Airport staff ‘laughed in the face’ of 6-year-old boy after Disneyland flight was cancelled, says dad

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Mike Cole, 50, said passengers on EasyJet’s Bristol to Paris flight were met at the departure gate with a sign saying ‘Flight cancelled’ before being escorted outside by police

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Travel chaos: Huge queues outside Bristol Airport

A six-year-old boy was heartbroken when airport staff laughed in his face when his dream trip to Disneyland was cancelled, his parents claim.

Father Mike Cole said son Oliver broke down in tears at Bristol Airport when their easyJet flight to Paris was canceled after being delayed over two hours.

They had been saving for the trip for six years.

Passengers were finally called to the departure gate around 8.30pm Sunday night to find a sign telling them they could not board, the father claims.

Mike, 50, said around 100 would-be holidaymakers were then escorted out of the airport by police.

“No notification, no announcement, no warning,” he told the Mirror.

“The displays at the airport showed that the flight was still going, albeit with a delay, and about 20 minutes before we were supposed to take off the gate number came, there was a huge queue but no staff, just a sign that said ‘ Flight ‘cancelled’.”

Have you been affected by the airport chaos this week? Let us know at webnews@mirror.co.uk







Oliver Cole, six, at Bristol Airport as he prepared to go to Disneyland Paris
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Mike Cole)







Oliver had created his calendar to count the days before his first stay abroad
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Mike Cole)

Mike and his wife Anna, 42, had spent around £1,200 on Disney passes and a four-night stay at the resort’s Explorers Hotel – all they understand is non-refundable.

Oliver had never been abroad and he and his sister Polly, 15, had made their own holiday calendar to count down the days.

Mike said the passengers were dismayed but docile, although one employee – for either the airport or the airline – was particularly “nasty” as she led them away.

“There was just an outright hostility and an empty helpfulness, a wall,” he said.







Huge crowds left Bristol Airport in chaos this week
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Picture:

@GundleLeo / Twitter)

Mike admits he confronted her about the tearful Oliver and said the handling of the situation was “disgusting” and he would complain.

“She looked down at Oliver crying and laughed and looked at me and said ‘You’re disgusting’ and then walked away,” he claims.

Mike said the employee told passengers, “If you want to rebook, do it tomorrow via the app or by phone, but exit the airport because we won’t help you tonight.”

When someone started filming her, she called for help.

“The police came over behind us and in front of us as a group to escort us out of the airport,” Mike explained.

The Bristol family arrived at check-in five hours ahead of their original 7:25pm flight time – and it was then delayed by 10 minutes and finally to 8:43pm.







Passengers queued outside as Bristol Airport struggled to cope at half-time
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Picture:

@paulwtrueman/Twitter)

Mike said he understands the difficulties the airport is going through at the moment but if they had been told it was likely that passengers would be canceled within that time they could have made other arrangements.

“Our vacation – the hotel and the passes – is separate from the flight,” he explained.

“Even if we had had to go to Cardiff or Heathrow at that point and gotten an overnight flight, we could have done that.

“When they told us the next available flight from Bristol was Wednesday and the next available flight from Heathrow was Monday midday. That is totally unacceptable.”







Mike and his family saw their easyJet flight cancelled
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Picture:

Richard MacGregor/PA Wire)

Mike has since contacted easyJet and was told the £650 worth of flights plus the extra £120 for luggage can be refunded, but only once they know why the flight was cancelled.

“They have given us no explanation, no reason why the flight was canceled and we cannot request anything until we know why,” he said.

“Oliver is devastated to have lost his holiday which we have been saving for for two years between bills, Covid and the rising cost of living.

“I don’t want to sound dramatic or exaggerated – there are people in far worse situations than we are.







The family had saved two years to go to Disneyland Paris
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Picture:

(Getty Images)

“But the kids had drawn their own poster on the wall like a calendar, ticked off the days for the last month and out of the blue we’re back in the car going home instead of going on vacation.”

Mike said he hopes Disney can change their policy and allow them to take vacations over the next school vacation since he and Anna both work in education.

“That’s what we’re pinning our hopes on, just a form of humanity,” he added.

A Bristol Airport spokesman said: “We know having a flight canceled can be a very stressful experience.

“Any customer who believes that a member of the team or a colleague of a business partner has acted inappropriately is encouraged to file a complaint so that this can be investigated and verified using CCTV footage.”

The Mirror has reached out to easyJet and Disneyland Paris for comment.

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