American Airlines Forces Disabled Woman To Crawl (VIDEO)

American Airlines Forces Disabled Woman To Crawl (VIDEO)

American Airlines forced a wheelchair-bound woman to crawl onto the plane and to her seat, and now she’s fighting back so others don’t have to go through the same ordeal.

Theresa Purcell is a frequent flyer. She flies all around the country for her job as a hip-hop artist. Because of a bone disease, Purcell needs a wheelchair and provides airlines, including American Airlines, with that information ahead of time so they can provide her with an access ramp to roll onto the plane without leaving her wheelchair.

But when Purcell arrived for her flight, the gate attendant refused to have the ramp set up so she could board, even though it was right there and could easily have been set up. If Purcell wanted to fly, she’d have to crawl onto the plane and down the aisle to her seat. And that is exactly what American Airlines forced her to do.

“I was humiliated. It was embarrassing to have 50-something people watch you crawl into a plane,” Purcell told KHON 2 News. “There was a ramp right next to the plane and she was like, ‘Oh, it’s too late.’ So I was like ‘Okay, so we can’t just, the ramp is right there. Can’t you guys just push it right here so I can get on?’ and she’s like, ‘Oh, I’m sorry.’”

But Purcell is not letting the humiliating incident go without a fight. She has filed a lawsuit seeking $75,000 in compensation for the embarrassment and illegal treatment she suffered in the hopes that all airlines will think twice before forcing a disabled person to crawl onto a plane.

“You wouldn’t want to watch your family member crawl onto a plane. I mean, come on, this is America. I’m just saying there’s always a way. Is today another time where I have to climb onto an airplane again, where all these people have to watch me embarrass myself again, and I gotta be there, hoping please, I hope I never see these people again?”

Here’s the video via KHON 2 News.

Believe it or not, this outrageous incident has happened before. In 2012, Delta Airlines forced Baraka Kanaan to crawl across the tarmac THREE times to access his seat on the plane and then to his wheelchair afterward. Kanaan had to use a wheelchair after a car crash resulted in crippling spinal injuries twelve years earlier. He had filed a lawsuit as a way to prevent it from happening again, but apparently, some airlines aren’t getting the message.

The fact is, these are two separate instances involving two different airlines that have violated federal laws banning discrimination against people with disabilities.

The Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits discrimination against the disabled. And the Air Carrier Access Act of 1986 protects the disabled by prohibiting commercial airlines from discriminating against passengers with disabilities.

But for some reason, airlines continue to treat disabled human beings as inconveniences.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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