Disabled man stuck on plane for an hour and a half after staff loses his wheelchair

Tanya Edwards
Yahoo Lifestyle
Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

In a series of tweets, journalist Frank Gardner said staff at Heathrow Airport in London lost his wheelchair  Saturday morning as he was returning from Ethiopia. The tweets prompted an outcry, with some sharing similar experiences they had while traveling.

Garder writes that he is “so utterly sick” of Heathrow airport ground staff “losing” his wheelchair. He goes on to share that he had been stuck waiting on the plane for more than an hour at that point.

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What’s even more worrisome is the fact that this isn’t the first time it has happened, and apparently it has only happened at Heathrow. In his second tweet, he shares that he’s been sitting “on an empty plane 1.5 hours after landing.”



Not surprisingly, Gardner’s followers and others on Twitter were upset to hear about how he was being treated and shared their dismay.



Others shared their experiences with airlines and airports treating differently abled passengers poorly. One had lost his wheelchair; one person was stuck in the window seat when a wheelchair went missing for the passenger next to him, and another shared a story about their elderly parent being pushed through an airport by a porter who wasn’t strong enough.


Finally, the airport’s official account tweeted an apology, but Gardner reiterated that the problems keep happening, and Heathrow keeps apologizing, but nothing changes.


According to Heathrow’s website, “Heathrow is responsible for providing special assistance at the airport.” In a section specifically for those flying with mobility issues, the site says, “If you need help getting from your seat, we’ll use an aisle chair to wheel you to the aircraft door. And if you’re traveling with your own wheelchair, we’ll bring it to the door ready for use as soon as you leave the aircraft.”

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