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Saturday, February 24, 2024

WATCH: Passenger with wheelchair forced to walk off plane

News has showcased two distressing incidents that shed light on the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities during air travel.

In one case, a woman who was paralysed had to drag herself across the plane as staff failed to provide assistance or offer suitable accommodation.

This incident highlights the lack of support for people with disabilities in such situations.

In another case, Jess, who relies on wheelchair assistance, contacted the airport in advance, to ensure a seamless travel experience, only to be met with disappointment as her efforts went unrecognised.

While on a connecting flight, she was forced to leave the plane on foot despite her requirement for mobility aid. The situation got worse when she was met with criticism and reproach from the airport staff for requesting wheelchair assistance. In a video, Jess shared her journey from New York to Minnesota, where she sought medical treatment at the Mayo Clinic.

@whatthejesss The long awaited Chicago airport storytime 👀 It’s just crazy to me that the individuals who helped me in Albany & Minnesota were so incredible, yet this is what Chicago (ORD) thinks is acceptable? It is absolutely ridiculous that I experienced this when accomodations were in place. There needs to be accountability among these employees it is completely unacceptable. Do better ✌🏻 #chronicillness #invisibleillness #disability #spoonie #awareness #accomodation #ableism #storytime #ada #ord #chicago #airport #tsa #americanairlines #medicaljourney #healthtravel #medicaltravel #travel #traveltiktok #mayoclinic #giissues #dysautonomia #syncope #fainting #vlog #mobility #mobilityaid #wheelchair #airline #dobetter #accountability ♬ original sound – Jess ✌🏻

Jess’s expectation of receiving proper accommodation and wheelchair assistance for her flights was shattered when she landed in Chicago. Despite being informed that she would be the last person to disembark due to needing a wheelchair, she found herself waiting alone after all other passengers had left.

To her surprise, a staff member approached her and asked if she could walk a few steps. Unaware of his intention, Jess agreed to give it a try. However, she soon realised that he expected her to walk off the plane and navigate through the tunnel into the terminal.

After being asked to walk off the plane, Jess tripped and fell before passing out. Although an employee eventually brought a wheelchair, they pushed her too fast. When Jess asked the employee to slow down, he yelled at her. Eventually, Jess was placed in an airport terminal car and sped toward her gate. Other employees also yelled at her to hurry up. Jess warns others with mobility issues not to use the Chicago airport, especially the man who pushed her in the wheelchair.

This account sheds light on the importance of providing seamless travel experiences for individuals requiring mobility assistance.

Read the latest issue of IOL Travel digital magazine here.

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