A Hawaiian man is suing Delta Airlines after they allegedly forced him to crawl on and off his flights and across the tarmac because they didn't have the right equipment to aid him.
D. Baraka Kanaan, who is from Haiku, Hawaii, says he was left partially disabled after a car accident and called the airline well ahead of time to let them know he would need an aisle wheelchair and a lift to help get him in and out of the chair. The spokesperson, Kanaan says, assured him they would have everything ready. However, when he arrived at the airport to board his flight to Nantucket, he was informed they had no such equipment and was, subsequently, forced to crawl out of the plane upon arrival and across the tarmac to his own wheelchair.
"They basically watched me crawl," said Kanaan. "It was a completely absurd situation."
After filing a complaint with Delta officials, he was assured there would be proper equipment for his flight home. But once again, he was forced to crawl. Delta employees, he claims, wouldn't help him because they didn't want to be held responsible for any injury. Now, he's suing the airline for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.
"We are appalled by the treatment of Mr. Kanaan by Delta Air Lines, and this is not the first instance of misconduct by Delta Air Lines towards disabled people, and we hope in Mr. Kanaan's case, he can be vindicated in court," said Brian Brazier, one of Kanaan's attorneys.
Delta hasn't commented on the incidents because of the pending court case, but included in Kanaan's claim is an accusation that Delta has had trouble accomodating customers before.
"Just a year before, Delta received no less than 5,000 complaints against it and was ordered to pay record breaking fines for its persistent 'egregious' mistreatment of disabled passengers," the paperwork states.