A Coronation Street star has slammed an airline after they tried to charge him almost £2,000 to travel with life-saving medication.
Gareth Berliner, from Birmingham, is a comedian and actor who has appeared in the long-running ITV soap.
He was flying to Australia with Qatar Airways.
Gareth has Crohn’s Disease, a debilitating bowel condition which means he needs bags of nutritious fluids which are pumped directly into his chest.
The 45-year-old, who played Callum’s friend Macca on the soap , asked the airline to give him an extra baggage allowance of 45kg for the fluid.
But after a week he had still not heard back.
He tweeted: “If you have lifesaving medical equipment that you use and need to travel with don’t expect any extra support or help from @qatarairways.”
Then they finally responded, but only offered an extra 10kg – enough to keep Gareth alive for just seven days, reports The Mirror.
He tweeted the Middle Eastern company: “I need an extra 45 kilo of weight for medical. You’ve offered 10.
“Appreciated but will only allow me to live for a week. #eh?”
And he added: “A wheelchair grants its user access to life. My fluid – same.”
After he took his fight public, Qatar has now agreed to waive the £42 per kilo it charges for extra baggage, with Gareth telling his followers: “Good news @qatarairways called yesterday and say there will be no problem with taking my fluids. People power works. Thanks for your support.”
Gareth was first diagnosed with Crohn’s aged 13 and needs around two and half litres of fluid pumped into his blood every other night to stay alive.
The disease is an inflammation of the gut which affects how his body absorbs food.
He’s had a dozen operations to remove much of his small intestine, which means his body is in danger of becoming fatally dehydrated.
A Qatar Airways Spokesperson said: “We are disappointed that the passenger was not satisfied with our exemplary customer service whereby we offered free of charge the total luggage allowance requested at very short notice, together with a complimentary meet and assist service during his entire journey, prior to this article appearing.
“We previously thanked the passenger for their patience as we sought relevant approvals.
“Those with such medical requests are advised to inform their booking agent of excess luggage requirements at the time of reservation to allow a seamless journey experience.”