Flier With Disabilities Crawls Off Plane After Airline Assist Fails to Show Up
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D’Arcee Neal of United Cerebral Palsy had just arrived at Reagan National Airport from San Francisco after a speaking engagement related to accessible transportation Tuesday night when he had an encounter with inaccessible transportation, NBC Washington reported.
Neal, who has disabilities, required an aisle chair and assistance in disembarking from the aircraft — but neither materialized.
With no United Airlines staff showing up and Neal requiring use of the restroom, he crawled up the aisle to the door, NBC said.
"I mean, it's humiliating," he told NBC. "No one should have to do what I did."
United Airlines said to NBC it “regrets the delay in providing an aisle chair to assist Neal.”
The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) said to NBC that such problems “happen too often” on airlines.
NBC cited The Air Carrier Access Act, stating that it "guarantees consistent service to passengers with disabilities," but added that "complaints are up 9 percent in the past year.”
"Half the time, I feel like airlines treat people with disabilities as a secondary concern," Neal declared to NBC.
Dara Baldwin of the NDRN revealed to NBC that in 2014, the organization received “over 27,500 complaints in reference to things like this, so it is not uncommon," adding, "I hate to say that."
Lawyer Amy Scherer told NBC she also has been left waiting on a plane as well, and in fact, her travel companions ended up carrying her off.
"We got tired of waiting that long," she said.
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