A handicapped passenger on a recent United Airlines flight was forced to crawl to his wheelchair when no one offered to help him get of the plane.
A man from Virginia, who suffers from cerebral palsy, found himself crawling from a United Airlines flight because no one, especially the crew on the flight, would assist him. D’Arcee Neal removed himself from the plane by crawling down the aisle of the plane to his regular wheelchair that waited outside for him.
Neal had just flown United into Reagan National Airport in Washington, DC from San Francisco. He was returning from San Francisco after giving a speech on being handicapped and the accessibility of transportation. He kept waiting in his seat, according to the Huffington Post, hoping someone from the flight crew would help him.
The federal Air Carrier Access Act is extremely specific with regard to such cases. The law states that all airlines must assist any and all handicapped persons during boarding as well as upon landing. They must, also, assist a handicapped passenger to and from their seats for any and all purposes.
Neal explained that he was waiting for well over a half hour for someone to assist him. In the meantime, he had to use the restroom so he crawled. He stated that he was really expecting the flight crew to come over and help him but he said they just stood there and stared at him. Neal said that the whole experience was quite humiliating and that no one should have to go through such a thing.
On top of all of that, the flight crew told the agents at the gate that they didn’t need a wheelchair. When the United staff realized their mistake, it was too late. Neal was already determined to crawl away from the plane. Neal said that he just made it to his wheelchair and wanted to head home after a long flight from the West Coast. He didn’t lodge a complaint because he figured that United could not have cared less about his situation.
One of the crew members did, however, report the incident. Neal received a profound apology from United as well as $300 for his trouble.