Disabled woman denied first holiday in 20 years after U-turn
AN airline has crushed a disabled woman’s dreams after telling her she would be unable to travel on its flight.
Jet2 confirmed Leona Davidson, 28, would be allowed to fly to Tenerife, but has now changed its mind just five weeks before the trip.
A DISABLED woman has been denied her dream family holiday after Jet2 bosses changed their mind over whether she could fly with them.
Leona Davidson, 28, was due to fly to Tenerife with eight relatives at the end of May for what would have been her first flight in more than 20 years.
Leona, from Moodiesburn, was 10 she was diagnosed with the rare pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration, and is one of only two people in the UK with the condition.
After a change in her circumstances meant Leona could fly again, members of her family began to plan a holiday away.
On booking with Jet2 in October 2018, Leona’s aunt Christine provided the company with full information about her condition and needs, including the dimensions for Leona’s wheelchair and her status on palliative care.
After looking over these, the company reportedly confirmed that this would not be a problem and processed confirmation and payment for the holiday eight months later.
The family then informed Leona of their plans, with the enthusiastic Rangers fan – who has received widespread support from the club’s fan community – buying her holiday wardrobe and planning the trip months ahead.
However, in March, problems started to arise.
When Leona’s mum Angela contacted Jet2 to inquire about provisions for their flight, including the process for getting to the flight at Glasgow Airport, the company began to question whether they could accommodate Leona.
After offering to travel to both Glasgow Airport and down to Leeds to check procedures for the trip, Angela was given the devastating news on Tuesday, more than seven months after they had booked it, that Leona would be unable to fly.
Angela said: “I called in March and reiterated that Leona had been palliative for years. We went to the GP who said there was no reason that Leona couldn’t fly.
“We were then told to go back and ask about their capability to support her level of disability. I have been pursuing them relentlessly for weeks, and then on Tuesday evening they called and told me we couldn’t fly.
“I had to tell my daughter, who has fought for years against the odds, the reality that she can’t go.
“We have all lived with this as a family for 17 years. It is not about the money, it never was. The only solution that is satisfactory is that she is on that flight with our family.
“Leona is devastated, still very upset and crushed. It is awful. This is something huge for her to fly for the first time in 20 years, and having the support of my family there would take the burden off of me.”
The company offered the use of a specialised harness to get Leona onto the plane free of charge. Unfortunately, this was not suitable for someone with her level of scoliosis.
The family were given a refund for Leona and Angela’s trips, as well as £300 compensation, by Jet2.
However, the family say they are not interested in the cash and would like a public apology from the company, a donation to the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice, and assurances that no other family will be put through a similar situation.
The family are very involved with the charity, with Leona attending the Glasgow facility once a week for therapy sessions, including getting facials, manicures and pedicures, alongside the care and emotional support offered to the Davidsons.
They hope that the charity may be able to get some small benefit from this mistake by Jet2.
Angela said: “There are now five weeks to go until the date of the holiday.
“They accepted the wheelchair dimensions and her disability at the time of the booking. They were made fully aware.
‘‘ I had to tell my daughter, who has fought for years against the odds, the reality that she can’t go
Leona Davidson, with her mum Anglea, was told she was unable to fly to Tenerife with her family
Rangers fan Leona has received support from the club’s supporters after her holiday was cancelled, and below right, at the Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice