View Full Version : Airline mislays athlete's leg

29th Aug 2006, 07:33
Airline mislays athlete's leg
29 August 2006

In just seven days Paralympic athlete Kate Horan is due to line up in the 100 metres at the IPC Athletics World Championships in Assen in the Netherlands. But there's a hitch British Airways has lost her leg.

The Wellington athlete's $10,000 running leg has been missing for more than a week, sitting somewhere in a London warehouse with 20,000 other pieces of luggage.

"It's the worlds this is the biggest event apart from the Paralympics," Horan said. She has been preparing for the championships for two years.

Since British authorities foiled a terrorist plot to attack flights out of Heathrow Airport, increased security has forced travellers to limit their carry-on luggage.

For Horan that meant she had to check in her running leg for the short flight from London to Amsterdam a week ago.

It was the first time the unique leg was not with her as carry-on luggage. And British Airways told her there was little it could do. "They said there's 20,000 bags sitting in Heathrow and mine is just one of them. I was told they don't know where it is."

Horan is now in a race against time with manufacturer Otto Bock and Ossur, which will attempt to build her another leg in time for the world championships. "I head to Holland today," she said. "And I'm going straight to the factory. These sort of legs take weeks to fine tune. At the moment that's the only possibility I've got.

"All the time that I should be training and getting myself ready, I'm going to be spending trialling this leg and trying to get a leg that fits."

29th Aug 2006, 10:48
I would have thought that to avoid adverse publicity BA would have pulled all the stops to find the missing item. Shame on them and their attitude of "little we can do".

29th Aug 2006, 11:23
BA don't have a leg to stand on. I think they should foot the bill.

29th Aug 2006, 14:08
If she gets her letter off to Santa quick enough she may be able to get a stocking filler ready for Christmas !! :ouch:

29th Aug 2006, 15:05
It's appalling. Not just for this case but for the entire mishandling of baggage since the beginning of the security problems.:=

BA have admitted they misplaced thousands of bags and this security issue will cost BA a lot of money.

As for compensation, I hope that athlete had bought a special additional baggage insurance before flying, as otherwise she'll only get the normal amount of money based of nr.of bags and weight. Sad but true. :(

29th Aug 2006, 16:23
Just out of interest why did she need to check her leg ? It's not exactly hand luggage, is it ? Are BAA making everyone with an artificial limb remove it and check it ?

Maybe I'm misundertanding the quote and she actually has a selection of different legs and she was carrying this one under her arm....

Pax Vobiscum
29th Aug 2006, 16:35
Maybe I'm misundertanding the quote and she actually has a selection of different legs and she was carrying this one under her arm....
Correct SXB one artificial leg for normal use, a different hi-tech one for competition.

29th Aug 2006, 16:44
Thanks for the clarification Pax Vobiscum

For a moment there I had visions of BAA forcing people to hop around the departure hall.

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