Young amputee stranded at Gatwick Airport
An eight-year-old double amputee had his holiday ruined when he was left “stranded” at Gatwick Airport for five hours on Monday morning, December 12.
Tony Hudgell flew back from Lapland earlier this week after meeting Santa with his adoptive parents, but when the family reached the London airport they were horrified to hear his £6,500 wheelchair had gone missing despite his parents arranging pre-booked assistance.
To make matters worse the family had to endure a 4.5 hours delay for the Jet2 flight because of the arctic weather conditions in the UK.
After waiting another five hours at Gatwick the family were furious when the wheelchair finally turned up “twisted and bent”.
Venting her anger on social media Tony’s mum Paula tweeted: “Appalled with @jet2tweets @Gatwick_Airport have been stranded for 3 hrs now with no wheelchair as its still on the plane.”
She went on to say it was 3am and the family received “no help”.
Paula added: “Double amputee no legs as his wheelchair is his legs. Trying to get help or assistance and nothing #gatwickairport #disabled #wheelchair.”
Jet2 addressed the issue on their official Twitter handle saying they were “incredibly sorry to hear of your experience” and that they were attempting to “look into fixing this for you”.
Paula said: “Assistance was booked in advance. Should have been sorted and when it did come out it was put on the conveyor belt and got twisted and bent. Full complaint on its way. Wheelchair cost us £6,500 so cross.”
Hudgell made headlines when he was physically attacked by his biological parents when he was just 41 days old, the assault left the little boy with no legs.
A spokesperson for Gatwick Airport told The Independent: “We are aware of this awful situation and apologise 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. We experienced significant disruption last night and had to close the airport for a two-hour period for safety reasons.”
A spokesperson for Jet2 said :“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. As an award-winning airline that prides itself on industry-leading customer service, we take matters such as this extremely seriously and are working with our ground handling agent to investigate how this happened.
“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.
“We recognise that this should not be the experience that our customers receive when travelling with us and can confirm that we have been in touch with Ms Hudgell to offer both our sincere apologies and to do everything we can to rectify this situation.”
Tony Hudgell’s biological parents are serving a 10-year prison sentence for the attack on their son.