Wheelchair-Bound Woman Forced to Crawl Onto Plane by Airline

A wheelchair-bound woman who was forced to crawl onto an airplane is now suing American Airlines.

Theresa Purcell was boarding a commuter plane from San Diego to Hawaii when the gate agent told her it was too late for them to set up the wheelchair ramp.

“I was like ‘Okay, so we can’t just… the ramp is right there,’” Purcell told KHON2 News in Hawaii. “Can’t you guys just push it right here so I can get on?”

The gate agent declined to put the ramp in place, forcing Purcell, who suffers from Charcot-Marie-Tooth’s disease, to get on her hands and knees.

Purcell says it was embarrassing to crawl onto a plane filled with other passengers. 

“There was no other way for me to get on the plane so I crawled up to the plane,” said Purcell. “I was humiliated. It was embarrassing to have 50-something people watch you crawl into a plane.”

 

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Maurice Smith