2 Aug, 2023 @ 08:48
2 mins read

EXCLUSIVE: Mother of stranded child reveals shock after BA removes ‘crying’ Gibraltar toddler from Heathrow flight

HEATHROW airport staff removed several local people including a woman and a five-year-old from a British Airways flight to Gibraltar over concerns they needed a Schengen visa if the flight was diverted to Malaga.

The mother of a child Enya States claimed on social media that BA staff were ‘awful and rude’ to her ‘crying mother-in-law and scared five-year-old daughter’.

Local woman Yvette Sene said BA had treated her group ‘like second class citizens without any valid reason’ after trying to take the morning flight to Gibraltar.

They were part of a group of about ten Gibraltarians forced off the morning flight from Heathrow Airport.

States described told the horror flight on social media: “They boarded the plane in Heathrow, along with everyone else this morning, and over the tannoy system comes an announcement that they are looking for a Mrs Green.

“She let’s herself be known to staff who then tell her she needs to get off the plane with my 5 year old daughter.”

She said her mother-in-law and daughter were ‘very worried and scared’ at that point, and even though they tried to reason with staff ‘they have just taken them all now to look to be booked on another flight tomorrow or sometime later in the week’.

Later in the day, States said that British Airways ‘have admitted fault’ for the shocking incident.

“They have told [Gibraltar House] that they made a mistake and those affected passengers should have been allowed on the plane,” she wrote.

“The fact that they have a passport that was issued in Gibraltar should have had no affect on whether they could board the plane or not.”

She even said there was an off-duty coastguard officer on the flight and they would not listen to him either.

Crying shame

States has already filed an official complaint for compensation but is still shocked how the airport staff treated her mother-in-law and child.

“My mother in law was crying down the phone to me, my five year old was crying, begging to go home to mummy, it just broke me,” she exclusively told The Olive Press.

“I asked for them to speak to me on the phone and my mother in law asked and begged them to talk to me and they said no and then ignored her whilst she stood there crying and at one point just pushed past her like she wasn’t even there.

“And still now, even with BA talking to the Gibraltar government and claiming an admin error, myself and my mother in law are yet to hear a word from them.

“I hope I get my daughter back, and that something like this never happens again.”

To add to insult to injury the flight touched down at Gibraltar airport at 12.50pm.


Sene told The Olive Press that while BA staff gave her overnight hotel accommodation, dinner and breakfast plus a bus return fare.

“No matter how much we tried to reason with them they just brushed us off saying those were their instructions,” the she said.

“Who pays for the distress we were put through, loss of work tomorrow and the jet lag after travelling from Canada?” she asked.

She said she was scheduled to fly back on Tuesday instead, making her lose a day at work.

Minister for Tourism Vijay Daryanani, Director of Civil Aviation and the Gibraltar government representative in London immediately contacted British Airways.

“The airline confirmed that the Gibraltar information sheet for BA loading staff at Heathrow Airport wrongly stated that Gibraltarian passengers would require a Schengen visa in the case of a diversion to Malaga, which was a possibility due to wind in Gibraltar,” the government said in a statement.

“The Government has received assurances that this issue will be resolved immediately.”


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