BBC reporter left on plane as disabled passenger help fail to show up

Updated: 

BBC reporter Frank Gardner has told of his outrage at being stranded on a plane, saying airlines and airports should be fined for failing disabled passengers.

The security correspondent, who has used a wheelchair since being shot by terrorists in 2004, had to wait half an hour to be helped off a plane on Sunday, finally disembarking long after all the other passengers on his flight had started to make their way home from Gatwick Airport.

Frank Gardner
Frank was angry about his treatment (BBC)

Frank, 55, had been returning from the French Alps and tweeted his complaints about Gatwick, EasyJet and OCS which provides passenger assistance.

The journalist said that it was the latest in a long line of bad experiences, sharing a photo from another time he had been left behind, this time with a celebrity companion.

While Frank later tweeted his thanks to Gatwick, EasyJet and OCS for looking into his complaint, he said that he had been contacted by plenty of other disabled passengers who had experienced similar problems.

He told the BBC: "I am pretty cynical about this because I have been travelling with a wheelchair for 12 years and I've not seen any improvement.

"Nothing will change unless there is perpetual bad publicity, or there are financial penalties."