A Virginia native with cerebral palsy was forced to crawl off an airplane after United Airlines employees failed to assist him.
According to NBC Washington, DArcee Neal was waiting for an aisle-sized chair from an airline worker after arriving at Reagan National Airport Tuesday evening. When no one showed up to help him into his wheelchair, he was forced to crawl off the plane.
Neal, who happens to be a disability rights activist, called the experience “humiliating.”
He was returning from San Francisco, where he gave a speech about accessible transit for disabled people.
NBC Washington reports:
“I was like, ‘I don’t have time for this,'” Neal told the NBC affiliate. “I decided to get out and crawl down the plane to my chair. I mean, it’s humiliating,” he added. “No one should have to do what I did.”
United Airlines said it regrets the delay in providing an aisle chair to assist Neal.
“Half the time, I feel like airlines treat people with disabilities as a secondary concern,” Neal said.
The Air Carrier Access Act “guarantees consistent service to passengers with disabilities, but complaints are up 9 percent in the past year,” the site reports.
Sadly, Neal’s story is all too common. The Huffington Post reports that in 2014, over 27,500 disability-related complaints were filed with the Department of Transportation.
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