AN MS sufferer was left hobbling around Amsterdam after easyJet handlers smashed his £2,000 electric wheelchair to bits.
Kevin Johnston flew from Edinburgh to Amsterdam with daughter Naomi Miller last month when they found his £1,837 powered chair broken on the baggage carousel.
The 63-year-old from Musselburgh, East Lothian has no feeling in his left hand so was unable to use the heavy manual chair that was offered at Schiphol Airport.
After getting a taxi to his hotel, Kevin later had walk to a nearby restaurant for food but ended up falling over several times.
EasyJet sent a manual chair to the hotel the following day – but by this time Kevin was exhausted and having leg spasms from the previous day.
Kevin claims the airline initially tried to fob him off by only paying £1,398 for his wheelchair and fees incurred – or £1,680 if he accepted a holiday voucher.
But now after being approached by the media, they have agreed to pay the full cost of Kevin’s wheelchair and any further costs which he had to pay out.
Naomi, 27, a teacher from Stranraer, Dumfries and Galloway, said: “I am disgusted at the lack of support for somebody in an extremely vulnerable position.
“[They] ruined our holiday and put us both in a horrible position in a foreign country.
“We didn’t have any wheelchair for 24 hours.
“Our hotel was breakfast-only so we had to go somewhere for food and he was in pain. It was heartbreaking.
“He was apologising every time he had to stop saying ‘I’m so useless, I’m so useless’.
“He fell several times and without seats outside of a shop probably wouldn’t have made it.
“This was embarrassing for him and hard on me. He felt useless and got angry with himself for not being able to walk and having to rely on me.
“His MS is in the progressive stage so any attacks from pushing himself too much can just make it worse.”
Naomi pushed her father around Amsterdam for the next three days – however was left with bruises due to how heavy the manual wheelchair was.
She says the airline tried to use the Montreal Convention to limit their payout to £1,400 – £1,000 less than the cost of a replacement chair, hire of chairs, and taxi fares.
A spokesman for easyJet today said: “We are very sorry for the damage caused to Mr Johnston’s wheelchair during transit.
“We know how crucial it is for customers to feel confident their wheelchair will be well cared for when travelling with us so we are reviewing with our ground handlers to see if any lessons can be learnt.
“We are in discussions with Mr Johnston around a resolution but can confirm that we will be covering the cost of the full cost of a replacement wheelchair and any additional expenses incurred.”