A woman flying from Atlanta to Amsterdam was allegedly tied to a wheelchair with a dirty blanket by Delta Air Lines personnel when she arrived, her son claims.
Maria Saliagas, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis five years ago, visits Europe with her husband on an annual basis. Delta gate agents at the destination airport usually provide her, by prearrangement, with a wheelchair that contains straps to enable her to sit up straight, Action News WSB-TV in Atlanta reported.
There was allegedly no such accommodation waiting for her when she arrived in Amsterdam on April 1, Nathan Saliagas wrote in a Facebook post earlier this week, however, describing what happened as equivalent to physical and emotional abuse.
“The Delta employee thought it would be appropriate to tie my mother with someone else’s dirty blanket, in such a way it has left bruise marks on her arms. When she started crying, she was told to ‘shut the f*** up’ or she will be ‘left there.’ This highly inhumane and disgusting treatment by Delta Airlines is unacceptable and a need for change.”
In an interview with WSB-TV, Nathan characterized the incident as a “complete operations failure.”
A Delta representative provided WSB-TV with the following statement.
“We regret the perception our service has left on these customers. We have reached out to them, not only to resolve their concerns, but also ensure that their return flight exceeds expectations.”
Delta further told the New York Post that it provided Mrs. Saliagas with a range of options when her flight landed, and because she was slipping in the chair that she selected, “the wheelchair assistant [suggested] using blankets as a way to secure her to the chair.” Delta said the traveler agreed, and that the blankets were new, right out of the box.
The air carrier has offered the family 20,000 frequent flyer miles, but the Saliagas family,instead, has called upon Delta Air Lines to implement improvements in services to passengers with disabilities. Maria Saliagas and her husband are booked on an April 30 Delta return flight.
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Separately, Atlanta-based Delta Air lines made national news last month when it reportedly paid a huge price for ending a discount offered to National Rifle Association members. The 13 passengers who purchased tickets with the NRA one-time discount cost the airline a fuel tax exemption in the range of $40 to $50 million when a Georgia law sponsored by pro-Second Amendment legislators went into effect that abolished the tax break.