Disabled BBC correspondent Frank Gardner left trapped on plane again

During the latest incident, the journalist posted an image from inside the aircraft with no other passengers in sight.

The latest incident comes after a passenger with restricted mobility died at Gatwick on June 15. AP
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A BBC journalist and wheelchair user has been left trapped on a plane after landing at London’s Gatwick Airport.

Security correspondent Frank Gardner has suffered, and highlighted, similar problems at UK airports when he has returned home.

It also comes after a passenger with restricted mobility died at Gatwick on June 15. He fell while going up an escalator after leaving an aircraft without a helper.

Mr Gardner has been left on planes at UK airports several times in recent years.

During the latest incident, Mr Gardener posted an image on Twitter from inside the aircraft with no other passengers in sight.

“Just back from exhausting week covering Nato summit in Madrid and quelle surprise, I'm still stuck on the plane at Gatwick.

He said issues with getting disabled people off planes "never happens abroad, only in UK".

Once he was able to leave the aircraft, Mr Gardner wrote: “Off the plane now — only a 20-minute delay which is mild — but ground handlers said 'nobody told us there was a disabled passenger on board'.

“Airline, Iberia, insist they did. All in all, so tedious and boring!”

Iberia Express said in a statement the “established procedure” to request assistance was followed “at every moment”.

Requests were made through a notification system used by Gatwick during boarding in Madrid, and by radio during the approach to the airport. A further request was made by phone when it became apparent that assistance had not arrived when the plane landed.

“While the service was arriving, the Iberia Express flight crew took care of Frank and another customer, who had notified the service in advance and was also waiting for assistance as both were picked up at the same time,” the statement said.

Passengers have been enduring a raft of successive problems at British airports, including tech problems that forced flights to be cancelled and not enough staff to handle the flights as the industry recovers from Covid lockdowns.

A Gatwick spokeswoman said: “We apologise for the delay Mr Gardner experienced on this occasion.

“We have been working closely with our assistance provider, Wilson James, to establish the reasons for this.

“At this stage, it appears there was no special assistance booking from the airline for Mr Gardner.

“However, as soon as we were made aware, the team responded and Mr Gardner received assistance within 20 minutes.

“We strive to provide the best possible service to all passengers so will continue to look into this with Wilson James and the airline concerned."

Updated: July 01, 2022, 7:06 PM