Qatar Airlines demand £1900 extra for TV actor to fly with medicine

Gareth Berliner, best known for his Coronation Street appearances as 'Macca' asked to pay £1900 to take his Crohn's Disease drugs on flight


Coronation Street actor Gareth Berliner has criticised Qatar Airlines after they demanded he pay an extra £1900 to fly with his life-saving Crohn's disease medicine.

The 45 year-old stand-up comic requires daily doses of nutritional fluid pumped into his chest to combat the inflammatory bowel condition he was first diagnosed with as a teenager.

But Mr Berliner, who has made regular appearances at JW3, was left angered after the airline demanded he pay £42 per kilo for extra carry-on allowance on a flight with the Middle Eastern airline to Australia.

The actor, who hails from Essex, tweeted:” If you have life-saving medical equipment that you use and need to travel with don’t expect any extra support or help from @qatarairways.

“Ridiculous and the ask people to send private medical info to an email address in Doha. No direct contact to deal with #poor.”

Qatar Airlines did reply to Mr Berliner but only offered the actor and comedian an additional 10kg - equivalent to a seven days of medication.

He then wrote: “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?

“A wheelchair grants its user access to life. My fluid – same.”

After several messages of support on Twitter from fans urging Qatar to forgo the fees, the airline finally agreed to waive the £42 per kilo charges.

Mr Berliner, who was diagnosed with Crohn’s aged 13,  confirmed to 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.”

He appeared in Coronation Street as the on-screen character ‘Macca’ from October 2014 featuring in 20 episodes.

The Birmingham-based comic, who has co-produced the Jewish Film Festival, said of his TV soap role: “He’s a great character and funny to boot. He's great fun to play. I've got some funny dialogue and a Manchester accent.”

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