Woman forced to leave Premier Inn in the middle of the night because staff thought she did not 'look blind'

10 November 2022, 22:16 | Updated: 10 November 2022, 22:25

Angharad Paget-Jones and her guide dog Tudor (Angharad Paget-Jones/PA)
Angharad Paget-Jones and her guide dog Tudor (Angharad Paget-Jones/PA). Picture: (Angharad Paget-Jones/PA)
Fran Way

By Fran Way

A blind woman has claimed she was forced to leave a Premier Inn in the middle of the night because staff thought that she did not ‘look blind’ or that her guide dog was legitimate.

Angharad Paget-Jones, who is legally blind, said that she was forced to leave the hotel in Enfield on bonfire night because she supposedly broke the policy about not bringing pets onto the premises, which has an exception of assistance dogs, despite carrying around proof.

She said that after falling asleep, her partner took the dog, named Tudor, for a walk but when he returned staff at reception asked for proof that the dog is a guide dog.

He showed Tudors lead and the tag he wears on his collar and said that Ms Paget-Jones could give more documentation in the morning, when she wakes up.

But not long after that staff knocked on the door and demanded more documentation for the dog.

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Writing on social media, she said she asked for the manager because of the time of night and the fact that she can’t see and then closed the door.

But within seconds the member of staff used a master key to barge in and demanded that she leave the hotel, claiming that she was aggressive in shutting the door and that they didn’t believe she needed a guide dog.

She added: “They claimed I didn’t look blind and that the documentation was fake brought online.

“This one really shook me up. I feel so fragile and it made me aware of just how vulnerable I am. It’s made me feel ashamed of my disability for the first time. Like I don’t matter. I’m scared of hotel stays now. And I travel a lot.”

A spokesperson from Premier Inn told PA: "At Premier Inn we take the needs and equal treatment of all our guests extremely seriously and all team members receive disability awareness training to make sure our guests all get the same warm welcome and enjoy a great stay.

"We were shocked and appalled to see the upsetting Twitter thread alleging that a guest was asked to leave one of our hotels in Enfield.

"An urgent investigation is already underway with that site to find out exactly what's happened and we've reached out to the Twitter user to fully understand the circumstances of what has taken place and apologise for the upset caused."

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