Family left without clothes, pushchairs and medication after British Airways lost their luggage

A family have blasted British Airways over claims the airline left their luggage – including vital medication – in the UK during their £3,000 holiday in Florida.

Paul Hardman, 31, and wife Vicky, 37, were expecting a dream break with their two children, Lily, three, Ted, one, and Paul’s mum Debbie, 52.

But they say they grappled for five days with BA to be reunited with all their clothes, toiletries, pram and thyroid and blood-thinning medication.

The Wythenshawe family have since forked out more than £450 to replace items and pay airport transfers – blowing half of their £900 spending money. British Airways have since apologised for their ‘lapse in service’.

British Airways Airbus A320 takes off from Manchester Airport
British Airways Airbus A320 takes off from Manchester Airport (Photo: © Andrew Stuart)

Their luggage eventually turned up on the Sunday, August 21, after flying out on the Wednesday, August 17, but Debbie says she was left without her medication until the following Tuesday – the sixth day of their holiday.

Customer service assistant Paul said: “It has been the worst thing I’ve ever experienced. The whole way throughout the flights there was no one on hand to tell us where to go, it was just really unorganised.

“Having to buy all of our belongings that went missing was really frustrating and has had a knock on effect on the rest of the holiday as it decimated our spending money.

“It has meant we have missed out on things we would have liked to do, such as visiting some theme parks and so on. Instead of starting the holiday all excited and happy as we should have been, we were stressed and upset.

Three-year-old Lily Hardman sat on one of the suitcases which was left behind in the UK (Photo: Mercury Press)

“Losing all your luggage is horrible at any time but when you are away from home with two very young children it is incredibly difficult. And the worry we went through with my mum’s medication was awful. Because my mum hasn’t had her medication in over five days she has been very lethargic – she’s struggled to walk around the house and hasn’t been able to go outside, which has wrecked the holiday so far.”

The family arrived at Manchester Airport on August 17 excited to embark on their first family holiday together.

But excitement turned to disappointment when they discovered their connecting flight to London Heathrow was delayed by six hours and they would miss their Florida flight.

The family were then rebooked onto a Philadelphia flight and reassured by staff that their bags would be in the hold. Arriving in Philadelphia 16 hours after leaving home, a frustrated Paul was told the family luggage wasn’t on the flight as promised but back in Heathrow.

The family say they were forced to stay in a hotel overnight and boarded a flight to Florida the next day, forcing them to lose a day out of their 13-day break.

Vicky Hardman and her mother-in-law Debbie at Disney World, Florida (Photo: Mercury Press)

Paul had to shell out for new items for the family, including clothes, toiletries, food and a pram for little Ted, totalling £340 in addition to the £2,000 he’d already paid on flights. Along with £120 ‘non refundable’ airport transfer costs, their holiday spending money was halved, meaning they had to forgo numerous planned trips such as a visit to SeaWorld.

Paul’s wife Vicky, who works in customer service, said: “I was shocked at how poorly British Airways treated us, not one person offered to help us out when we were trying to find our bags. We were shocked at how much they didn’t treat us as humans. It was like they were saying anything just to keep us quiet.

“Our family camera was in our bags, so I’ll never be able to take photos of the first family holiday to Disney World. That was what really upset me – it ruined the holiday for me.”

Debbie, a retired elderly care worker who had her thyroid removed and suffers from DVT, said: “I’ve never met an airline like it in my life. The only people that were helpful at British Airways were the cabin crew.

They had to cancel trips to Seaworld because of the expense incurred

“I’m more upset for the family really because this is their first holiday in six years and their first one with the kids. It’s been disappointing by how we’ve been treated from start to finish.

“In Manchester a whole plane-load of people were left in the departure lounge, apart from a £5 meal voucher we didn’t get any kind of help – there was nothing for the baby either. The loss of my medication has ruined my holiday for me.

“After going without medication for five days I’ve been so tired – I’ve been losing concentration easily and have just felt so sluggish.”

A spokeswoman for BA said that they always recommend customers carry essential items and medication in their hand luggage.

The spokeswoman said: “We are sorry for this upsetting experience and the inconvenience that was caused by this lapse in our service. We are in touch with our customer to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.”

This article was written for Mercury Press & Media, and published on the Manchester Evening News.

CREATURE IN THE DEEP: Does this eerie image show an ALIEN peering through the water?

Steven Cook is an avid amateur wildlife photographer and was attempting to use a feather floating on the surface of a pond as ‘target practice’ for his camera.However upon returning home, the 50-year-old full-time carer got the fright of his life when he discovered an eerie face that looked like it was out of X-Files in one of the shots.Mr Cook, from Leyland, Lancashire, said: “I only noticed it when I got back and put the photos on the big screen- when I saw the two eyes staring back at me it frightened the life out of me!

“I don’t wipe off any photos until I get back and have a look at them thoroughly, I thought, Christ, what have I seen here?

“You can clearly see the two bits on the water that form the eyes, and that makes it look like a formed face and head for me.”

alien-2

Mr Cook has been photographing wildlife for 30 years and has visited Yarrow Park, Chorley, every day for the past two years to document the wildlife in his local greenspace.

However this time he got more than he bargained for.

Steven said: “”There was a few feathers floating along the pond basically, so I thought I’d use them as target practice and I’ll get the light levels on the camera right just in case.

“I’m faffing about with feathers and god knows what, but it was more when I got home that I noticed it really – I saw something on the screen on the back of the camera but I thought it was just weed or something like that.”Two dots stuck out to me which was really piercing, making it look like a face. It frightened the life out of me when I put it on the big screen.”But on the next shot you can see that it’s dissipated, so it must have been there for a split second on the reflection on water. If you saw that and tried to get it, you probably wouldn’t get it. It was a complete fluke.

“Everyone I’ve shown it to has sort of freaked out over it. Yarrow Park has a Facebook page, I put it on there and there’s loads of comments of residents spooked out over it.”

Residents warned Mr Cook “don’t go in the water!”, calling the picture “spooky” and deeming the figure a “creature in the deep”.

 

This article was written for Mercury Press & Media and published on the Daily Express.

Sausages EVERYWHERE! Road covered in meat after delivery man forgets to close van doors

A ROAD was left strewn with £5,500-worth of sausages when a manufacturer’s “accident” prone member of staff forgot to close his van doors properly.

The sausages, produced by independent manufacturers Heck, were due to be delivered as samples to Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans’ ‘Carfest South’, a Children in Need charity festival.

But in the rush of getting the sausages down to the Hampshire festival, driver Jack Watson forgot to close the van’s side doors – scattering thousands of sausages across the road and into the hedges nearby.

During hilarious footage filmed by a colleague, poor Mr Watson can be hear complaining “I’ve only been working here four months” as he begins picking up the sausages.Jack, 21, from Harrogate, Yorkshire, said: “It was just one of those basic things that you forget about when you’re rushing to get somewhere. I didn’t have my morning coffee, that’s what it must have been.”When I first got out of the van and saw what happened I thought ‘bloody hell’ and started to clean it all up, until I realised that it was a bigger task than first thought.

When I first got out of the van and saw what happened I thought ‘bloody hell’ and started to clean it all up

Jack Watson

When I called the team in the office they started laughing straight away, and they all came out to help clean it up – so I was very worried but it turned out alright.”Andrew Keeble, founder of Heck, explained that they have around 70 people working at the company and around 75 per cent were under the age of 25.sausages-2Mr Keeble said: “Jack is one of our new members of the team and is a little bit accident prone.”

“He’s often one of those guys who keeps forgetting his things. He was rushing to get all of his stock ready, and he just set off without realising that the van doors were open.

“He didn’t think, turned the corner and put his foot down and everything literally fell out of the side of the van.

“It couldn’t have happened on a worse day because Thursdays are our busiest days of the week.
“So he had to get down to the show with basically nothing in the van and set up our stall, because we wouldn’t be able to produce the lost stock in time today.
“We have a lot of youth in our company, and our Jack is just like one of those young lads who doesn’t have his head screwed on quite right most mornings. But we do take it lightly, we all make mistakes.”
 Heck have been a family-run business by the Keebles, operating since January 2013, but have been making sausages for much longer.
This article was written for Mercury Press & Media and published to the Daily Express.