Marine double amputee ‘humiliated’ to point of tears on Delta flight

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by sobore, Dec 16, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/mar...ta-flight-gets-helping-hand-from-fellow-vets/

    “I have been flying with Delta for a gazillion years and this crew treated Chris worse than you’d treat any thing, not even any body.” That was the opening line of retired Army Lt. Col. Keith Gafford,
    during a phone interview about the egregious treatment on Delta Airlines of fellow veteran, Marine Lance Cpl. Christian Brown, who is now a double amputee following severe injuries acquired while serving in Afghanistan.

    “I did 27 years in the military. I have seen a lot of things and have seen a lot of guys die, but I have never seen a Marine cry,” added Gafford. “What the kid said was, ‘I have given everything that I can give and this is the way I am being treated? This is how I will be treated for the rest of my life?’”

    Gafford’s stern words came in defense of Brown, who just last Sunday was “humiliated” to the point of tears during a Delta flight from Atlanta to Washington. According to the Washington Post, the Marine was treated disrespectfully and clumsily when he was wheeled to the very back of the plane.

    Read More: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/mar...ta-flight-gets-helping-hand-from-fellow-vets/
     
  2. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    Ah yes, this story...if anyone has followed it on FT, they know the discussion has been colorful, to say the least.

    I in no way contest the DL staff could have handled this situation better, but I do have a few questions...keep in mind, I am a veteran and am still serving...

    - Was the Marine at the gate and did he request pre-boarding? IME, I have yet to see DL not allow wheelchair pax to pre-board. If he showed up late to the gate, they were not going to offload a plane to get him to his seat...granted the GAs could have tried to address the issue when he arrived at the gate..
    - Was his reservation annotated with his being disabled and was there a request for a seat closer to the front?
    - WHY in the world was someone with a 104F temperature traveling!? I suspect this likely affected his mental state. Most I know in this state do not go to work/school/travel when this is the case.

    Delta blog post related to this incident:
    http://blog.delta.com/

    The thing about a story like this is that it directly appeals to peoples' emotions...I do not like to see anyone mistreated, but I'd also like all of the facts of the situation before passing judgement either way, which we're unlikely to get.
     
  3. USAF_Pride
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    USAF_Pride Gold Member

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    While I agree with everything, the part I can not figure out, is why the crew didn't allow one of the F customers to give up there seat that offered it? (and yes, I am a veteran)
     
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  4. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Connection in Atlanta could be a contributing factor to not being able to pre-board.

    Letting the Marine take one of the offered F seats would probably have been faster than the wheelchair parade to row 30+.

    I am looking forward to hearing Delta's explanation of what happened.
     
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  5. secretsea18
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    secretsea18 Gold Member

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    I read the story and the reason he was flying WAS to get to Walter Reed Medical Center, possibly because of the fever.
    There is no comment about the other things you mention regarding arrival at gate, notation about disability in record, etc.
    I have yet to board a flight in recent memory that does not specifically welcome soldiers in uniform or with orders to preboard even before F boards. As he was not in uniform or on orders that specific situation would not have applied, however, he should have been boarded in the pre-boarding period with the wheelchair. Applies to DL or other carriers in the US at this time.
    I would guess that the party was not at the gate at the onset of boarding. I can't believe that a GA would not board him first and move him to one of the reserved seats for those with handicaps at the front of the Y cabin.
    Shame on the FAs for not allowing the gentleman to sit in the offered F seats.
     
  6. BamaGirl
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    BamaGirl Silver Member

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    There have been a few times when I have reminded GAs (both in ATL and other cities) of passengers in wheelchairs who have been bypassed during preboarding. Each time I have been told that they are waiting for the contractors to wheel the passenger down. So, I think it is entirely possible that he was at the gate and having to wait for the service provider.
     
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  7. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    I get that he was returning to Walter Reed, but even the military does not typically expect a service member to travel if very ill, which a 104f temp usually indicates. We can be seen just about anywhere in an emergency.
     
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