On July 20th, Julianna’s (delayed) Delta flight landed in Atlanta at 7:30pm, with a connecting flight scheduled for 8:05pm. Julianna, who has muscular dystrophy, missed the connecting flight because nobody came with a wheelchair until 8:05—the same time the connecting flight took off. To make matters worse, the plane crew told Julianna she might make the flight anyway if she stopped waiting for help and got off the plane right now, so she crawled down the stairs on her own. When the wheelchair came she was “wheeled into a back room and advised” that her plane had taken off. But that was just the first half of her ordeal, and the next eight hours only got worse.
The employees in this room were debating who would get me to the ticket gate to be re-ticketed because it was no one’s job and the appropriate personnel were not responding to their calls. After that was resolved I was given a new boarding pass for a flight expected to leave at 12:55 AM. Then this person advised me she cannot get me from a D Gate to Gate A9. She again called for the appropriate personnel who never showed. We waited by an elevator for someone she convinced to bring me over to Gate A even though it was not his job. I had to beg him to stop at a bathroom entrance and to wait for me and then he finally delivered me to Gate A9.
I was given a meal voucher for my INCONVENIENCE but could not purchase any food because again there was no one to bring me to an eating establishment, never mind wait on the long line for me to make a food purchase.
At 11:15 I advised the gate attendant I was dehydrated and cramping because I could not purchase any water. This is the only nice employee that treated me with dignity. The flight I was transferred to was supposed to leave at 10:22 PM but was delayed until 1:30 AM. This gate attendant went and brought me water off of the plane.
This gate attendant also made sure she finally found some one at 11:15 PM to push me to obtain food and another bathroom break. I arrived in West Palm Beach at 3:15 AM with no ride and had to again crawl into the shuttle service to get home.
I understand plane delays and waiting at airports, but is this how you treat your handicapped passengers???
The text above is from a letter Julianna has sent to Richard Anderson, Delta’s CEO, who we hope will do more than send her another food voucher—like take real steps to make sure handicapped passengers are treated with a minimum of respect when they’re traveling.
(Thanks to Chris)
(Photo: Andrei Dimofte)