Leeds family’s foreign airport ordeal

Aneela Chaudhry with her children Aniyah and Allyaan.
Aneela Chaudhry with her children Aniyah and Allyaan.
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A young mum and her two toddlers were refused a place on THREE separate flights back home after flying out to Holland to visit her sister.

Aneela Chaudhry, 26, from Roundhay, Leeds, and her children Aniyah, 23 months, and Allyaan, 10 months, eventually had to return home by ferry.

Their ordeal began when Mrs Chaudhry tried to check in for her Jet2 flight from Amsterdam to Leeds-Bradford but was told one adult could not travel with more than one child under two. However she had flown out without any problems, and had even paid for an extra seat for her eldest child after, she says, consulting the firm.

In the following days the mum was refused entry onto TWO more flights – this time with easyJet – and had to keep travelling back to Rotterdam, carrying both children, her luggage and a 15kg car seat she was told she had to have.

In worry and frustration, her husband Solat, 43 – who was still in Leeds – booked them onto a ferry home.

easyJet today apologised and promised the family a full refund and a free flight anywhere in the world. Jet2.com said its “only mistake” was allowing the trio to travel out in the first place.

Within a day of her arrival in Leeds, she collapsed and spent the next week at St James’ Hospital with a kidney infection. She has now had two operations and says her doctor has confirmed this was exacerbated by the stress.

“As far as anyone knew my wife was stranded with two small babies in a foreign country. Nobody did anything to help and support her,” said Mr Chaudhry, who is director of the Leeds-based National Centre for Diversity.

“My wife was absolutely distraught and physically, emotionally and mentally drained. I will be making a formal complaint to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission as well as pursuing all avenues open to us to ensure that Jet2 and easyJet never treat anyone the way my family have been treated again.”

Mrs Chaudhry, who is now home from hospital, said: “They were dragging me here and there, they were so harsh with me all the time. They would not even give me a glass of water.”

A spokesperson for easyJet said: “We would like to apologise for the experience of the Chaudhry family. We accept that we should have been able to do more to help Mrs Chaudhry and her children to get home sooner.

“However, we do believe that our crew on board the aircraft acted only in the safety of the children. We would like to offer a full apology to the Chaudhrys and will refund their fares and, as a gesture of goodwill, offer the family a return trip anywhere they choose on the easyJet network.”

A spokeswoman for Jet2 said: “Our policy regarding infant travel is clearly stated at Jet2.com - “two infants could only travel with two adults who are responsible for their welfare.

“Jet2.com’s only mistake was allowing the party to travel from Leeds Bradford Airport on the outbound flight. We are investigating why this occurred.“

aisha.iqbal@ypn.co.uk

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