(p. B4) The activist, Hideto Kijima, said Vanilla Air staff initially told him he would not be allowed to board the small aircraft, which was flying from a small airport on the southern island of Amami to Mr. Kijima’s home in Osaka, because it lacked wheelchair-accessible boarding ramps or elevators.
Mr. Kijima was paralyzed from the waist down while playing rugby as a teenager and now uses a wheelchair.
. . .
He was visiting the island with a group of friends, and they offered to carry him up the short stairway from the tarmac, he said. But the airline told them that would violate safety regulations.
So he started crawling.
“I sat down on the stairs and started climbing up one at a time,” he wrote. “The staff told me to stop but I ignored them. How else was I supposed to get back to Osaka?”
He was allowed to take a seat once he reached the top, he said.
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(Note: ellipsis added.)
(Note: the online version of the story has the date June 29, 2017, and has the title “Japanese Airline Apologizes After Disabled Man Crawls Aboard.”)