Blind Man and Dog Booted from Flight Causes Outrage


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The rare event of a flight cancellation via evacuation of the plane occurred Wednesday, after a blind man and his service dog were ejected from a US Airways jet.

Albert Rizzi was instructed that his service dog Doxy had to stay under the seat in front of him. After Doxy allegedly began roaming the aisle a bit, flight attendants ordered Rizzi to control his dog. According to US Airways, Rizzi then became verbally abusive, and was removed from the flight. Other passengers became so outraged that the captain emerged from the cockpit, and told everyone that the flight was cancelled.

Rizzi and other passengers claim that Doxy barely moved and wasn't misbehaving. Twitter user Sophie B recounted the events as they'd unfolded:

After the flight was canceled, all passengers, along with Rizzi and his dog, were driven by bus from Philadelphia to Long Island. Rizzi and Doxy eventually made it home:

US Airways released this statement on the matter: "On flight 4384 from Philadelphia to Islip, Long Island a customer with a seeing eye dog was asked to keep his dog near his feet when the dog was walking up and down the aisle. The protocol for service animals is to keep them at foot of the passenger. When a flight attendant asked the passenger to keep the dog where it needed to stay for safety reason the passenger got verbally abusive. A decision was made to return to the gate to take the passenger and the dog off the plane. At that point, other customers were unhappy about the situation. The crew did not feel comfortable operating the plane so a decision was made to cancel the flight and U.S. Airways bussed the passengers to Islip NY."

Another passenger, Frank Ohlhorst, stated, "When we, the passengers, realized what was going on, we were like, 'Why is this happening? He's not a problem. What is going on?'" Rizzi said he was "humbled" by the reactions of the other passengers, who ended up joining him on the bus ride to Long Island.

Image via YouTube.