Coronation Street star Gareth Berliner has had a spat with Qatar Airways after they told him he would have to pay £1,900 to take his medication on board a flight.
The 45-year-old actor and comedian, who played Macca, a friend of nasty Callum Logan on Corrie for two years between 2014 and 2016, suffers from Crohn’s Disease and has been struggling with it since he was 13.
He pleaded with the airline to let him take an extra 45kg for the equipment at no extra baggage cost but was given the silent treatment for days.
On July 11 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.”
He added: “Ridiculous and they ask people to send private medical info to an email address in Doha. No direct contact to deal with. #poor”
When the company finally got back to him offering 10kg extra, less than a quarter of what he required and he replied: “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?”
He added: “A wheelchair grants its user access to life. My fluid – same.”
Gareth was facing the hefty bill because Qatar airlines charges an extra £42 per kilo on flights from the UK to Down Under.
After he posted the messages, fans of the show backed him up.
One said: “It’s not like he’s asking for extra allowance for souvenirs or shoes!!! Come on @qatarairways…. Show some compassion. You can do it!”
The writer and funnyman has spoken before about his illness, explaining that he takes a nutritional feed into his blood via a tube in his chest.
He said: “I have a line in my chest – a main vein into the heart.
“Technically I don’t need to eat, because I’m only taking in ten per cent nutrition from food, so everything I get comes from my fluids.
“Psychologically you’ve got to eat, but I can go without food.
“Every other night I do two and a half litres for about six hours.
“Sometimes when I come home I can’t be bothered to hook it up before I go to sleep, so I carry it around the next day.
But Gareth finally got good news on Sunday from the airline.
He tweeted on Monday: “Good news @qatarairways called yesterday to say there will be no problem with taking my fluids. People power works. Thanks for your support.”