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Disabled Woolavington woman 'trapped' in room on paradise island
11:20am Tuesday 7th August 2012 in News
A DISABLED woman from Woolavington says she was confined to her room for three days on a family package holiday as the hotel was not wheelchair-accessible.
Mandy Seymour, who suffers with osteoarthritis, had booked the two-week trip to Antigua with Thomas Cook, but found the hotel was unsuitable – despite the family filling out disability forms.
She is now locked in a battle to claim compensation from the holiday firm, which has launched an investigation into what happened.
Mandy, 46, her husband, Philip, 55, and daughter Victoria Swain, 22, arrived at the Cocobay Resort only to be faced with steep hills and steps to their room.
“We booked our holiday in June 2011,” said Mandy. “My health deteriorated in October and I visited Bridgwater Thomas Cook to inform them that I would need to take a wheelchair with me on holiday.
“I also requested assistance at both airports.”
Mandy said she filled in a disability assistance form while Philip also called the special assistance team to let them know her requirements.
The family say they were never informed the resort was not wheelchair accessible.
They only found out on arrival, when they were told by the hotel manager, who said he had been unaware of Mandy’s disability.
Mandy said: “I struggled getting into the room and it was impossible to get around.
Three days passed still stranded and I was confined to my room. I felt I was a prisoner. I was in tremendous pain.”
The family racked up a phone bill of hundreds of pounds trying to resolve the issue from Antigua and eventually chose to move to an alternative resort at a cost of almost £2,000 more.
Mandy added: “If it wasn’t for the kind hotel manager our fee to move would have cost nearly £4,000 extra. I cannot believe the way we were treated. This has caused so much upset and pain.”
The family wants to be fully compensated for their costs and has since written to Thomas Cook.
In a reply to the couple’s complaint, John Evans, of Thomas Cook’s customer relations team, said: “We are sorry aspects of your holiday have given cause for dissatisfaction and we appreciate you taking the time to write to us.
“A full investigation will take place and a customer relations executive will contact you again.”
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