LifestyleDisabled man forced to crawl off an airplane. Some people looked away

Disabled man forced to crawl off an airplane. Some people looked away

A scandalous situation occurred on board an Air Canada plane.
A scandalous situation occurred on board an Air Canada plane.
Images source: © Adobe Stock | Studio Porto Sabbia
ed. MSI

9:16 AM EDT, October 31, 2023

A couple traveling to Las Vegas for their anniversary suffered humiliation on board an Air Canada aircraft. The male passenger, who is disabled, was denied assistance in exiting the plane by the crew. He was forced to muster his own strength to leave the aircraft.

Rodney Hodgins lives with spastic cerebral palsy. But despite this, the 49-year-old leads a normal life, all thanks to his specialized wheelchair. While his wheelchair made his travel to Las Vegas possible, not everything went according to his plan.

Flight crew refuses to assist disabled passenger

Upon arrival in Las Vegas, the disabled passenger requested the flight crew to bring a wheelchair to facilitate his exit from the plane. However, the Air Canada staff denied his request, stating that they needed to ready the plane for the next flight.

The wife of the disabled passenger shared on social media that the crew instructed her husband to leave the aircraft independently. Initially, the couple thought it was a joke, but when the crew reiterated the request, it was apparent they were on their own.

"I said, ‘Of course I can’t. I’m in a wheelchair. I can’t walk,'" clarified the 49-year-old man. Despite his explanation, the crew remained indifferent, and the couple took on this humiliating experience.

Passenger forced to crawl to the exit

Unwilling to obstruct the exit, the disabled passenger felt compelled to crawl through twelve rows to his wheelchair. His wife noted their mutual struggle transpired in front of many people.

"It took us struggling, in front of a dozen people as some looked away and others looked on with shame, to get him off that plane… he hurt his legs and I hurt my back - emotionally a lot more was hurt… Rod is the most beautiful human on the planet and didn't deserve this at all," said Deanna.

Air Canada offers compensation to the victims

In response to the scandalous incident, Air Canada issued a statement explaining that the company typically employs external specialists to assist passengers who need wheelchairs.

"Following our investigation into how this serious service lapse occurred, we will be evaluating other mobility assistance service partners in Las Vegas," the airline added. As a form of redress, the victims were offered a voucher worth 2,000 dollars.

Source: The Guardian

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