Published on Monday, March 26, 2018

Heathrow under fire after BBC journalist is stranded without wheelchair

Heathrow has come under fire after leaving BBC journalist Frank Gardner stranded on an empty plane for over 100 minutes because his wheelchair had been misplaced.

Gardner, who has used a wheelchair since being shot six times by militants in Saudi Arabia 14 years ago, took to social media on Saturday to complain about his ordeal, claiming it was not the first time his wheelchair had been 'lost' by ground staff at the airport.

Yesterday, he met with Heathrow CEO John Holland Kaye talking him through some of the issues faced by disabled travellers.

He said afterwards that he had 'just spent (hopefully) one of the most constructive hours of my life' with the CEO who had taken notes during the conversation and had identified three areas where improvements can be made.

"A good start," said Gardner.

Holland Kaye said Heathrow would aim to help disabled passengers off the plane within 20 minutes of landing.

But talking to the BBC about the problems yesterday, he said disabled passengers stranded on planes at Heathrow will not be compensated.

A spokesman for Heathrow said this morning: "We apologise unreservedly for Mr Gardner's experience this weekend which fell short of the experience we aim to provide our passengers. We are very glad to have had the opportunity to discuss directly with him this important issue and we will be focusing on working with our airlines and partners at Heathrow to improve our service in line with that discussion."


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  • So agree with you

    I do a lot of travelling and quite the worst experiences I have had with wheelchairs have been at Heathrow, I need one after a major back operation last year, they really need to improve, recently I was left in the lounge in Terminal 5 until less than half an hour before the plane was going to depart from the B gates, despite making several requests to the BA desk in the lounge, it made life very stressful. All because they had taken the wrong passenger.

    By Richard Earl of Bradford, Monday, March 26, 2018

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