Disabled 10-year-old boy asked to 'prove' disability by Jet2 staff

Joanna Whitehead

A 10-year-old disabled boy was left “mortified” after being asked to “prove” he had a disability on a recent Jet2 flight from Croatia to Leeds-Bradford airport.

Jack Johnson of Wigan, Greater Manchester, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, reportedly was left humiliated and distressed by the experience, which was reportedly due to an administrative error.

Jack’s mother, Alex Johnson, told the BBC she was “appalled” by the way her son was treated at Split airport in Croatia on 31 July.

Despite experiencing no problems on the outbound flight, staff at Split airport did not have a record of Jack’s disability and required two days’ notice for a motorised scooter to be loaded onto the aircraft.

Mrs Johnson was then asked in front of her son: “Do you have proof your son is disabled?”

She presented Jack’s blue badge to Jet2 personnel. After a two hour wait, the family were finally allowed to board the aircraft.

Mrs Johnson said that Jack had a “complete meltdown” the next day as a result of the trauma he experienced.

“Jack doesn’t like any fuss or be made to feel different. He was so embarrassed,” she said. “I want lessons to be learned and all staff to get training to ensure this never happens again to another disabled person. They should be treated with dignity.”

Jack is the son of former Wigan Warriers, London Broncos, Castleford Tigers and Salford City Reds rugby league player Andy Johnson.

While the family said they had made great memories on their trip, the experience at Split Airport ruined this for them.

A spokesperson for Jet2 told The Independent: “We are extremely sorry to hear of this experience, and we appreciate that it has been very distressing for Jack and his family.

“We have been in contact to unreservedly apologise for the upset caused, and we would like to reassure Jack, his family, and all our customers, that this is not our normal standard of service.

“Although this is an isolated incident, we have learnt a number of lessons and we are urgently reviewing all our procedures to ensure that this does not happen again.”