The airline industry is fighting to get back to its former glory. The good news is that the economy is starting to bounce back, and people are travelling again. The only thing that can hold back the airlines is a bunch of bad press. Unfortunately, that is just what is happening to Delta Air Lines, which now finds itself with more PR problems than it knows what to do with.
D. Baraka Kanaan is a man who became paralysed in car accident in 2000. According to a court filing, Kanaan said that he was forced to crawl down the stairs of a Delta plane and across the tarmac. During this time, the Delta Air Lines crew did nothing to help him. This now marks the second time that the airline has been accused of being unhelpful to people who are disabled.
Kanaan, who is a former college professor, said that he was unable to walk, and the airline refused to help accommodate him for his disability. This resulted in him crawling down the aisle of the plane, down the flight steps and across the tarmac. The court filing showed that this happened at a Massachusetts airport. To make matters even worse, this did not just happen once; it has happened twice.
The lawsuit was filed back on July 23 of this year in a Federal District Court in Hawaii. In the filing, Kanaan claims that he called the customer service preventative of Delta Air Lines several weeks before his scheduled trip. He did this to let them know about his disability and to make sure that the plane would have an aisle chair to help get him to his seat. The representative at the time told him that this would not be a problem.
Kanaan did say that his initial flight had to be cancelled due to weather. It was at this time that he booked another flight on the very next day. When he arrived at the airport, he was told that the flight attendants had no idea that he was going to need an aisle chair. Thus they had no way to get him down the aisle or to lift him into the plane seat.
Before heading back home, Kanaan said that he called Delta Air Lines and reported the incident. He also wanted to make sure that the equipment would be available this time on his flight. Despite this, when he arrived at the airport again, he was told that the equipment still was not available. This time, the flight attendant offered to put a piece of cardboard on the ground so that his clothes would not get dirty. Overall, Kanaan said that this was a very humiliating ordeal that he had to go through twice.
When Kanaan finally arrived back home, Delta Air Lines offered him a $100 voucher and 25,000 sky miles. This was an offer that he refused to take. He said that he refused it because he might again have to crawl on his hands and knees to fly with them.