Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles
Reload this Page >

Is Delta able to refuse a disabled passenger?

Is Delta able to refuse a disabled passenger?

Old Jun 23, 22, 4:57 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Somewhere
Programs: Delta Plat
Posts: 3,118
Is Delta able to refuse a disabled passenger?

I ask because I am on dl1829 right now and a gentlemen who is flying alone or at least I did not see anyone with him in his 50s and a bit husky but not super big was in a wheelchair.

when the gentlemen got to the airplane door he needed 2 people to help him up and then he leaned against the door with his limbs shaking for what I my watch clocked at 15 minutes until they could find someone to help walk him into the plane.

when they found someone he was able to get to 1D when the FA asked the young man sitting there to let the disabled man sit there briefly as the guy helping him was in obvious distress. it was hot in the Dominican Republic and the AC wasn’t working but this guy was sweating like he just ran a marathon.

the man sat and another 10 minutes passed before two other guys showed up and wheeled him to 40c.

there was a big discussion about what wheelchair to use. Seems like sdq didn’t want the flight attendants to use the one they had onboard. Really didn’t understand and I couldn’t hear the entire convo.

now I sit here wondering what if he needs to use the rest room, what about those next to him.

can delta refuse a severely disabled person flying alone?

I try never to let my mom fly alone and she’s mobile she can walk short distances and stand on her own but I try never let her fly alone.

I feel really bad for the gentlemen.

while the sdq jfk flight is considered a miracle flight I doubt this guy will walk off the plane on his own.
HWGeeks is offline  
Old Jun 23, 22, 5:13 pm
  #2  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Somewhere
Programs: Delta Plat
Posts: 3,118
Well my bathroom question just got answered two FAs wheeled him up to the 1st class bathroom
Auto Enthusiast likes this.
HWGeeks is offline  
Old Jun 23, 22, 5:14 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Minneapolis
Programs: DL DM
Posts: 1,897
I think if you are disabled as you describe, it is your responsibility to advise Delta gate agents. You can't just expect them to have personnel available as boarding starts to assist you at that point. (If I am reading your post correctly). I think overall, Delta (and most airlines) do their very best to help disabled people as much as possible, but a little heads up helps.
Mr. Tickets is offline  
Old Jun 23, 22, 5:29 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: NYC (LGA, JFK), CT
Programs: Delta Platinum, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Gold, AAdvantage Gold, Hyatt Exploits
Posts: 3,355
I think airlines (in general, not just Delta) can deny boarding if a customer appears medically unable to fly, but the airline I think then has to re-accomodate the passenger eventually. Based on what you describe it seems like FA/captain should have made an assessment regarding whether the passenger could fly.
ajf87 likes this.
Adelphos is offline  
Old Jun 23, 22, 5:30 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: miami, florida
Posts: 3,089
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in several areas, including employment, transportation, public accommodations, communications and access to state and local government programs and services.
sydneyracquelle is offline  
Old Jun 23, 22, 5:46 pm
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 18,894
There's a separate ACAA act for air travel as ADA does not actually apply to air travel. There's a few limited specific cases where airlines can require advance notice of condition (like if you require a stretcher for travel), but generally they can't deny travel to those with disabilities.

Last edited by xliioper; Jun 23, 22 at 7:33 pm
xliioper is online now  
Old Jun 23, 22, 6:00 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Programs: HH Diamond, MR Plat, HY Globule
Posts: 2,959
Interesting... never paid attention to DOT regs...
  • .... rule applies to all flights of U.S. airlines, and to flights to or from the United States by foreign airlines
  • Airlines may not require advance notice that a person with a disability is traveling.
  • Airlines are required to provide assis.tance with boarding, deplaning and making connections. Assistance within the cabin is also required, but not extensive personal services.
https://www.transportation.gov/airco...s-disabilities
xooz is offline  
Old Jun 23, 22, 6:04 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: RDU
Programs: DL DM+(segs)/MM, UA Ag, Hilton DM, Marriott Ti (life Pt), TSA Opt-out Platinum
Posts: 2,931
In my former days as a UA ramper, I recall one flight we had that came back from somewhere (KWI maybe). There was a gov't contractor on it who had been severely injured by an IED and was unable to move on his own. We had to bring the cargo loader up to the F cabin on a 744 and then it took 3 EMTs? (maybe CFR) to offload him and then they brought him down to a waiting escort on the ramp. I don't recall the circumstances surrounding this, but from what I understand it was quite the effort to get him off the aircraft. I remember thinking to myself that it seems risky/uncomfortable to put someone that injured on a TATL commercial flight (even in F). I never saw anything quite like that again.

I'm sure there are limits on what an airline is required to accept, but they have to be very careful to deny boarding to anyone. I get the ADA and ACAA confused, but I think one of them says you have to make "reasonable accommodations" which I think is intended to be very vague.
photojojo likes this.
HDQDD is offline  
Old Jun 23, 22, 7:25 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Houston
Programs: UA 1K and Million Miler, *A Gold, Marriott Bonvoy Lifetime Titanium, Hertz Five Star,
Posts: 1,172
If someone requires two people to get in and off an airplane that is not safe. Therefore, denial of flying is allowed. Someone that disabled needs to take other forms of transportation that won’t put 170 other people at risk.
Collierkr is offline  
Old Jun 23, 22, 7:55 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: BNA
Programs: HH Gold. (Former) UA PP, DL PM, PC Plat
Posts: 7,377
The Air Carrier Access Act is codified in regulation as Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 382 and can be viewed at the link below.

https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-1...part-382?toc=1
DiverDave, wrp96 and bloc0102 like this.
LarryJ is offline  
Old Jun 23, 22, 10:15 pm
  #11  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minneapolis: DL DM charter 2.3MM
Programs: A3*Gold, SPG Plat, HyattDiamond, MarriottPP, LHW exAccess, ICI, Raffles Amb, NW PE MM, TWA Gold MM
Posts: 98,331
AFAIK the airline can require that someone travel with their own personnel assistant if the person would be totally unable to take care of themself in an emergency or use the bathroom without help, etc. FAs are not required/expected to help with passenger's bathroom hygiene although they do help to get a. mobility-challenged person to the lavatory using an aisle wheelchair if necessary.

I suspect that the discussion earlier in this thread was about the onboard aisle wheelchair, for passengers who cannot walk short distances.
Auto Enthusiast and DiverDave like this.
MSPeconomist is offline  
Old Jun 24, 22, 3:01 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Atlanta
Programs: DL 2xMillion Miler, Hyatt Globalist, IHG Plat, Marriott/Hilton Gold Life
Posts: 550
Not pointed out is whether he required a seatbelt extender and/or two seats.
Why is this relevant?

If not informed in advance, it gives the airline (carrier) leeway on accommodations and (not technically denying) boarding.

There are other passengers. As stated millions of times, the number one objective of airlines is safety.

(also note my son is disabled; we’ve never used ACAA/ADA - specifically Section 504 code - but came close once)
lindros2 is offline  
Old Jun 24, 22, 8:30 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Arizona
Posts: 5,184
I have seen American leave a pax in a wheelchair when the last SAN>PHX flight was cancelled and no hotels were available because of Comic Con convention. This happened pre pandemic.
Centurion is online now  
Old Jun 24, 22, 2:44 pm
  #14  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Hilton Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: San Antonio
Programs: DL DM, Former AA EXP now AY Plat, AC 75K, NW Plat, Former CO Gold, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Titanium
Posts: 23,305
Originally Posted by xooz View Post
Interesting... never paid attention to DOT regs...
  • .... rule applies to all flights of U.S. airlines, and to flights to or from the United States by foreign airlines
  • Airlines may not require advance notice that a person with a disability is traveling.
  • Airlines are required to provide assis.tance with boarding, deplaning and making connections. Assistance within the cabin is also required, but not extensive personal services.
https://www.transportation.gov/airco...s-disabilities
This is only partially correct. There are certain accommodations that must be requested in advance.

Originally Posted by Collierkr View Post
If someone requires two people to get in and off an airplane that is not safe. Therefore, denial of flying is allowed. Someone that disabled needs to take other forms of transportation that won’t put 170 other people at risk.
What? Ever seen an aisle wheelchwheelchair point is to bring passengers that can't walk to seat onboard. It is required by law. How do you think paralyzed passengers board?


Originally Posted by lindros2 View Post
Not pointed out is whether he required a seatbelt extender and/or two seats.
Why is this relevant?

If not informed in advance, it gives the airline (carrier) leeway on accommodations and (not technically denying) boarding.

There are other passengers. As stated millions of times, the number one objective of airlines is safety.

(also note my son is disabled; we’ve never used ACAA/ADA - specifically Section 504 code - but came close once)
Totally incorrect. Needing a belt extender does not give any grounds to deny passenger. Only thing it prevents, sitting in emergency exit row.

Originally Posted by Centurion View Post
I have seen American leave a pax in a wheelchair when the last SAN>PHX flight was cancelled and no hotels were available because of Comic Con convention. This happened pre pandemic.
Very illegal. In fact leaving passenger unattended for more than i believe 30 minutes (not sure if 30 or 15) is illegal.
flyerCO is offline  
Old Jun 24, 22, 4:31 pm
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Somewhere
Programs: Delta Plat
Posts: 3,118
Being on the flight I was in 5A and passenger in 40c I could not tell if the gentleman needed a seatbelt extender but if I had to bet I'd put my money on yes.

I also couldn't tell if there were people seated next to him in A or B but considering the flight was full I would also put my money on yes.

I also know that if there was an emergency A and B would have a hard time getting by him.

Was the man flying alone can't say but if he wasn't no one in his party assisted in his boarding, as for deboarding no clue I was excited we hit b20 and didn't have to do a 5 mile walk to customs so I ran out.

Now I know there are ADA regulations and ACCA I am 100% sure I do not know them all nor will I pretend too. But I honestly think in a case like this and for the safety of the passenger, he shouldn't have been on that flight. The look of pain on his face as he stood at the plane door, and then as he was being supported by the airport employee by seat 1D was heartbreaking.
HWGeeks is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread