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Home » All Posts » Airline passengers refuse to fly after a blind man and his guide dog are removed from the plane

Airline passengers refuse to fly after a blind man and his guide dog are removed from the plane

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Airline passengers refuse to fly after
a blind man and his guide dog are removed from the plane

Be Sure to Slip Your Baggage Handler
at Least $20 So You Can Keep Your Baggage
(Overall, This is the Typical ‘Humanity’ One Finds at Today’s Airlines)

The Daily Walk with Miracles, November 14, 2013, from Airline passengers refuse to fly after a blind man and his guide dog are removed from the plane, The Raw Story, November 14, 2013, by Travis Gettys. video courtesy of CBS KYH-TV, photograph courtesy of The Raw Story:

Airline passengers rallied around a blind man Wednesday night after he and his guide dog were removed from the plane.

Albert Rizzi and his seeing eye dog tried to board a US Airways express flight from Philadelphia International Airport to Long Island, but passengers said flight attendants would not allow him to bring the animal onto the plane unless it could travel under a seat.

   

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photograph of disabled blind man Albert Rizzi and his guide dog

   

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Blind Man, Albert Rizzi
& Guide Dog, Kicked Off Flight

The flight was delayed for about an hour and a half on the tarmac, and the dog became restless, and other passengers said a flight attendant ordered Rizzi and his guide dog off the plane.

“The lady comes back and gets very insistent, and I said, ‘Look, I don’t understand what you want me to do,’” Rizzi said. “’He’s as best as he can, he’s where he needs to be,’ and I hear nobody else moving, and as I’m walking to the front, I’m like, wait a second, why am I the only one getting off?”

The rest of the passengers banded together and said they refused to fly unless the man and his dog were permitted back onto the plane.

“Blind man and his dog just got kicked off @USAirways after we’ve been on the tarmac an hour, bc dog wiggled a bit. Whole plane outraged,” one passenger tweeted from the flight.

Another passenger said the flight attendant gave Rizzi about one minute to calm his dog before removing him.

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“He tried to do whatever he could, and she went back to the front of the plane,” the passenger said. “We were taxiing like we were going to take off, and at that point in time, we’re about to take off, and all the sudden the captain gets on the PA and says we have to head back to the terminal … We were all [...] kind of raised our voices and said this is a real problem. So the captain winds up coming out of the cockpit, and he basically asked us all to leave the aircraft.”

US Airways officials say Rizzi was verbally abusive to the flight attendant and that crew safety was a factor in removing the blind man and his dog from the plane.

The other passengers were boarded onto a bus and driven to Long Island, where they arrived about 2:30 a.m.

The airline is investigating the incident.

Watch this video report posted online by KYH-TV, above.

See Blind Man, Guide Dog Kicked Off Flight In Philadelphia, CBS Philly, November 14, 2013, by CBS:

"What I’m concerned about is that there are tremendous number of individuals in the disabled community who might not have the stamina, the strength, the confidence to stand up for their rights and speak out against these types of ridiculous perceived rules," Rizzi said.

See Facts About the Americans with Disabilities Act, The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, no date, no author.

Paul Evans: If this was the airline’s express policy, boycott USAirways. If the captain made these decisions, discipline him. Or (he said sarcasticaly), perhaps they should have taken the traditional solution big business airliners take, for example, for fat people: charge Rizzi for two seats, for both him as well as his guide dog. Anything but kick the guy and his dog off of the flight. Back in 1990, congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act, which theoretically "creates the opportunity for everyone with a disability to live a life of freedom and equality." Beyond that, don’t they even care about the terrible publicity being generated by this whole incident? Apparently not enough.

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