Mum furious after autistic son, 4, was forced to sleep on the floor after an easyJet flight was cancelled

Lauren Kennedy, from Bolton, had saved up to take her family to a five-star hotel in Turkey – but they were devastated when the easyJet flight was cancelled

Lauren's son, who has autism, was forced to sleep on the airport floor
Lauren’s son, who has autism, was forced to sleep on the airport floor

A mother claims her four-year-old autistic son was forced to sleep on the airport floor after their easyJet flight was cancelled.

Lauren Kennedy and her partner Shaun were due to fly to Antalya, Turkey, with their three children on Monday afternoon.

The family, from Bolton, Greater Manchester, had saved up and “gave it all” for a birthday celebration at a five-star hotel.

But they had no way of getting there and had to return home after their flight was canceled due to hour-long airport delays.

Lauren told that Manchester evening news how they have not received any help since their flight was cancelled.

She described the chaos when her autistic son was left screaming in a crowd at the gate.

“When we got to the gate, they gave us an update on the tannoy and said it was 40 minutes, so we all waited,” Lauren said.

The family should fly to Antalya, Turkey


Corbis via Getty Images)

“When we arrived at the gate, there was chaos, there were no airline staff and we were in a long line of people.

“My little boy, who is autistic, didn’t handle it very well, he was screaming in the middle of a lot of people because it was just a big crowd.”

The mother related how everything seemed fine after all the passengers finally boarded the plane.

But once the plane hit the runway, it “just sat there,” and no one knew what was going on until news of another delay was announced over the Tannoy.

“They said something about the weather while other planes were taking off. They said the crews worked too long,” Lauren said.

“It was hectic, everyone was screaming. One of the pilots came out to talk to us.”

They decided to return home after finding out the next flight wasn’t until Saturday


AFP via Getty Images)

The flight was originally scheduled to depart at 4:15 p.m.

Lauren and Shaun arrived at the airport with the children on time and had special assistance through security due to their son’s condition.

They walked into an airport lounge before receiving messages saying the flight was delayed, Lauren said.

Finally, when they were told the gate was open, they ran there hoping to board the flight and start their vacation.

Lauren said passengers were encouraged to go to the easyJet app where they could report disruptions, book a nearby hotel and then change flights.

But she said the app wasn’t working as everyone was trying to use it.

Lauren described the chaos at the airport, with children screaming and her son forced to sleep on the floor


(Getty Images)

“Kids were screaming everywhere and didn’t understand what was going on,” she said.

“Behind us was a little boy who had his headset on when he was watching a show, he took it off and thought he was in Turkey, it was awful.”

According to the mother, passengers had to stay on the plane for at least 40 minutes before they could disembark and collect their luggage.

They were later told to speak to easyJet representatives about what to do next, she explained.

Lauren said they waited more than an hour to speak to anyone.

“My little boy was sleeping on the floor, I had to leave him with his sister when we were trying to find some easyJet representatives. Everyone was asking them questions and they didn’t know,” she continued.

“They gave us a brochure. I asked how we could get a flight tomorrow and they said to go on skyscanner and pay for a flight and go.

“There were five of us, without luggage it was £1,600.”

She said the next available easyJet flight to Antalya was scheduled for Saturday, leaving the family with the decision to go home.

They finally came back around 1am.

They now have to rebook a new holiday as soon as they get the money back. Lauren needs to contact On the Beach regarding her hotel booking as the package was booked through her.

In addition to losing the holiday, the family spent £170 on a rental car in Turkey.

Lauren said her children are disappointed.

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“My middle child and youngest child didn’t know about the holidays until yesterday morning, it was a surprise,” she said.

“Today is my son’s birthday, he was supposed to wake up in Turkey.

“I have two kids who say, ‘Let’s go on vacation, mom.’

“It’s the communication and the fact that we didn’t have any help whatsoever.”

EasyJet apologized for the cancellation, saying it was caused by “air traffic control restrictions earlier in the day which resulted in crew operating at their maximum operating time”.

A spokesman said: “Unfortunately we were unable to operate EZY1821 from Manchester to Antalya yesterday due to restrictions imposed by air traffic control earlier in the day which resulted in the crew reaching their maximum operating time.

“We very much regret this late cancellation.

“We always strive to minimize the impact on our customers by offering them the option to transfer to an alternative flight for free or receive a refund or voucher.”

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