It was a tough week for the airlines. On one flight a passenger reportedly heard the pilot say something on the order of “we are going down” apparently NOT meaning going down as in crashing. And then we had the flight from Philly to somewhere in New York where a blind guy and his guide dog were tossed.
According to reports, Albert Rizzi and his service dog Doxy got into trouble when the pooch became a bit restless. Guess what airline execs, a dog is no different from us. Who the heck wants to sit on the tarmac for 45 minutes? Evidently the dog moved around a bit from under the seat area and an overzealous flight attendant got all uppity about it.
US Airways isn’t exactly getting good press out of this one. Fellow passengers – after the flight was ditched – rallied around Rizzi and his dog with one person offering to rent a car and drive the pair to the New York destination.
The flight attendant reportedly ordered Rizzi to stow the dog again under his seat. OK, did the attendant realize that the dog wasn’t a piece of luggage and that asking a dog to lie quietly under a seat for 45 minutes was a bit much? Apparently not.
The airline employees say that Rizzi became verbally abusive and that is when the crew decided to have him removed. Bad move.
The flight was canceled and then the airline arranged for a bus to drive passengers to New York.
Passenger Frank Ohlhorst told WPVI-TV, which first reported the encounter, that Rizzi wasn’t being disruptive, said reports.
“We were like, ‘Why is this happening? He’s not a problem. What is going on?'” said Ohlhorst, according to the reports.
According to the reports, Rizzi said he later learned there had been open seats on the plane. “She never tried to move me or anybody else to secure the aircraft the way she said needed to be secured,” Rizzi said of the flight attendant.
So there you have it. Another insensitive worker using no common sense. He or she must have had a bad day or a bad night but in any case, a little bit of human kindness and certainly good sense would have been the better choice.
Picking on the blind guy on the plane with his guide dog can’t seem to be the way to go even for the dumbest member of that crew. I guess my worry would have been what would they do with a REAL problem?
— Andy Hachadorian