Disabled Felpham man forced to hire £1,500 mobility scooter on cruise

Leonard and Eileen Kelland said the experience has put them off going on future holidays. ks1500471-3
Leonard and Eileen Kelland said the experience has put them off going on future holidays. ks1500471-3

The trip of a lifetime has been tarnished for one elderly couple after they were charged hundreds of pounds for something they already owned.

Disabled Leonard Kelland, 86, and wife Eileen from Felpham spent much of their life savings on a round-the-world cruise.

They say when they booked the trip they were told there was no problem in bringing the mobility scooter Leonard needs because he struggles to walk easily.

But when they went to board from Southampton they were ‘flabbergasted’ to be told it was not permitted.

During the 113-day cruise with Cunard they were then forced to hire an electric scooter which they say was exactly the same size for a cost of £1,5000 - money they have been told they won’t be getting back.

Eileen said: “We normally holiday to Teneriffe but Leonard said he would really love to go on a cruise and because of his age we knew it would probably be his last.

“We could only just afford it but we knew it would be a trip of a lifetime.

“When we went to book it from Thompson we asked if we could take the scooter on board and the woman said it wouldn’t be a problem.

“We also had a letter saying we could take it with us, but when we got to Southampton we were told we couldn’t because of some access problem.

“We were flabbergasted but we were in a no-win situation. We either lost all our money or we went on without it.”

Their cruise lasted from January to May, and after struggling with a normal push wheelchair on the ship they then had no choice but to hire a similar mobility scooter costing £1,500.

“Leonard’s legs started to swell and I couldn’t push him around for 113 days,” Eileen said.

“I just think it’s a terrible way to treat a disabled person and we’ve been told we can’t get that money back.

“We’re devastated by all this, it’s put us right off going on holiday anymore.”

A spokesperson for Cunard said the company had corresponded with the couple and ‘were unable to add anything further’.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage at www.bognor.co.uk/

2) Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BognorRegisObserver

3) Follow us on Twitter @BogObserver

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Bognor Observer - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.