Dad blasts easyJet after family misses flight to Disneyland Paris

A dad has blasted easyJet over a lack of airport signage after he and his family missed a flight for their dream holiday to Disneyland .

Jack Gray, his partner and son Oliver, 5, arrived for their flight to Paris at Bristol airport at 4.30am on Monday morning – two hours before they were due to take off at 7.30am.

But the family, from Yate, Glos, ended up missing the plane by standing in the wrong queue, dad Jack said, as he hit out at a lack of signage.

"It was all down to a complete lack of signage. There was no signpost for the normal queue," he told Bristol Live.

“We were waiting for the fast-track passengers to board, but we hadn’t seen the normal passengers were queuing behind a pillar. It wasn’t signposted."

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“There was a Christmas scavenger hunt for the kids, a gingerbread thing. We did that, and we were at the gate at 6.55am.

“We saw a big sign for the fast-track queue. We had a normal ticket, so we were under the assumption they were doing fast passes first.

“We were sat there. It got to 7.05am and the board was saying the gate closed at 7am. I thought they must be running behind.”

At 7.06am, with all queuers through the gate, the family made their way to the easyJet desk to get an update.

“As we got there, the doors were closing,” Mr Gray said. “The women at the desk said we’d missed our flight.

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“We were like, ‘Oh OK – how?’"

“One of the women said she’d radio through to try and get us on, but the departure people on the other end said no.”

An employee at the desk then said a bus might be available to take the family to the plane, Mr Gray claims.

He said: “The woman radioed through again and I heard her say, ‘I already told them you said no, so it’s down to you.’

“It was so rude. If she’d said to the departure people that there was a five-year-old waiting to go to Disneyland, it could have been different.

“We were really frustrated. If we’d got to the doors five seconds earlier, we would have made it.”

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Mr Gray claims easyJet staff told him it had not done a last call on the tannoy because of a “silent airport” policy.

He said an employee at the Bristol Airport information desk then told him there is no policy against last calls in the airport.

Mr Gray also alleges the information desk later told him the gate had shut at 7.12am. He says the gate closure actually happened at 7.06am.

He added: “The guy on the desk offered us the 6.30pm flight tickets for £330 in total. When we didn’t accept that, he told us we could get it cheaper online.

“He did not help in any way, shape or form, but I suppose he was the most helpful person there because at least he was giving us the truth.”

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The 28-year-old mechanic ended up paying an extra £244 for seats on the 6.30pm flight to Paris – a price he branded “ridiculous”.

Mr Gray eventually booked the tickets online, costing a total of £244, on top of the £360 he paid for the initial tickets.

“We have lost a day at Disneyland,” he said. "We were going to have two and a half days there, now it will just be one and a half."

“We’d woken up Oliver at 4am as a surprise. He hadn’t known we were going.

“He had a bit of a cry when we left the airport this morning, but once we explained we were going to come back, he was excited again.”

Rather than travelling all the way back to Yate, Mr Gray took his family to his mum Helen's Stockwood home to wait for the flight.

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Mr Gray believes the family is owed a discount on the tickets. He feels the fault for the missed flight lies with easyJet.

“I just can’t believe how blunt and rude they were,” he added.

Mr Gray claimed there was another family behind them who had also been confused by the fast-track queue. He said a 16-year-old girl was crying after missing the flight.

But an easyJet spokeswoman said CCTV shows the second family did not sit in the waiting area like the Grays. She said they actually arrived “in the vicinity” only as the gates were shutting.

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She added: "We are sorry to hear that Mr Gray and his family missed their flight. Unfortunately they arrived at the gate after it closed and all other passengers had boarded.

“We held the gate open longer than usual to try and accommodate any passengers who had not yet arrived, however the family did not present themselves during this time.

“Once the family did present themselves, our gate team did everything possible to try and get them through to the aircraft, however it was unfortunately too late for them to be able to board. At this time our team offered to help Mr Gray and his family with alternative travel arrangements.

“Punctuality is important to all of our passengers. We ask everyone to be at the gate at least 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure so we can get passengers to their destinations on time.”

Bristol Live asked Bristol Airport on December 9 for a response to Mr Gray's complaints over signage.

The airport has yet to respond as of 5.35pm on December 9.

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