A Scottish teenager was left without a wheelchair on holiday after an airline ‘lost’ his wheelchair.
Michael Cloke, 17, arrived in Paris on Tuesday but was informed by EasyJet that his wheelchair, which had been checked in in the hold, could not be found.
Four days later, the airline still hadn’t found the chair.
His mother Gillian Cloke said the loss of the chair had a “huge impact” on her family’s holiday.
She said the experience “derailed” her vacation plans, but the family are still trying to make the most of their break.
Michael, who needs the chair due to a heart condition that causes severe fatigue, has borrowed wheelchairs at some of the French capital’s top attractions.
Ms Cloke, a freelance book editor from Edinburgh, has garnered widespread support on social media after writing about the ordeal online using the hashtag #rightsonflights.
She said she checked the wheelchair in at Edinburgh Airport but the chair didn’t come out the other end.
When asked if the loss was having a major impact on family holidays, Ms Cloke told the PA news agency: “Yes, it’s fair to say that.”
“It takes a lot of planning to go on holiday with a disabled person.
“So we made our plans, and the loss of a crucial piece of our equipment completely ruined our plans.”
The disruption has prevented the family from embarking on the much-anticipated excursion to the Palace of Versailles, and Ms Cloke described getting to the famous Louvre art gallery as a “complete nightmare” because taxis couldn’t get the family close enough to Michael’s walk to the entrance.
“We did everything we could in terms of seats, river cruises and buses,” she added.
“It’s beautiful and sunny and it’s Paris and we’re trying not to be ungrateful with everything else that’s going on here.”
The family tried seven organizations before being able to rent a wheelchair on the fourth day of their visit.
Ms Cloke described the difficulties of asking the airline for help, including difficulties with automated systems put in place to help people with lost luggage instead of wheelchairs, the passage from pillar to post within the organization and the need to keep repeating details to upload.
An easyJet spokesman said: “We are very sorry that Michael was left without his wheelchair following his recent flight from Edinburgh to Paris.”
“We know how important it is for customers to be able to rely on these items being taken care of when traveling with us. That is why we are checking this with our ground handling partners in Edinburgh and Paris, as well as with the airport’s specialist service provider.
“We are doing our utmost to locate it and are fully aware of the inconvenience this has caused you, for which we are very sorry.”
“The family has informed us that they are using a temporary replacement wheelchair and we have been in contact with them since Tuesday to ensure Michael’s wellbeing and see how we can further assist them.”
“We will also apologize as a gesture of goodwill for your experience and the delay in reuniting Michael with his wheelchair.”
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