"The whole system at Luton for disabled people is just a farce" - couple’s fury after they were 'stranded' at Luton Airport

An elderly couple say they were left stranded at Luton Airport after assistance they had pre-booked failed to materialise.

By Lynn Hughes
Monday, 23rd May 2022, 2:51 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd May 2022, 2:56 pm

Dianne Brooks aged 76, had to walk with a stick from the baggage carousel to the pickup point for their bus to the car park after her husband Clive, aged 79, was unable to push her wheelchair and the luggage.

And Dianne, who says they had similar problems last year at the airport, has slammed the support for disabled people as “a farce”.

But Luton Airport says it is ‘committed’ to ensuring all passengers have the ‘best possible experience’.

Luton Airport

The couple, from Hemel Hempstead, who are seasoned travellers, had spent 10 days in Lanzarote, and had booked assistance through their airline easyJet, for assistance in both Lanzarote and Luton.

While Dianne says the Lanzarote side of things was great, Luton’s left much to be desired.

"The whole system at Luton for disabled people is just a farce,” she said. “They haven’t got the staff and they just don’t seem to be bothered.

"We are normally very able people but I can’t walk and my husband is waiting for a new knee.

"I can’t tell you the pain that it caused having to walk with a stick.

"After we got off the plane we were told by a person helping someone else that they would call for someone to help us and no one arrived.

"We had a lovely holiday, it was beautifully relaxing but we are now still suffering from an hour and a half waiting at Luton airport.”

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She said another couple with disabilities, on the same flight, missed their connection because of the delays in getting assistance.

Dianne said she was told staffing for the special assistance was down from 160 people pre covid to around 60 people now.

"The ones that are there for you, they do their best but its all the fault of the firm,” she said.

The Luton Airport website states: “Our Special Assistance team members can help at every step of your LLA journey: Getting to and from public transport, Getting to and from your car park, Carrying baggage, Navigating check-in and security, Getting to the plane, Getting on and off aircraft, Help with luggage on arrival.

A London Luton Airport spokesperson said: “We sincerely apologise to Mr and Mrs Brooks for the lack of communication on their arrival.

"We are fully committed to ensuring that all passengers have the best possible experience when travelling through London Luton Airport and we’re sorry if we fell short of their expectations on this occasion”.

Nick Gallé, Airport Services Director at Wilson James, said: "Anyone using London Luton Airport with mobility or disability needs is able to call on our Special Assistance team, who will help them get around the airport, or on and off the plane. The service is free of charge and should be requested at the time when the flights are booked, or at least 48 hours before the flight departure time. The airline will then let the Special Assistance team at London Luton Airport know and will arrange help on the day."