Young boy in mobility scooter asked to prove disability to airline
Jack Johnson was made to prove that he had a disability when Jet2’s administrative error jeopardised his flight.
The 10-year-old boy, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, relies on a mobility scooter to get around due to his condition.
Jack and his mother, Alex, were in Split Airport, Croatia getting a Jet2 flight home to England on 31st July when the incident occurred. Alex, described her son’s treatment by the airline as “mortifying,” “appalling” and “humiliating.”
She told the BBC that whilst there was no issue on the returning flight, staff at the airport did not seem to have any record of Jack’s disability and two days’ notice had been required to put a motorised scooter on the plane.
Alex reported that she was asked in front of Jack: “Do you have proof your son is disabled?” She then showed her son’s blue badge in “disbelief.”
Almost two hours later, the family were allowed on the outbound flight.
“Jack doesn’t like any fuss or made to feel different,” Alex commented, “He was so embarrassed.”
A spokesman for Jet2 has said the firm is very sorry for the incident.
Jack is the son of former Wigan Warriors, London Broncos, Castleford Tigers and Salford City Reds rugby league player Andy Johnson.
The day after they returned, Alex reported that Jack had a meltdown, which she blames on the airport.
“I want lessons to be learned and all staff to get training to ensure this never happens again to another disabled person,” she added, “They should be treated with dignity.”
In response to the incident, Jet2 said: “Although this is an isolated incident, we have learnt a number of lessons and are we are urgently reviewing all our procedures to ensure that this does not happen again.”