Tags: darcee neal | crawls | united

D'Arcee Neal Crawls Off United Flight to Get to the Restroom

Image: D'Arcee Neal Crawls Off United Flight to Get to the Restroom
 (D'Arcee Neal)

By    |   Tuesday, 27 Oct 2015 06:32 AM

D'Arcee Neal, a disabilities advocate, had to crawl off a United Airlines flight at Reagan National Airport, reportedly because there wasn't an aisle assist chair available when he needed to use a restroom.

Neal, who suffers from cerebral palsy, was returning from a speaking engagement about accessible transportation, according to the Huffington Post.

"I mean, it's humiliating," said Neal, who lives in Virginia, in telling WRC-TV about the Oct. 20 incident. "No one should have to do what I did."

Neal said United didn't provide him with an aisle chair and a person to assist him off the flight when other passengers were disembarking. He apparently was asked to wait but said he crawled off the plane because he needed to use the restroom and could wait no longer.

"I was trying to get them to understand that this is why I don't want to wait another 15 to 20 minutes," said Neal.

Neal complained to CNN that flight attendants watched as he crawled alone down the aisle and gangway.

"I expected them to ask to assist me, but they just stared," said Neal.

A United spokesman said an aisle chair was available when the airplane reached the gate but was removed mistakenly and was not there to help Neal disembark.

"As customers began to exit the aircraft, we made a mistake and told the agent with the aisle chair that it was no longer needed, and it was removed from the area," the airline said in a statement. "When we realized our error – that Mr. Neal was onboard and needed the aisle chair – we arranged to have it brought back, but it arrived too late."

The American Association of People With Disabilities told the Huffington Post that Department of Transportation received more than 27,500 disability-related complaints last year.

"The ACAA has been a law on the books for nearly 30 years," said Helena Berger, president of the association. "Yet people with disabilities are still treated like second class citizens when traveling by plane. Airlines can and must to do better."


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D'Arcee Neal, a disabilities advocate, had to crawl off a United Airlines flight at Reagan National Airport, reportedly because there wasn't an aisle assist chair available when he needed to use a restroom.
darcee neal, crawls, united
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2015-32-27
Tuesday, 27 Oct 2015 06:32 AM
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