Atlanta, GA

Delta Flight Attendants are Rude to Disabled Man Needing His Wheelchair to be Ready at Jet Bridge at Atlanta Airport

Zack Love

A disabled travel blogger that flies frequently is treated with disrespect by Delta flight attendants. One attendant even made a bizarre comment about TSA agents will come to get him “with their guns.” He documents the whole incident on Instagram.

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Cory Lee, travel bloggerPhoto byCory Lee

One man that travels the world and writes about it on his travel blog and posts on Instagram (@curbfreecorylee) had a terrible experience after his plane landed at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport.

Cory Lee, Travel Blogger, Asked to Leave Plane by Attendants

Fox News reported that Cory Lee’s flight landed as he flew from Santiago, Chile to Atlanta, Georgia on 13 November 2022.

He and his caretaker were the last on the plane after everyone else had deplaned. This was not unusual, because Cory Lee is disabled and needs his 400 lb. electric wheelchair (seen in the photo below).

He said:

“It weighs like 400 pounds, so it usually takes a while.” -Cory Lee (Source: Fox News)
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Cory Lee in his electric wheelchairPhoto byCory Lee

With all of his travels, he is used to waiting on the plane until Delta employees can have his wheelchair at the jet bridge. He knows his rights because this is a request covered by the Air Carrier Access Act.

The Air Carrier Access Act of 1986 “prohibits discrimination in air transportation by domestic and foreign air carriers against qualified individuals with disabilities. In March 1990, the Department of Transportation issued a rule defining the rights of passengers and the obligations of air carriers as a direct result of this law.”

The U.S. Department of Transportation provides the following guidelines on its website:

“You can request that your wheelchair or walker be returned to you on the jet way at your destination airport and not the baggage claim area. Airlines are required to return wheelchairs to users as closely as possible to the door of the aircraft if requested.”

Read about the incident as Cory Lee has documented what happened to him (below).

Cory Lee’s Instagram Video & Post on 13 November 2022

Screenshot from Cory Lee's videoPhoto by@curbfreewithcorylee (Instagram)

On 13 November 2022, Cory Lee posted a video of the incident with the following caption (with some grammatical errors).

The caption on the video read:

“WORST AIRPORT EXPERIENCE EVER! ✈️ This morning, after arriving back home in Atlanta, the crew refused to bring my wheelchair to the door of the plane. I told the airport crew and flight attendants that I would just stay on the plane until my wheelchair was brought to the door of the plane & they immediately got livid. A Delta flight attendant literally threatened us by saying TSA would “make us get off with their guns”. 😳

By law, according to the Air Carrier Access Act, they are required to bring the wheelchair as close to the plane as possible and you do not have to get off the plane until they do so. I have flown into the Atlanta airport hundreds of times & they have always brought my wheelchair to the door of the plane. I don’t know why they were so adamant about not bringing it today, but to threaten us with guns?! What in the world?!

After threatening us, and us still saying that we needed my wheelchair brought to the door of the plane since I can’t sit upright in an aisle chair for an extended period of time, the ground crew guy (Mr. Flowers) was very apologetic and found a way to quickly bring my wheelchair to the plane door. After being threatened with guns, it was relieving to have his help and kindness.

Today, this flight attendant from @delta and multiple members of the Atlanta airport staff showed that they do NOT care about passengers with disabilities or the Air Carrier Access Act to the point that I was threatened with guns to get off the plane, despite my wheelchair not being there for me. I have had a lot of wild travel experiences across 40 countries over the past 9 years, but this one was hands-down the worst of all. Delta and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport need a serious awakening (and a LOT of empathy!!!!!!!).” -Cory Lee (Source: @curbfreecorylee on Instagram)

Cory Lee, a Disabled Passenger, Deserved More Respect

As evidenced in his Instagram video, Cory Lee should have been treated with more respect. Delta should train its employees to be more sensitive to those in wheelchairs, and his rights as a disabled passenger.

Have you had a negative experience with an airline? Share your experience in the comments section.

Sources

Brown, Genevieve Shaw. “Delta flight attendant tells wheelchair passenger that TSA will make him get off plane ‘with their guns’.” Fox News. 28 November 2022.

Cory Lee’s Instagram account. Video of Delta incident on 13 November 2022.

Cory Lee’s Travel official travel blog website.

U.S. Department of Transportation official website.

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Zack covers interesting and inspiring news stories that impact local communities. He has a bachelor's degree and an MBA.

Huntsville, AL
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