Jet2 Asks Boy With Muscular Dystrophy to 'Prove Disability'
A 10-year-old boy with muscular dystrophy was asked to prove he was truly disabled by a gate agent when attempting to board a flight out of Croatia's Split Airport (SPU) on Tuesday.
His mother, Alex Johnson, said she was "appalled" by the gate agent's request and that her son, Jack, was "mortified" by the incident. Johnson says that there was no issue on the family's flight on Jet2 to Croatia, but when they tried to fly back to their home in the UK, the airline staff had no record of Jack's disability.
He is in a motorized scooter, which requires a two-day notice in order to accommodate. During the mixup, the gate agent asked Johnson in front of Jack, "Do you have proof your son is disabled?"
Johnson said she showed the appropriate documents in "disbelief," and after about two hours, the family was allowed to board the flight.
"He was so embarrassed," Johnson says of her son. "I want lessons to be learned and all staff to get training to ensure this never happens again to another disabled person. They should be treated with dignity."
Jet2 says it is "extremely sorry" for the "distressing incident."
"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," an airline spokesperson told the BBC.
A similar incident occurred last year, when low-cost Japanese carrier Vanilla Air forced a man bound to a wheelchair to crawl his way on board the aircraft.