American Airlines Baggage Delivery Receipt Calls Couple ‘Deaf And Dumb’

It’s hard to imagine anything that could sour the vacation-high experienced after a beautiful, relaxing trip to Hawaii. Lost luggage? No big deal, we’ll patiently wait for it. But a hurtful, insensitive note attached to said luggage when it returns? That’s grounds to never use the airline again says a deaf Houston couple.

When the couple received their lost luggage they were horrified to find a hurtful message scrawled on the baggage delivery receipt, KRTK-TV in Houston reports.

“Please Text. Deaf and Dumb.”

Rightfully offended by the note, the couple contacted American Airlines asking for an apology and disciplinary action against the person responsible.

The couple has yet to hear from the airline personally, but KRTK did receive a statement from American officials.

While the statement does apologize to the couple, it merely calls the message “a poor choice of words.” That doesn’t seem like much of an apology.

“We apologize to [the couple]. It was clearly a very poor choice of words. We’re confident there was no ill will, but we’ll be looking into this further and will be following up with our team members at IAH and the contractor that provides our baggage delivery services.”

“That person needs to be fired,” the man’s mother tells KRTK. “The dumb one is the one who write the note.”

The couple says if they receive a sincere apology from American they would consider using the airline again.

Couple seeks apology from American Airlines after insensitive message left on luggage [KRTK-TV Houston]

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  1. mobafett says:

    “Dumb” in this context means unable to speak. Why is that offensive?

    • MarthaGaill says:

      That’s what I was thinking. Are they just looking for an excuse to be angry?

    • JoeBlow says:

      Of course, if they want someone fired for what looks like an honest mistake (the message indicates that the person delivering the lost luggage should text the recipient, because as a deaf person, a phone call may not be as effective,) the dumb part may be accidentally accurate if you take it out of the context of the message.

    • theoriginalcatastrophegirl says:

      that’s what i was thinking, although (i may very well be wrong about this) isn’t “mute” a more politically correct term these days?

      • JoeBlow says:

        If it is, that just means that “mute” is the next step on the euphemism treadmill. Looking on wikipedia, it actually looks like “deaf-mute” is viewed as derogatory, and that identifying as “deaf” is preferred. I’m not sure if intentionally leaving out the information regarding the ability to speak is supposed to be met with the assumption that they can, or the assumption that they can’t. Learn something new every day. I think it was last week that I learned “Polack” is apparently a derogatory term from an internet news story, in spite of it being the Anglicization of the Polish word “Polak.” (again, my source for this is wikipedia) Until then, I just assumed it was interchangeable with the term “Pole.”

        I’m not completely convinced that there is much value in changing some terms to be “politically correct.” And I’m mostly against people getting up in arms about honest mistakes.

      • LauraNorthrup says:

        People don’t really use “mute” anymore–I believe it’s a political thing, since Deaf culture would argue that communicating in a different language (sign) doesn’t make you mute any more than speaking Spanish makes you mute.

        I know we have some deaf readers who might see this exchange and correct me, but I think the categories, if people would use them today, are “deaf” and “oral deaf” to mean someone who primarily speaks and lipreads.

    • IMakeMyOwnSnarkAtHome says:

      Exactly what I was going to post. Ignorant people.

  2. craftman1 says:

    Tomorrow’s story:

    “American Airlines calls a couple to let them know their baggage is being delivered. Couple is deaf and didn’t hear the phone ring, so the luggage stays on the van and the couple has to drive ALL THE WAY TO THE AIRPORT to pick it up. Couple demands apology and a text message next time, maybe some sort of process put in place to notify the delivery service that the couple cannot hear the phone ring.”

  3. CommonC3nts says:

    Wait a couple who are deaf and dumb are complaining about the airline passing along the info to their employees???
    WTF is wrong with them?
    Maybe instead of being deaf and dumb these people are also stupid.