Houghton Regis woman vows never to fly with easyJet again after mask row

The asthma sufferer says there was no compassion from the flight crew

By Lynn Hughes
Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 11:52 am
Cheryl Walters
Cheryl Walters

An asthma sufferer who claims she became seriously ill after being forced to wear a mask on an easyJet flight, says she will never use the Luton-based airline again.

Cheryl Walters, from Houghton Regis, said the treatment she received on the two hour flight to Valencia on October 14 left her feeling "like nothing".

The 61 year old hadn't realised she needed a letter from her GP to exempt her from wearing a mask on the flight, but she had a lanyard, inhaler and medicines which, she said, all pointed to her suffering from the lung disorder.

On the journey she says she was forced to wear a mask which quickly brought on a coughing fit and resulted in her being physically sick.

"I was coughing and being sick but the crew just brought me a sick bag and walked away. They left me feeling like I was nothing or no-one."

Cheryl, an independent travel agent, had travelled to Valencia for a travel seminar on a trip booked by a friend. But she says the trip out meant she was ill in Valencia and then faced the same issues coming home on October 17.

"I was coughing for the four days I was in Spain when I was fully healthy before leaving England, and unfortunately started with a chest infection.

"On the flight home I was told I would have to disembark if I didn't wear a mask, so I had to wear one just to get home. I had another attack on the plane. In four days I had used two inhalers where normally one lasts me four months."

The day after her return Cheryl was treated with antibiotics for a chest infection but on October 21 had to go to Luton A&E struggling to breathe. She was given steroids and put on a nebuliser, but is still off work recovering.

"What hurt me the most was their disconcern, they just made me feel like nobody. Something like this attack could have killed me," she said.

And she urged passengers to check the small print before boarding a plane. "It hasn't put me off flying, but I won't be flying with easyJet again," she said.

A spokesman for easyJet said: “The primary responsibility of our crew is for the health, safety and wellbeing of all customers and during the pandemic this is more important than ever. We inform customers ahead of travel that for the safety of all onboard, and in line with the guidelines of relevant safety authorities for air travel, easyJet requires all customers to wear a face covering while onboard. This is in line with the policies of many international airlines.

“We know some passengers may not be able to wear a mask and so we also inform all customers before they travel of what to do if they require an exemption. Those requiring an exemption must notify us of this ahead of travel via a dedicated web form on our Covid-19 Travel Hub or present a doctor’s note or medical certificate during boarding which unfortunately Ms Walters didn’t do.

“We are very sorry to hear about Ms Walters’s concerns however our records show that no issues of this nature were raised with our crew on these flights, nor were they made aware of any passengers onboard who required assistance. Should they have been, they would have done all possible to assist.”