Palma's expanding airport was yesterday criticised for being “user-unfriendly for disabled passengers” by 85-year-old George Martin who is on holiday in the Port of Pollensa with his 82-year-old wife Betty Mary, who is wheelchair bound and suffers from Parkinson's disease. This is the couple's fourth visit to “the beautiful and lovely island” but it may be their last after being practically abandoned by airport staff on arrival at Palma airport last Saturday. Mr. Martin and his wife, who travel with their own wheelchair which folds up, said that whereas assistance and services for the disabled at Gatwick airport is superb, in Palma it's “impossible and you get the feeling that the airport authority does not want disabled people to come here.” “On arrival at Gatwick, an airport buggy is waiting to collect us and then takes us to check-in, on to the shops and then a special area for invalids before taking us to the plane,” Mr Martin explained yesterday. But on landing in Palma, he said it is a nightmare situation and “not a good way to start your holiday and there are other disabled people in our hotel who are dreading the thought of going home because they will have to go through the airport.” Mr Martin explained that as always the holiday is pre-booked at their local travel agent and all the necessary requests made for disabled assistance, which is what Palma airport now demands from passengers wanting buggy or wheelchair assistance. But there was none of the expected assistance at Palma airport despite attempts to find some help which at one point was blocked by two passport control police, “neither of whom spoke any English.”

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