Delta Air Lines is under fire for deaf discrimination after Melissa Elmira Yingst and her girlfriend Socorro Garcia shared a post on Facebook that has since gone viral, documenting an incident they experienced while they prepared to fly back home together.
Since it was published on Sunday, the video has been viewed over 238,000 times with over 3,000 reactions, 3,000 shares, and 1,000 comments. According to Yahoo Lifestyle, the couple discovered they would not be sitting together on the flight during the preparations. They, however, had an airline employee assured them the seating issue would be fixed.
When the women arrived at the gate, however, what was promised to them was not the case. Moreover, the gate agent also denied the couple’s request to communicate by writing things down.
“At the gate, we communicated our request through iPhone and she kept talking to us without writing anything down,” Garcia said, as she recalled the troubling incident.
Garcia added her own recollections as she continued to explain what happened.
“I wanted to continue to communicate and decided to try and write on that same paper but instead of giving us the paper we asked for, she crumbled it in front of us and threw it in the trash.”
According to Garcia, her girlfriend Melissa had made several requests – which were ignored – for the gate agent to write down what she was saying, instead of continuing to speak to them as they could not hear her. She also recalled asking the gate agent why they had previously been told they would get to sit together, only for the airline employee to respond by rolling her eyes at the couple.
— Sara Nović (@NovicSara) January 31, 2019
According to Yahoo Lifestyle, Delta has issued an official statement regarding the incident. The airline, however, tells a different story about what happened.
Delta revealed they are “in contact” with the couple and reviewing the situation to understand exactly what happened during the exchange.
“We take situations like these very seriously and as part of our culture of continuous improvement, we are using this as an opportunity to learn.”
While the airline made the decision to refund the couple for the flight, they insisted it was Garcia “pushing” the gate agent that was the reason the duo were barred.
Deaf women claim Delta agent wouldn’t accommodate disability https://t.co/h5kNCI9Fug
— Eric Sanders, Esq. (@SandersFirmPC) January 31, 2019
Delta did acknowledge there were communication issues during the incident and plan on working to resolve those.
Melissa and Socorro claim that Delta’s account of what happened is not accurate, as Garcia never got physical with any of the airline employees during the altercation. According to Yingst, the couple’s bigger issue with the whole ordeal was not that they couldn’t sit together. It was that they were denied basic communication accommodations by the Delta employee.