ATLANTA (CBS Local) – A woman with multiple sclerosis says Delta employees tied her to a wheelchair after the airline failed to provide the flyer with the appropriate handicapped services her family had requested.
Maria Saliagas was reportedly diagnosed with MS five years ago and is now unable to sit up in a chair on her own. On April 1, the woman and her husband traveled from Atlanta to Amsterdam, where a wheelchair with specially designed straps was supposed to be waiting for her after the flight.
According to the couple’s son, who says he planned their trip with Delta and was promised the special wheelchair, the airline did not have the proper chair ready when Saliagas arrived. “They took a dirty blanket and tied her forcefully with it, and she has bruise marks on her arm where it was tight,” Nathan Saliagas said, via KCCI.
The family is demanding that Delta show an effort to change their policy and training when it comes to dealing with disabled passengers. “I definitely know that they’re a good airline,” the couple’s son added. “In this situation, there was no courtesy, no respect. There was a complete operations failure.”
In a Facebook post on April 24, Nathan Saliagas also alleged that his mother was subjected to “physically and emotionally abuse” by Delta workers. “When she started crying, she was told to ‘shut the f— up’ or she will be ‘left there,'” the post claims.
Delta said they “regret the perception” the incident has left with the Saliagas family however, the airline is disputing the details of how Maria Saliagas was handled by airline staff. “While Delta always looks for ways to improve the overall customer experience, our findings do not align with details shared by the customer’s family,” Delta said in a statement provided to the New York Post.
Delta reportedly offered the family 20,000 free sky miles over the incident but the offer was refused.