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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003

    Limbless woman suing airline



    "A wheelchair-bound woman with no limbs sued Air France for discrimination on Friday, alleging she was kept off a flight by a gate agent who told her a "torso cannot possibly fly on its own."

    Adele Price, 42, a British citizen, sued the airline in Manhattan federal court seeking unspecified damages.

    Price, who was born without limbs because her mother took the drug thalidomide during pregnancy, said in the suit she is able to manipulate a wheelchair and has traveled by air many times. "

  2. #2
    Why cruel? Because of the wording?

    Since I am not familiar with flying in a wheelchair, would she not have to be moved to a seat? How would she get there if she did not travel with a companion? A flight attendant would not be allowed to lift/move her. Of course, if the wheelchair can be strapped into a special place, that would be a different story.

    Also, I have to wonder if the person speaking was a) speaking another language, and someone translated or b) spoke english as a second language, and while technically correct, may have used politically incorrect verbage.

    I'd have to know more before labeling it as cruel, rather than company policy.
    Just the facts, Ma'am.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    NW Arkansas - Native Texan
    Company policy to say a torso cannot fly on its own??? PUHLEEZE!

    It was an insensitive and ugly comment. I fail to see how it could be seen any other way.

    If this lady has flown several times, she probably already has the routine for the disabled down by now, and so should the airline employees.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    The OC
    I think it is cruel to describe a person as just a torso.......yikes.....

  5. #5
    My point is that company policy COULD be that a person must be able to do certain things on their own. See the information I found below on AirFrances website. The lady could not comply with some of the restrictions, period. And yes, she SHOULD have known better, I have seen these Same restrictions on many other airlines.

    While the terminology might not have been politically correct, it would be factually correct, and therefore either cruel (as intentionally meant to be rude) or a bad communication as in a mis-translation or incorrect verbage (as in: the flight attendent didn't know the politically correct words, so used the technically correct words). I know if I were trying to speak another language, I'd get the verbage wrong sometimes. AirFrance is based out of FRANCE, believe it or not.

    I found this on the AirFrance site:
    Personal Assistance
    Personal assistance

    For your safety it is sometimes necessary that a person of your choice accompany you (motor impairment, mental disability, etc.).

    To travel alone, you must be able to:

    - on all flights:
    detach and attach your seat belt
    use the oxygen mask

    - on long-distance flights:
    eat without assistance
    use the toilets without assistance

    You may bring a seeing eye dog with you into the cabin.

    We will assist you when making your reservation to determine if you require personal assistance during the flight.
    Just the facts, Ma'am.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    According to the article, the agent told the woman, "a head, one bottom and a torso cannot possibly fly on its own."

    After reading that, I think that the agent meant to be rude, but the woman should have known she needed a traveling companion to care for her needs during the flight.

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