) were asking us to actually pay and I didn't really comprehend it, and I'm like, 'No, I'm not paying to be able to get off this plane. They all just sat around for a while and the option that was left was for me to get on the floor and crawl," Curtis said. The outlet reported that the airline workers were told that an aisle wheelchair was unavailable for at least 40 minutes.

Curtis' travel partner Natasha Elford said that she would have carried out of the plane but could not due to a knee injury. "I just felt really sorry for Natalie ... I just felt really hopeless and I'm like, 'I just can't believe this is really happening,'" Elford, who recorded the incident, added.

JetStar Offered Refund, Denies Asking For Money

Speaking to 9News , Curtis, who was travelling to Bangkok to celebrate her birthday, said that she was carrying her own wheelchair, but it wouldn't fit in the aisle. "Just the thought of crawling on the ground where everyone has walked on, you don't know what you're putting your hands on. There was probably about five people standing around watching as well," she added.

Meanwhile refuting the claims being made by Curtis, Jetstar issued a statement calling it a miscommunication. "We unreservedly apologize to Ms. Curtis for her recent experience while traveling with us," a Jetstar spokesperson told 7NEWS. "We are committed to providing a safe and comfortable travel experience for all our customers, including those requiring specific assistance."

"Regrettably, this was not the case for Ms. Curtis following a miscommunication that resulted in the delay of an aisle chair being made available at the gate on arrival and we are looking into what happened as a matter of urgency," the spokesperson added.

The rep further revealed that Curtis was offered a refund and other compensation, but she refused the same.