Boy with heart defect sleeps on hotel floor in 27-hour flight delay

Thomas Cook flight delay sees boy plugged into oxygen supply on hotel floor

Updated: 
Boy with heart defect sleeps on hotel floor in 27-hour flight delay

A little boy with a serious heart condition had to sleep on a hotel reception floor during a 27-hour Thomas Cook flight delay.

Sam Smith, 7, was born with a rare artery defect and has to sleep plugged into his oxygen supply. He has already undergone two open heart surgeries, and the holiday to Mallorca was the first time he was allowed to go abroad.

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The family said they enjoyed a "gorgeous" holiday, but the nightmare started when the 10.50am flight from Palma Airport on Friday was cancelled after a technical fault.

After a seven-hour wait at the airport, the family - including Sam's mum and dad, Anthony and Jeanette, and his sisters - were bussed to a hotel with hundreds of other passengers.

Boy with heart defect sleeps on hotel floor in 27-hour flight delay

According to the Manchester Evening News, Anthony said the room was "filthy", and contained a dead bird, sanitary products on the floor, just one plug socket, too few beds and no air conditioning. He said: "Nobody helped us with the bags or medical equipment and oxygen tanks, and it was like walking into a ghetto.

"You couldn't breathe in there. Charlie is prone to infection and we just couldn't let him sleep in there - it would have put him at risk.

"I rang Thomas Cook, they promised a rep would meet us in reception but nobody did."

Sam ended up sleeping on two suitcases with his oxygen supply plugged into the wall in the hotel reception.

Anthony added: "Thomas Cook abandoned us in a filthy hotel that wasn't fit for animals. They put our child's life in danger.

"There were other vulnerable passengers - one had an epileptic fit - but they had no list of the passengers who would need medical care or had needs.

"They wouldn't listen to us about Charlie's heart condition and just walked away. They did nothing."

The family were picked up from the hotel the next morning and flew home in the afternoon.

Speaking to the Mirror, a Thomas Cook spokesman said: "The reports from Mr Smith of this hotel are shocking and we are extremely sorry that this experience was so negative for him and his family.

"While sourcing hotels for hundreds of people at short notice can be challenging, it is almost always very successful and can help ease the stress and frustration caused by flight delays.

"We will investigate Mr Smith's overall experience and will be in touch with him as a priority."

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