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Airline apologizes after an eight-year-old boy was forced to wait more than 4 hours for his wheelchair


jet2“We can confirm that the delay was due to Gatwick Airport being temporarily closed due to snow, which meant that the baggage handler experienced severe delays offloading luggage,” a representative for Jet2 told Insider.

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  • A family had to wait more than four hours for their son’s wheelchair to be returned at an airport.
  • In a Twitter thread, the boy’s mother said she was appalled that no help was offered.
  • A spokesperson for Jet2 said: “We would like to sincerely apologise to Mr Hudgell and his family.”

Budget airline Jet2 has apologized after a family was forced to wait more than four hours for their son’s wheelchair to be returned.

Tony Hudgell and his mother were traveling back from Lapland in Finland when the eight-year-old boy’s wheelchair failed to arrive at the door of the plane, according to the BBC.

After initially waiting for the chair on the aircraft, the family was helped to deplane and left to wait at Gatwick’s baggage reclaim. 

“We weren’t bothered about our baggage. We could have come back the next day. But we could not leave the airport because we didn’t have Tony’s wheelchair,” Paula Hudgell told the BBC.

Hudgell shared her experience on Twitter, saying she was appalled by the lack of help offered to her son as he waited.

She said in the Twitter thread that her son was forced to sit on the cold floor because there were no seats in baggage reclaim.

The wheelchair finally arrived in the early hours of December 12 after a 4 1⁄2-hour wait, per the BBC.

A spokesperson for Gatwick Airport said: “We are aware of this awful situation and apologize for the distress caused to the Hudgell family. This is unacceptable and we have picked it up as a matter of urgency with the airline, Jet2, and their ground handler, Menzies.”

They said: “We experienced significant disruption due to snow on Sunday night which resulted in a runway closure for two hours whilst we cleared the area and made it safe for aircraft to operate, which saw a number of cancellations and delayed flights.”

A representative for Jet2 told Insider: “We would like to sincerely apologise to Mr Hudgell and his family for the delay on receiving his wheelchair and for any inconvenience caused as a result.”

They said: “We can confirm that the delay was due to Gatwick Airport being temporarily closed due to snow, which meant that the baggage handler experienced severe delays offloading luggage. Unfortunately, this included Mr Hudgell’s wheelchair.”

Paula Hudgell and ground handler Menzies did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. 

Wheelchair users have long complained of being mistreated and overlooked when flying.

Many wheelchair users were caught up in the travel chaos last summer, reporting a series of demeaning experiences while traveling.

Read the original article on Business Insider