The man reportedly fell down the escalator on Wednesday after making his way through Gatwick’s North Terminal after assistance didn’t arrive. He and his wife of him are said to have needed special assistance getting off the EasyJet plane.
Sources told The Sun a member of staff arrived to take the woman into the airport but the man was left on the plane.
They said: “He must not have wanted to wait for the staff member to come back so made his own way into the terminal.
“While on the escalator the passenger fell down and suffered serious injuries as a result and died.
“This is a tragic incident which should never have happened. Someone should have been helping him.
“There’s been a real issue with staffing problems and some disabled people have had to wait for hours for help.
“Normal airport staff have had to be reminded not to help disabled passengers if they’re not qualified to, even if it means passengers waiting for hours.”
A Gatwick Airport spokesperson described the incident as “sad and tragic” but denied it happened due to staff shortages.
They said: “This is a sad and tragic incident and our thoughts remain with the family of the deceased.
“A member of Wilson James [private aviation services] staff was waiting when the aircraft arrived and was in the process of disembarking the three PRM passengers when the incident occurred. Staff shortages were not a factor in this incident as has been claimed. It is normal for one staff member to disembark three passengers who require assistance by taking them one at a time the short distance to the waiting buggy.
“A formal investigation is currently under way and it would not be appropriate to comment further.
An EasyJet spokesperson added: “A number of our cabin crew provided medical assistance to a passenger at Gatwick whilst waiting for paramedics, however the passenger sadly passed away.
“Our thoughts are with their family and friends at this difficult time.”