A FURIOUS Brit mum has blasted British Airways for kicking her 17-month-old baby off a flight, fearing mosquito bites on his face were chicken pox.
Valdenize Barford, 31, described the incident as “a complete farce” after staff insisted they weren’t medically trained and couldn’t diagnose her young son with chicken pox – but also insisted that he was too ill to fly.
Valdenize had been holidaying in Greece with husband James, 47, and their 17-month-old son, Edward.
The fashion designer says that when the family tried to board their flight from Rhodes to London, cabin crew said they suspected a series of small red spots on Edward’s face were chicken pox and wouldn’t let them fly.
‘IT WAS HUMILIATING’
The couple protested for an hour, insisting the spots were simply mosquito bites but were not allowed to board and Valdenize was left stranded at the airport with Edward, as James had to return to work the next day.
The mum said: “It was so humiliating. We were being treated like criminals. There was just zero common sense.
“On the one hand, the crew said he had chicken pox, and on the other they said they weren’t medically trained to diagnose him. It was a complete farce.
“Anybody could see that the baby just had a few bites. It was utterly ridiculous and I was left all alone on a Greek island where I don’t know anybody, having to pay for a hotel.”
But the nightmare didn’t stop there – Valdenize’s luggage failed to be unloaded from the plane and promises of help from staff once back in the airport failed to materialise.
She said: “The airline promised to look after us in terms of transportation and accommodation, whatever we needed.
“But when we got back to the terminal, there was nobody to help us there. We waited over an hour.
“I asked airport staff to assist and they walked around with me to find a British Airways representative, but there was nobody around.
‘FRUSTRATED AND ANGRY’
“I tried repeatedly to call customer service, but there was no answer. In the end I just gave up and found us a hotel, which I’ve had to pay for out of my own pocket.”
A BA spokesman said ground crew had offered assistance but a ‘breakdown’ in communication meant they did not meet up with the family.
Valdenize took little Edward to a doctor the next day, who confirmed the marks on his face were mosquito bites.
But the mum will need to wait three days for a fit to fly certificate to be issued before she can bring her baby home.
Even worse, Valdenize’s insurance has expired, meaning she faces a big bill from the doctors’ visit, which simply confirmed what she had already known.
She said: “It has left me feeling frustrated and angry.”
“What was supposed to be a pleasant holiday has left me feeling helpless and badly treated.”
A BA spokesman said: “Our specialist medical professionals, MedLink said we should not fly the infant for his safety and the safety of other passengers until they had seen a local doctor.
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“Our teams offered the family hotel accommodation and transport.
“We are in contact with them and will fly them home once the infant is cleared to fly.
“We wish him a speedy recovery.”
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