Blind woman banned from flying with Thomson is offered free holiday

Ceri Roberts
Blind woman banned from flying with Thomson is offered free holiday
Blind woman banned from flying with Thomson is offered free holiday

A woman who has been blind since birth was prevented from flying with Thomson because she would not be able to see the safety demonstration and would need a sighted carer to travel with her.

But a company that specialises in holidays for the blind has come to her rescue, and offered Lauren Wigglesworth, 27, and her friend Steven Sherwood, 24, a free holiday in August - which they have accepted.

Lauren's mother, Dawn Wigglesworth, told The Mail: "It sounds fantastic and it means she still gets to do what she wants to do most - travel independently."

The Mail reports that Lauren and Steven, who is also blind, booked a five-day break in Majorca back in January, but they were told just two weeks ago that they couldn't travel unaccompanied. Thomson later offered to provide special assistance, but by this point, Ms Wigglesworth no longer felt confident about travelling with the company and has received a full refund instead.

Last week Lauren told The Mirror: "I'm absolutely gutted. They said we can go if we take someone sighted but that's not the point. It was my first holiday without my mum so I was really excited - no parents! I'd already changed my money and the company gave me our boarding passes."

Lauren's mother, Dawn Wigglesworth, told The Mail: "There is no reason at all why Stephen and Lauren can't fly, the whole situation is ridiculous. He has flown on his own before and she gets the train all round the country on her own."

A spokesperson for Thomson explained: "Both Ms Wigglesworth and her friend completed a special assistance form, in which they stated they would need assistance to complete a number of safety related actions, such as putting on a lifejacket, on board the aircraft.

"These requirements are taken from the Department of Transport's Code of Practice that has been confirmed by the UK Civil Aviation Authority, to which Thomson and every other UK airline must adhere.

"Unfortunately, as Ms Wigglesworth and her partner are not able to complete these without assistance, we were unfortunately unable to allow Ms Wigglesworth and her friend to travel alone safely on this occasion. We understand that this must have been frustrating for her."

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