A furious mum has told how she was left stranded on a plane with her young disabled twins after the cabin crew forgot she was on board.
Helen Morgan, whose seven-year-old sons are unable to walk unaided, said she was eventually helped from the aircraft by the pilot after the other passengers had disembarked at Palma airport, in Mallorca.
"We were the only ones left there. We thought we'd be there for the whole holiday," said the 29-year-old from Southwick, in Sunderland.
"We were asked to give everybody else time to get off first, so we stayed behind until the aisles were clear and there was more space.
"The staff and cabin crew said they'd see everyone else off and then come back for us, but they never did.
"We were just stuck there. I couldn't lift the kids off without any help – they're both too heavy now – and the plane was pretty much deserted.
"Luckily the captain noticed us as he was about to leave, otherwise we could have been there for hours."
Twins Thomas and Jack, who spent the first four months of their lives in hospital and needed numerous operations to keep them alive, have undergone four blood transfusions each, surgery to repair hernias and treatment for severe chest infections because their tiny organs had not formed properly.
Both have serious mobility problems.
"The kids love going away on holiday, but it's never easy," said Helen.
"We've had these problems before. Quite often we have to wait until last to get off the plane.
"It's difficult because passengers tend to block the aisles while taking their hand luggage out of the overhead compartments, but I don't mind waiting if it makes life easier for people.
"But you expect to get help from the crew. You certainly don't expect to be forgotten about."
However, Helen, who travelled on the plane with partner David Ferry, 33, and several other members of her family, said she refused to let the problems ruin her seven-day break in Spain.
"When we booked the holiday we informed the airport and the travel company that we would need special assistance," said Helen.
"I was with my family at the time, but we were separated when the crew asked them to stay in the airport while we waited on the plane.
"We were sat there for a good 20 minutes, but we thought we'd be there for hours.
"We thought we'd be stuck there until the plane flew home."
A spokeswoman for Thomson, the travel company which arranged the holiday in May, said the firm was investigating the claims.