Air Canada has been compelled to issue an apology after a man with spastic cerebral palsy was forced to pull himself off of a plane because the country’s flag-carrying airline did not provide a wheelchair for him.
In August, Rodney Hodgins, 49, a hardware merchant from British Columbia who uses a motorized wheelchair, traveled to Las Vegas with his wife, Deanna, to celebrate the couple’s anniversary. Rodney needed to utilize a motorized wheelchair in order to go around.
However, when the jet landed, the flight attendant informed the couple that there would not be enough time to get a wheelchair on board before the plane had to prepare for takeoff once more, according to a recent post that Deanna Hodgins made on her Facebook page.
At first, the pair assumed the flight attendant was joking when she indicated that Hodgins would have to pull himself off the plane by himself. However, when she repeated the request, the couple realized that she was serious.
“I responded, ‘Of course I can’t,'” she added. I use a wheelchair to get about. I’m unable to move my legs,'” he stated to the Canadian Press.
Hodgins had little choice but to rely on the strength of his upper body in order to drag himself across 12 rows of chairs while his wife held both of his legs.
According to a post that Deanna Hodgins made on Facebook, the traumatic experience left the couple in a state of complete despair.
“To get him off that plane, it required us wrestling in front of a dozen passengers, while some turned away and others looked on with humiliation… I wounded my back, and he hurt his legs, but emotionally we were both hurt a lot more than that. My husband’s human rights were violated, and Air Canada has refused to respond to us and has not reached out to us as they had previously promised,” she added in the letter. “Rod is the most beautiful human being on the planet and absolutely did not deserve this in any way,” Rod’s friend said.
According to her, the couple had spent eight months planning their trip and making sure that they fulfilled all of the standards that were necessary on their end. “Air Canada was terrible in every way,” we said.
It was admitted by the corporation that Hodgins received insufficient support.
According to the statement, in order to ensure that wheelchair passengers are transported safely on and off aircraft, “We use the services of a third party wheelchair assistance specialist in Las Vegas.” Following the completion of our inquiry into the causes of this grave breach of service, we are going to do an analysis of the other organizations that provide mobility assistance in Las Vegas.
Air Canada was responsible for losing Stephanie Cadieux’s wheelchair in October. Cadieux, who is the chief accessibility officer for Canada, described the situation as “extremely disheartening and dehumanizing.” Cadieux stated that the incident demonstrated the necessity for increased accessibility measures on the part of airlines.
Hodgins claims that the airline made an offer to him for a flight voucher worth $2,000 Canadian, but he declined it, stating that financial compensation would not “fix the problem” of how the company failed to accommodate its disabled passengers.
“I just wanted to make a difference for somebody else so they don’t have to experience that again,” he added. “I just wanted to make a difference for somebody else.”