Airline kicks man off flight after he feel asleep before takeoff

Airline staff threw a man off his flight after he had a pre-takeoff nap.

Stephen Bennett fell into a deep sleep when he took a sleeping pill prior to boarding a plane at Toronto airport.

When a WestJet crew member tried and failed to wake him before takeoff, they deemed the Canadian a medical emergency and took him off the plane in a wheelchair.

Despite airport paramedics judging him fit to fly and his doctor emailing a note, Mr Bennett was not allowed back on board.

Stephen Bennett was wheeled off a WestJet plane after he fell into a deep sleep

“I felt like I had no rights,”Mr Bennett told CBC News.

“[The flight attendant] said: ‘You have to go. We couldn’t wake you up.

“‘You’re a medical emergency, and it’s for the safety of all the passengers.’

“I was so humiliated.”

Along with his wife and son Mr Bennett, from Burnaby, British Columbia, was on his way to Cuba when he had a layover in Toronto on 13 October.

Stephen Bennett was due to take a WestJet flight from Toronto to Cuba

After not sleeping on the first, overnight flight, he took a prescribed sleeping pill before making the connection.

Having boarded early and fallen asleep Mr Bennett, who is recovering from a stroke, was woken up when his wife nudged him.

The flight attendant then explained he was a medical emergency and had to leave the flight.

Paramedics were called and removed him from the plane in a wheelchair.

Despite the medical professionals telling WestJet staff Mr Bennett’s vitals were fine, he was not allowed back on to the plane.

WestJet operates Boeing 767 and Boeing 737 aircraft

The airline told the family, who were getting ready to enjoy an all-inclusive vacation in Cuba, they could take a flight the following week.

They instead decided to book a flight with another airline and check-in to a Toronto hotel, costing £1,175.

Mr Bennett added: “They wouldn’t assist us.

“We’re financially hurt. I’m so emotionally hurt.

“I was in tears.

“They became the medical team, the judge and the jury.”

Stephen Bennett says he is financially and emotionally “hurt”

Although WestJet would not comment on the specifics of the case, it said it stands by the crew’s decisions.

The company cited federal aviation regulations which allow airlines to deny boarding to any passenger who shows signs that they could pose a safety risk.

Mr Bennett has asked for compensation from the airline and for it to explain why he was kept off the flight despite the advice of medical professionals.

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