Not good. My email to Faro airport sent just now.


My name is Russell Dawkins and today I am Travelling on Easyjet flight EZY2018 to Luton, scheduled at 16.00.
I have travelled here frequently before my paralysis in 2013, and since, in my wheelchair.
I have always been impressed by the manner of your staff, and how helpful they are – far better than at any other airport I use.
Today my view has been changed, however.

As always I have to go through passport control and have my bags checked. I have 2 bags attached to my electric wheelchair which are designed not to come off, as otherwise they might fall off when I am traveling, or when my wheelchair is in the hold of an airplane. I’m sure you understand that being paralysed I cannot just simply get up and carry everything with me. I truly wish I could.
Flying is never a pleasant experience for me, as a Paralysed person. Before my injury I always enjoyed flying.

I kept notes as I went along today- see below.

‘Having unbelievable trouble with some  a horrible customs guy that wants to cut off all my wheelchair bags.
The police are now involved.
The customs official in question was Andre Catala.

Im through now
A bit ***** off.
Sad how an incident like this changes your view of a nation of people.

I hope he felt embarrassed after I’d offered to remove my colostomy bag and pull my catheter out.

The stress I feel as a consequence of this incident is significant. My body is now severely spasming, which happens when I am emotionally very stressed, which then adds to the stress I feel, and so continues the cycle. If I could get away from the airport I would. If I had the option of cancelling my trip then I would. Flying is always unpleasant for me, as I feel like a nuisance and a burden to other people, always, and this incident will add to my dread of flying ( which I have to overcome every time )

Hitler is alive and well and working as a customs official in Faro airport.’

I have never before been treated badly or unreasonably by any airport staff.  The bag he insisted be removed was a small one, barely larger than my hand, and completely empty.

Mr Catala has a very bad attitude, and an unpleasant manner. He is unbending and unreasonable. It was obvious that this tiny bag was empty and not a security risk in any way. I understand that rules have to be followed, but there has to exist some flexibility for disabled passengers.
I felt victimised and persecuted. This man should not be allowed to deal with the public. He does nothing for the image of the country of Portugal.

I trust you will treat this complaint very seriously.
I do expect a favourable and considerate response to a traveller and home owner in your country.

Russ Dawkins


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