Desperate British father is left stranded in Texas and fears having to sleep rough after being told he may not be able to fly home to the UK for WEEKS amid coronavirus lockdown
- Daniel Lawrence, 40, says he just wants to get home to look after his kids
- Morgan, 18, Riley, 17, Tyler, 11, and little Daisy, seven are all in the UK without him
- He has asked British Airways for help, but flights out of the US are now scarce
- He fears becoming homeless, spending $150 a night on accommodation
A British dad-of-four is trapped in Texas due to the coronavirus and fears he will become homeless as he struggles for money and a way home.
Daniel Lawrence is running out of money and will no longer be able to afford anywhere to stay. He fears he may be marooned away from his children for at least a month.
Lawrence, 40, flew to Houston to visit friends on March 13, the day after President Donald Trump banned flights from certain European countries. Flights from the UK were still permitted then, so Daniel enjoyed his stay with friends.
When he asked British Airways for help getting him home, he was told the first flight available out of Houston is on May 1.
Lawrence, wearing a protective face mask and gloves, is paying 150 dollars a night to stay at a Texan’s house in Atascocita, outside of Houston
British Daniel Lawrence, 40, pictured with his four children – Morgan, 18, Riley, 17, Tyler, 11, and little Daisy, seven – is stuck in Texas and fears he could become homeless while abroad during the coronavirus pandemic
Daniel Lawrence, pictured here with his 7-year-old daughter Daisy, had been trying to contact airline British Airways to find a way back to the UK
He says he has had hardly any communication from the airline – who even tried to joke with him on Twitter when he asked for help. The art seller is worried he will soon be about of cash and won’t have anywhere to stay in the southern state.
Daniel is desperate to get home to Stevenage, Hertforshire (28 miles North of London), and see his children Morgan, 18, Riley, 17, Tyler, 11, and little Daisy, seven.
Daniel said: ‘I’m terrified. I’m terrified for my children in England. All I’m reading everyday on the news is all the people who have died.
‘I just want to get home so I can look after my kids in this awful time,’ he said. ‘Everyone has been telling me about all the poisonous snakes around here. I’m really scared.’
After arriving in Texas on the 13 March, he enjoyed having a go at the firing range – but increasingly became concerned about how he would get home.
When the President announced flights from the UK were also banned, he contacted British Airways but has had minimal response.
Daniel has sent the airline dozens of messages with almost no reply.
‘They’ve just ignored me and left me here,’ Daniel blasted. ‘I’m running out of money and they’re not helping at all. What do they want me to do, break into a house? They’ve completely ignored me.’
British Airways have suspended 30,000 staff until the end of pay and will pay them 80% of their wages during this time as flights around the globe are grounded
Lawrence says he was told by British Airways to go to the airport, but when he got there it was deserted, taking this photo
Lawrence did get a response from British Airways, but he and a friend James who helped get his case noticed by the airline were critical of the joke that was sent back: ‘seems you owe James a pint when the pubs reopen’ – Pubs in the UK have all shut during the country-wide lockdown
British Airways advised him to go to the airport to talk to staff, but it was completely deserted. He was also told to use the BA app to rebook, but the only flight he could get is on May 1.
He says his travel insurance company is asking him to pay and claim expenses, but he is running low on cash.
Texas has also been put into lockdown – to try and half the spread of coronavirus – which means Daniel has struggled to find somewhere to stay.
He says people – including his friends – are scared of him due to his smoker’s cough, and he is now paying 150 dollars a night to stay at a Texan’s house in Atascocita, outside of Houston.
‘I’m worried I’m going to run out of money, I have to pay for food and accommodation,’ worried Daniel said.
While in Texas, Lawrence had been enjoying the gun ranges with his friends he was visiting, assuming he would be able to get a flight home at the end of his trip. At the time, flights were still permitted from the UK
Currently airlines cannot fly from Houston to Europe, due to President Trump’s travel ban.
Daniel would be able to get a flight from Miami or Chicago sooner – as several airports are still in use for repatriation – but he cannot drive and says buses are no longer running.
On Monday, the Government announced it was creating a special travel company to provide flights for Brits stranded in places where commercial airlines have been banned. It has pledged £75 million to help pay for these repatriation flights.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: ‘This is a worrying time for many British citizens travelling abroad.
‘Where commercial flights are not possible, we will build on the earlier charter flights we organised back from China, Japan, Cuba, Ghana and Peru.
‘The arrangements agreed today will provide a clearer basis to organise special charter flights where Britons find themselves stranded.
‘Our priority will always be the most vulnerable.’
British Airways declined to comment.
So far, Texas has seen 5,253 confirmed cases on the coronavirus and 652 deaths as of 2 April. In total, the U.S. has seen 245,356 total cases, and is quickly outpacing the number of cases seen in other countries.
The U.S has seen its number of cases rapidly increase over the last week. A week ago, the US had just over 100,000 cases
The U.S. is quickly out-pacing other country’s cases. Last week, it became the first with over 100,000 cases. It now has over 245,000.
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