A mother has branded Flybe 'disgusting' after not letting her son board one of their planes after she convinced him to overcome his anxiety and book t
A mother has branded Flybe ‘disgusting’ after not letting her son board one of their planes after she convinced him to overcome his anxiety and book the flight.
Dean Lumsden, who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, was planning on heading to Southampton to watch a Cricket World Cup match with friends after they bought his ticket.
But when they arrived at Newcastle airport on Monday morning, the 26-year-old was told he’d been put on a standby list and was not going to be allowed onto the oversold flight.
Dean Lumsden, who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, was planning on heading to Southampton to watch a Cricket World Cup match with friends after they bought his ticket. He is pictured here with his mother Michelle
Mr Lumsden, from Consett in County Durham, was not made aware that he was on the list until he collected his boarding pass up at the airport, his mother Michelle Watson claims. The 47-year vented her on Flybe’s Facebook page on Tuesday.
She branded the firm an ‘absolutely disgusting airline’ with an ‘absolutely disgraceful set up’.
‘My mentally disabled son was promised an experience to go to watch the Bangladesh v Afghan cricket match with a group of friends for his birthday,’ she wrote.
‘He was so psyched up to go after six weeks of coaxing and encouraging him to go, only to get to boarding gate and be informed he could not board as he was a stand by passenger!’
An avid cricket fan, Mr Lumsden had forked out £45 for a cricket shirt to match his friends, as well as £55 on tickets to the match and money on accommodation.
The trip had been planned for weeks, with Ms Watson steadily building up her son’s confidence.
Mr Lumsden insisted his friends take the trip without him and was then left alone at the airport feeling ‘so let down’.
Social media users have reacted with outrage to Michelle’s post. One woman, Melanie Michaela Reed said: ‘Oh my god!! That’s disgusting. Poor Dean. X’
However, other users have questioned whether Michelle should have obtained special assistance for her son.
When they arrived at Newcastle airport on Monday morning, the 26-year-old (second from left) was told he’d been put on a standby list and was not going to be allowed onto the oversold flight
Akex Taylor said: ‘Most scheduled airlines overbook flights, nothing new about that. If your son has mental health issues then why didn’t you book special assistance? Maybe someone else would have been selected for stand by.’
But Ms Watson insists she thought her son would be fine travelling as part of a group and is now calling on the airline to reconsider their standby policy.
She said: ‘I have never known an airline like this. To me, once you’ve bought a ticket online you have bought a ticket, how can you not be allowed to fly?
‘It’s not about the money, I just do not understand the policy. How many more people have to go through it?’
She has since received an apology from the airline on Facebook as well as information regarding compensation for the flight, but she says this is not enough.
Mr Lumsden’s Cricket World Cup tickets
‘I’m really annoyed as it’s just knocked him right back,’ she said. ‘He was a mess afterwards. This had taken a lot of planning, 90 per cent of the time Dean feels he won’t be able to do things, but this one time he was able to and the whole lot went down the drain.
‘He doesn’t understand that it’s not him, it’s just policy, but they shouldn’t oversell the tickets.’
An accident at age 18 left Dean with complex mental health issues which often render him unable to leave the house.
He had recently begun helping out at a local Indian restaurant, Trafalgar Cafe, when he struck up a friendship with the Bangladesh cricket fans.
‘I was supporting Bangladesh as the people who I work for are massive cricket fans and kept me basically from not killing myself by giving me a reason to live,’ he said.
Flybe asked Michelle to submit further information so they could look into this ‘as a matter of urgency.’
A spokeswoman said: ‘Flybe can confirm that one of its social media agents responded immediately to Michelle Watson with understandable concern over the issues raised in her Facebook post regarding her son’s recent experience.
‘In order to fully investigate this matter they requested some basic information so that this could be investigated further however to date have not received this and so are unable to action further.
‘We can reassure her that as soon as we receive the booking reference, e-mail address used for booking and the full names of the passengers we will most certainly look into this as a matter of urgency.’
The boarding pass that Mr Lumsden brought along when he tried to board the flight