Disabled passenger stranded on plane for hours ‘forced’ to call police to rescue him

Daryl Tavernor was stuck on the plane for two hours after his delayed flight from Rome to Manchester and then stayed at border control for another 90 minutes

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Manchester: Disabled passenger stranded at airport

A disabled passenger has had to call police for help after being stranded at border control for “hours”.

Daryl Tavernor, 33, admitted he was taken like a “hostage” after being stranded on the plane for two hours following his delayed flight from Rome to Manchester. Manchester evening news reported.

The digital marketer, who has spinal muscular atrophy and needs special assistance, had to wait another 90 minutes at border control before calling the police.

Daryl, from Stoke-on-Trent, said: “I felt like I was being held hostage so I had no choice but to call the police.

“All other passengers were able to get off the plane as quickly as possible. It usually only takes about 10 to 15 minutes for the special assistance to get me off the plane.

“But just me and the crew and the captain were stuck for two more hours.

“The captain was so upset that he himself sought special support. I was told they didn’t come right away as planes usually don’t land at that time.

“But you cannot plead ignorance, the captain would have told you everything on our way.







Daryl Tavernor said he was stranded at border control for “hours” before calling the police
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Picture:

Daryl Tavernor)

“By that point I had been on the plane for five and a half hours, I was extremely uncomfortable and all I wanted to do was sit in my chair.

“The person they sent after me really struggled to get me off the plane. I’m not a heavy guy, but this person was really struggling.”

The 33-year-old requires special assistance getting him off the plane and into his wheelchair, which will be stored in the hold during the May 26 flight.

Upon landing, the passengers were quickly released from the plane while Daryl began waiting for the special assistance staff, operated by a company called ABM, to get him off the plane and into his chair.

Two hours later, Daryl, the cabin crew and the pilots were still waiting.

The pilots and crew tried to take this into their own hands, looking for special support staff so they could all leave, and it wasn’t until 4:30 a.m. that Daryl was back in his chair and entering Terminal 3.







He was stuck on the plane for two hours after the delayed flight from Rome to Manchester.
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Picture:

Kenny Brown | Manchester evening news)

A member of the Special Assistance Staff accompanied him to border control, where no staff was to be found.

This led to frantic phone calls from Special Assistance to locate border personnel to get Daryl out of the airport. At around 6 a.m., and with no end in sight to this “ridiculous” ordeal, Daryl took matters into his own hands and called the police.

Within minutes, a handful of border guards had arrived and Daryl was freed from the airport.

He added: “When we finally got to border control there was just nobody there, it really made them panic.

“They called their bosses but he couldn’t get through to anyone. Nobody seemed able to call the border police, it took a good hour.

“I asked them to just let me through, even if it had to be an emergency exit or something.







A member of the Special Assistance Staff accompanied him to border control, where no staff was to be found.
(

Picture:

Kenny Brown | Manchester evening news)

“It became clear very quickly that airport staff had no connection at all with security staff, which I found worrying.

“I felt like I was being held hostage, so I had no choice but to call the police.

“I got through to GMP who have a station at the airport and within 10 minutes five border guards were there.

“Apparently they had no idea I was here, although special support tried to get through to them.

“They said they only knew because the police contacted them. I basically had no choice but to take it out of the hands of the airport.”

A Manchester Airport spokesman said: “We are sorry to hear that Mr Tavernor has had a disappointing experience and we will work with our special assistance provider to understand how to avoid a repeat of it.

“We and others in our industry, including airlines, baggage handlers and assistance providers, are currently experiencing staffing shortages due to the rapid pace at which travel has recovered from the pandemic.

“We are working tirelessly to address this as quickly as possible through a major recruitment campaign and to mitigate these challenges as much as we can in the meantime.”

An ABM spokesman said: “We understand the importance of the dedicated assistance service we provide to passengers and it is vital to deliver that service with efficiency, respect and care.

“We regret every time our service fails to meet this standard and are working with our teams and partners to investigate Mr Tavernor’s experience.

“We are currently experiencing higher passenger volumes requiring special assistance than at our busiest pre-pandemic peak, while the entire industry continues to face resource challenges.

“We know we are not alone in dealing with these issues and understand the inconvenience and emotional impact this can all have on individuals, particularly those who need additional assistance.

“We are working with all of our customers and partners to minimize the impact as we navigate this phase of the pandemic recovery.”

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/disabled-passenger-stranded-plane-hours-27105980 Disabled passenger stranded on plane for hours 'forced' to call police to rescue him

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