EasyJet apologises after blind man separated from guide dog in boarding blunder

A blind former police officer was incorrectly advised by a budget airline regarding rules for travelling on a domestic flight with his guide dog.

Tony Barclay, 62, was told by easyJet that he effectively could not travel with his German Shepherd/Retriever cross, Wallace, on a flight from Belfast to London due to rules surrounding pet passports.

Before travelling the airline wrote to Tony, from Carrickfergus, Co Antrim, to advise that he must "show proof of Wallace’s pet passport" from a vet to confirm the dog has been vaccinated against rabies and de-wormed.

While rules are changing around pet passports, on June 1 Edwin Poots, Northern Islands First Minister, confirmed this has been postponed until October 1 at the earliest, reports BelfastLive.

RNIB volunteer Tony decided to instead travel with his wife and left his beloved Wallace behind worried that he could be seized or not allowed to return home.

An emotional Tony said: "I feel upset, deeply emotional about the whole situation but mostly I just feel angry that we’ve been left in this fiasco. How do I explain to my dog that I’ll be back.

"He’s not used to being looked after by anyone else, he’s used to working, my constant companion."

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EasyJet said they are "incredibly sorry" for the mistake and are taking action to ensure the error is not repeated.

Tony said he is "literally lost without Wallace" but the budget airline's decision has disabled him "all over again".

Tony was a police constable in the Cheshire Police before his eyesight started to degenerate and by the age of 36 he was registered blind.

He says living well with sight loss has been a decision and he leaves the practicalities of travelling safely to six-year-old Wallace.

"I’d look after Wallace before I’d worry about anything else, he is my life-line, my life-saver, protector and enabler,” Tony added.

A spokeswoman for easyJet said the problem was "unfortunately the result of a manual error" and have been in touch with Mr Barclay to apologise for his experience and reimburse him for the flight.

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