Sussex

Flight delay left man with Parkinson's 'totally fatigued'

Heathrow
Image caption David Allan's medication wore off while at Heathrow Airport

A man with Parkinson's says he was left "totally fatigued" when he ran out of medication because his flight was delayed.

Parkinson's UK trustee David Allan was told his British Airways (BA) flight from Gatwick to Edinburgh on Friday would fly from Heathrow the next day.

The change meant his requirement for assistance was not transferred and the 57-year-old, who takes 27 tablets a day, was left short on his medication.

BA and the airports have apologised.

Mr Allan, who is the Scotland trustee on the board of the charity, had been due to depart Gatwick at 21:25 BST but could not fly until 22:00 from Heathrow on Saturday.

He contacted NHS 111, Crawley Hospital and a chemist but there were no supplies of his medication available.

'Ridiculous'

When he arrived at Heathrow, he was told the special assistance facility was fully booked and the airline had not transferred his requirements, so could not help him.

Mr Allan said his medication starting to wear off and his mobility failed.

"I was struggling to put one foot in front of the other," he said. "I wasn't quite on my hands and knees but I was very near it.

"It seems ridiculous that in this modern, connected world there was no way I could access medication and that the airline and airports were so ill-equipped to help.

"I'll be taking extra supplies with me every time I travel in future."

BA said transportation and accommodation were provided to Mr Allan during the disruption and he was rebooked on to the next flight.

The airline also said assistance is provided by an airport-appointed third-party company and recommended customers carry enough medication to allow for any travel disruption.

Parkinson's UK said the treatment of Mr Allan, of Alloa, Clackmannanshire, was "shocking and unacceptable".

Update Wednesday 31 July 2019: An earlier version of this story stated Mr Allan was "left to crawl" through the airport. In a subsequent interview Mr Allan told the BBC: "I wasn't quite on my hands and knees but I was very near it". The story has been amended to reflect this.

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