US Airways全美航空趕下盲人乘客 其他乘客炮轟拒起飛

13日晚,費城飛往長島的一架飛機上,一名盲人乘客被全 美航空(US Airways)「趕下」飛機,至此引發全體乘客 抗議。航班最終因此取消,乘客改乘巴士到達目的地。

據當時飛機上的一名空乘介紹,僵局起因是盲人乘客艾伯 特˙利茨(Albert Rizzi)的導盲犬道希(Doxy)。飛機 在機坪上等待了90分鐘後,牠開始變得「不受控制」,無 法老實待在座位下,妨礙航班起飛。

利茨告訴美國廣播公司說,「那名空乘走過來堅持要我下 機,可『我的狗已經表現的很好了,待在正確的位置』, 我不知道她還想讓我做什麼。等我走到前面,發現只有我 一個人在下飛機。」

目睹利茨遭遇的其他乘客隨即起身支持,炮轟空乘對殘障 人士的不公待遇,最終機長不得不要求全體乘客下機。隨 後改乘巴士的乘客於14日凌晨2時30分到達長島,還有部 分乘客留在費城過夜。

事後利茨在臉書上分享遭遇:「這是我乘坐全美航空一年 來,首次經歷這樣的事情,他們的空乘就是這樣對待乘客 的。」他同時稱讚支持他的乘客「不可思議」。

全美航空則稱利茨當時出言不遜,但事實仍待調查。不過 這已不是全美航空首次被指「歧視」乘客,上週也曾有空乘與影星布蘭頓˙傑克森(Brandon T.Jackson)發生不快。

A blind man was kicked off a U.S. Airways flight Wednesday evening after a squabble with a flight attendant over restraining his guide dog. The airline’s action so infuriated the 35 or so other passengers that the flight had to be canceled.

Forty-nine-year-old Albert Rizzi, who told that he flies every month and can’t travel without his guide dog, said this is the second time in six months that he’s had a problem on a U.S. Airways flight.

“The flight attendant wanted me to put my dog under the seat, and I did the best I could. A passenger even sat Indian style to make room for my dog Doxy,” he said.

During the fracas, Rizzi said his fellow passengers “raised a ruckus” to express their displeasure with the way the flight attendant had treated him.

After he was escorted off the plane, Rizzi said he was “livid,” standing in the Philadelphia terminal alone waiting for his bag, which had been checked, not knowing how he would make it home to New York’s Long Island. Shortly after, the other passengers marched into the terminal to join Rizzi in a show of support.

“I felt validated. We had made a statement together,” Rizzi said.

The Bellport, N.Y., resident said he felt humbled by the actions of his new friends, who all boarded a bus together, chartered by U.S. Airways, to take them on a four-hour ride to their final destination, Long Island’s MacArthur Airport.

The bus arrived at the Long Island airport at 2:30 a.m. Thursday, more than five hours after the flight’s scheduled arrival time.

U.S. Airways spokesperson Liz Landau told that Rizzi’s service animal was moving around and couldn’t be controlled.

“When the flight attendant reminded the passenger that the animal needed to be seated in one specific place to ensure the safety of the flight, he became disruptive,” she said.

Passenger Kurt Budke, who drove Rizzi home once they arrived in Long Island, told a different story.

“The training of the dog was amazing. To say this dog couldn’t be controlled is false. This dog was more controlled than the people onboard,” he said.

Budke said Rizzi’s dog stretched at one point, but wasn’t moving around and stayed at Rizzi’s feet, which is the required location for service dogs while in flight.

U.S. Airways said flight attendants are trained to handle customers with disabilities, and the airline does everything it can to ensure all passengers are treated with dignity and respect.

Rizzi, who has been legally blind for eight years, says the U.S. Airways employees on the ground in Philadelphia showed him great respect, he just wishes the flight attendant could have been more understanding.

“I want to educate U.S. Airways on how their staff can better support blind passengers. That dog has to be with me. It’s as if you were asking someone with a prosthetic or a wheelchair to leave that at the door,” said Rizzi.