The incident occurred while boarding an Allegiant flight from Springfield, MO, to Los Angeles, where the woman was flying to visit her daughter and grandkids.
The woman KY3 News that the problems began when she asked a flight attendant to help guide her to the plane’s restroom: “She said, you need to put that [her cane] away! And I said, I will after I am seated, but I’m going to the bathroom and I’ve got to get back to my seat.”
Back in her seat, the woman says she talked a flight attendant and the person sitting next to her about switching out of her window seat.
“I said, I’m impaired visually, and it’s a waste of a view,” the woman explains.
After trading seats, the woman says she was approached by a crew member who she asked, “do you have your cane? And I said, yes, I do. It’s right here in my sheath. And he says, can you unbuckle your seat belt and come with me?”
After being escorted off the plane, the passenger says she was told that the flight crew had determined she was a threat.
“I was in shock. I was scared, and I was devastated,” she recalls. “I didn’t want to be in a wheel chair, because it was demeaning to me to begin with.”
The woman says she then had to wait two hours for someone to come take her back home.
A rep for Allegiant tells KY3:
“The passenger was being disruptive to the other passengers around her, and unfortunately, I do not have specific details about exactly what disruptive means…
“When flight attendants tried to address her, she appeared extremely intoxicated and smelled of alcohol. She was combative to the flight attendants, and it was at that point that the flight attendants made the judgement call to remove her from the flight.”
The passenger says she did have two drinks at the airport over the course of two hours, but says she never raised her voice or cursed at Allegiant staff. She also thinks that the flight attendants might have misread her body language.
“I’m imbalanced, because I have one eye worse than the other,” she explains. “I did not feel intoxicated at all.”
Allegiant has refunded the passenger’s money.
Thanks to Angela for the tip!