Blind Woman: I Was Kicked Off Flight, Called a 'Danger'

American Airlines says it's investigating her claims
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2017 5:24 PM CDT
Blind Woman: I Was Kicked Off Flight, Called a 'Danger'
   (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

American Airlines may have violated the Air Carrier Access Act after allegedly kicking a blind woman and her service dog off a flight and calling her a "danger," the Portland Press Herald reports. Sue Martin, 61, and her husband had booked seats in a bulkhead row on a flight between Washington DC and Dallas because they typically have more room for her German shepherd to sit at her feet. But this particular plane actually had less legroom at the bulkhead. According to WLBZ, Martin asked multiple times to change seats but was refused. She says she was even told by a ticketing agent that she couldn't upgrade to first class because service dogs aren't allowed in first class. American Airlines does not appear to have such a policy.

After a man in first class let Martin take his seat, she says she was asked to leave the plane. "I felt helpless, I felt afraid," Martin says. "I was terrified." She says she never became combative and has no idea why she was asked to get off the flight. She says it's the first problem she's had flying with a service dog in 30 years. Martin had to book a new flight out of a completely different airport. The Dallas Morning News reports Martin has filed multiple complaints regarding the March 1 incident, and American Airlines says it's investigating. Martin says the whole experience ruined her trip and has made her dread flying. "I've never been so humiliated and traumatized," she tells the Press Herald. (Read more service dog stories.)

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