Dennis Hayton and his wife Joan were left counting the cost after they were refused on board the Jet2 flight until he obtained a fit to fly certificate after getting dust in his eye
A pensioner was forced to shell out £1,300 after he was refused on board his Jet2 flight because his weeping eye could be a ‘danger to other passengers’
Dennis Hayton, 76, from Northumberland, says he was now allowed had to try until he had a doctors’ note and was forced to return to Benidorm to get back up his illness. Mr Hayton, 76, and his wife Joan, 72, had enjoyed a package holiday but say their trip was wrecked when they arrived at Alicante Airport to fly home on July 23.
When the couple arrived at the check-in desk, they claim a team member told Dennis medical staff would have to assess his eye as it could be a risk to other passengers. He explained his eye had been irritated due to sand or dust getting into it the night before, but they were stunned to be told he would need to see a local doctor and could not fly until he obtained a fit to fly certificate.
A Jet2 spokesman said their staff were following ‘standard procedure’ but the customer said: “We had a great week in Benidorm. We were walking on the front in Benidorm on our last night and got a spec of dust in my eye. I never thought anything of it, it could happen to anyone. We had to be up early the next morning to get up to the airport and when I woke up my eye was running a bit as it had been irritated overnight. Again, I never thought anything about it.
“We were getting through the airport and they were putting our cases on the check-in. The girl asked what was wrong with my eye and I explained I got a spec of dust in it. She said you need to take your cases off the belt, I’m not prepared to let you on until you’ve been cleared by their medical support team. She said I could be a danger to other passengers on the plane, the crew and even myself if I had an eye infection.
“I said I didn’t have an eye infection and told her what had happened but she was adamant a member of staff had to look at me. This guy turned up, never got within two metres of me and said I’m not prepared to let you on the flight.
“I said what happens now and he said I couldn’t get on a flight until I got a letter from a doctor explaining that I am now fit to fly. I asked what his medical qualifications were and he said he didn’t have any. He said the decision had already been made and we weren’t allowed to fly.”
Dennis said staff told them they would have to return to Alicante and ring the local hospital to get a letter saying he is fit to fly. They could then book another Jet2 flight home but were told the first available flight was nine days away on August 1. He said: “I asked if they could phone the hotel we were staying in for the night until we sorted it out. They phoned the hotel and they could accommodate us, they let us get there on a Jet2 bus.
“They booked us in for two nights because we didn’t know how long it would take to sort out. It was £200 per night to stay at the hotel.” Back at the hotel, Dennis went to the local hospital but was told they wouldn’t be able to issue the certificate and would need to visit the private hospital.
Dennis said: “The next morning I went to the hospital and saw a doctor. He inspected my eye and looked to see the dust. He came back with two letters in his hand, one for me to get eye drops and the other was a letter saying I was fit to fly immediately.” He then spoke to Jet2 but was again told there were no flights until August 1 which would mean they were facing another week in the hotel at £200 per night.
“We weren’t given any refund for the flight they wouldn’t let us on, we were going to have to pay again for the new flight, so it was all down to me and my wife,” Dennis said. “They were totally unhelpful.” The couple were told about a travel agent across the road and they were able to book a Ryan Air flight the following day which cost £800. Nobody even queried my eye and we got ourselves home,” Dennis said.
Dennis said the ordeal set the couple back around £1,300 between hotel costs, the flight and medical costs. When they returned home Dennis put in a complaint with Jet2. He said: “They said there would be no refund and no compensation. We only booked with them in the first place as we are old age pensioners and whatever happened we would be looked after, as far as I am concerned it is a joke.”
A Jet2 spokesman said: “Our team followed standard procedure for any medical concerns and sought advice from the qualified medical support team, MedAire, who advised that Mr Hayton was ‘not fit to fly’. We advised Mr Hayton that our team would assist in arranging return flights once a Fit to Fly letter had been obtained. Our teams have been in contact with Mr Hayton, issuing an insurance statement to be shared with his insurance provider in regard to his additional costs.”
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