A woman with multiple sclerosis has claimed that Delta Air Lines employees tied her “forcefully” to her wheelchair with a “dirty blanket off the floor” because they did not have the proper chair to accommodate her disability.
Maria Saliagas told WSB-TV in Atlanta on Tuesday that Delta usually provides a wheelchair with straps to help her sit up. Her son, Nathan, also claimed that the blanket left her with bruises and that a supervisor “cursed at her as she cried.”
“When she started crying, she was told to ‘shut the fuck up’ or she will be ‘left there,’ ” Nathan Saliagas said in a Facebook post afterward. “This highly inhumane and disgusting treatment by Delta Airlines is unacceptable and a need for change.”
A Delta representative sent WSB-TV a statement saying the airline had reached out to the family about their concerns, though it didn’t address the accuracy of the family’s statement. “We regret the perception our service has left on these customers,” the statement said.
Saliagas told the station she flew out of Atlanta on April 1 and arrived in Amsterdam, where the incident took place. The family says they complained to Delta, and Delta offered them 20,000 SkyMiles as compensation. The son asked for a reimbursement for the flight in his tweet. According to the Associated Press, the family also is seeking a policy change regarding how Delta accommodates people with disabilities.
Nathan Saliagas said he has filed a complaint to federal transportation officials.