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Jet2 Cancels Charity Flight for Terminally-Ill Children

Castle Donington, UK - June 3, 2016: a Boeing 737-330QC (G-CELR) commercial passenger aircraft operated by Jet2 about to land at East Midlands Airport near Nottingham, England.

The low-cost carrier says that LBA wasn’t clear about the number of passengers involved or the scale of their medical needs.

The families of 40 terminally-ill children have criticized low-cost carrier Jet2 and Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) for canceling an annual charity flight with Santa Claus only days before the event was due to take place. Jet2, which took over the flight from now-defunct Monarch, claimed that LBA had not provided it with either the exact number of passengers or been forthright regarding their medical needs.

The Metro reports that most of the children and carers that had been due to fly were from Martin House Children’s Hospice, an English charity that provides support to children with life-shortening illnesses. The flight, originally scheduled to depart on December 13 , would have enabled the children to meet Santa Claus.

The children’s families and carers have expressed their upset to the outlet. Laura Venner, whose 18-month-old son was due to be on the flight, said, “It’s shocking how they’ve let families down when some children are very ill and this will probably be their very last Christmas.”

Leeds Bradford Airport has also come under fire for citing an “unexpected scheduling change” for the reason behind the flight’s cancellation. However, an airport spokesperson has since stated that, “Leeds Bradford Airport recognizes that it was incorrect to cite ‘unexpected scheduling change’ as the reason for the Santa Flight being canceled. The airport apologies for any confusion and upset caused.”

Commenting on the situation, Jet2 said that, “Despite our best efforts to operate this flight at very late notice, we were provided with an inadequate level of detail required to operate a safe and enjoyable flight, such as special assistance and medical requirements, or passenger numbers.”

Martin Warhurst, the chief executive of Martin House, commented, “Once we were informed by the airport that the flight would not go ahead, we contacted our families as quickly as possible to let them know. I know that this has been very disappointing for some families and I offer my sincere apologies for the distress that this may have caused.”

[Photo: Shutterstock]

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mvoight June 12, 2018

Why couldn't they meet Santa Claus somewhere closer? They mentioned a 18 month old. I doubt this is going to matter much to them.