**Update: I have been contacted by Delta and I have received an apology. Along with other assurances. Now we wait and watch to ensure they make real changes in how they handle the most at-risk who just want to travel safely.
I was scheduled to fly with Delta Air Lines flight #5593 Tuesday, June 27th out of Dulles at 7:55 pm arriving in Boston, Mass at 9:39 pm. It’s not easy to travel when you have rare incurable illnesses making basic movement difficult. I walk with a crutch cane and am limited in how much and for how long I can walk.
I’m not lazy and I didn’t ask to be disabled. It truly sucks that I can’t walk to the gate. That standing in long lines for long periods of time would leave me in a heap of embarrassment in terrible pain and spasm. Or unconscious from the severity of the suffering that would cause.
Traveling takes strategy. I stick to the rules and set up wheelchair service in advance. As I did that day. Yes, your staff took care of me and got me to the gate. I was happy in those moments. Then the announcement of my flight cancelation and a woman yelling to all of us that she was sorry but we wouldn’t be able to be rebooked until Friday! I panicked I didn’t have enough medication to last till Friday. Fighting back tears I said what do I do? She instructed us to go to customer service at gate 15.
No one would help me. No one even looked out for me. You knew I needed a wheelchair to get to the gate and even to the plane door on some long and downhill ramps. Why don’t you look out for your clients when you know we exist? It’s on the boarding manifest that I need help, why did you abandon me at the gate? Leaving me to make my way to gate 15 where I stood in a line for 30-45 minutes. No one would help me watching me try to stand there pouring in sweat and suffering. I was offered a refund by the loud lady. Finally at the counter and my turn I couldn’t get a word out without crying. I broke and said what do I do? How do I get my luggage now unloaded and in baggage claim? I need help I can’t even get out of this terminal to get downstairs on my own.
I felt small and humiliated crying, shaking, and exhausted. Finally, an agent got a wheelchair for me to sit in while she looked at my options or lack thereof. She did find someone to push the wheelchair down to baggage but I had to plead with them to not leave me there. To take me back to ticketing where I might be able to get on another flight with a different airline.
I think it’s really horrible that you don’t have policies to deal with this type of situation. You shouldn’t leave disabled people abandoned at the gate of canceled flights and call it a day. You need to fix this deficit in your policies and I hope it serves as a cautionary tale to other airlines not to leave us abandoned and alone like Delta did.