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BBC reporter stranded on plane for fourth time

Frank Gardner
Frank Gardner Image credit:

BBC journalist Frank Gardner has criticised Heathrow Airport once again after he was stranded on a British Airways flight from Estonia on Sunday night.

This is the fourth time he has experienced problems at airports since using a wheelchair in 2004 after he was shot six times in Saudi Arabia reporting from a war zone.

Sharing his experience Gardner tweeted: “It’s happened again. Stuck on an empty plane at Heathrow airport long after everyone else is off - ‘no staff to get my wheelchair off the plane’.

“I am SO disappointed with Heathrow Airport as disabled passengers are once again apparently the lowest priority.”

In a second tweet the irritated journalist added: “Now off plane and in the terminal while I’m guessing all other passengers are on their way home.

“Thanks all of you for your kind words. This is an incredibly minor whinge compared to the horrors people have endured in Ukraine. But it’s the principle of disabled people so often getting crap treatment that’s so objectionable.”

On March 24 2018 Gardner was left on a plane for ‘100 minutes’ until staff were able to assist him off the flight; it was the second time that month he was left stranded at the airport.

He has also shamed Gatwick when being left on an easyjet plane in 2017, at the time both the airport and airline issued an apology and promised to investigate.

A survey published in 2020 found nearly a third of customers at the airport were unhappy with the assistance they received.