File this story under “W” for “What in the world were they thinking?” The they in this case is Delta Airlines, which according to Hawaii News Now forced a disabled passenger to crawl down the aisle of the plane he was traveling on, down a flight of stairs, and onto the tarmac. After being assured by the airline that the incident was a horrible mistake, the man was forced to repeat the humiliating experience in the reverse order on his return flight.
Baraka Kanaan of Hawaii sued Delta last year for twice inflicting on him the ignominy of having to crawl on his hands and knees on flights between the island of Maui and Nantucket.
Kanaan, a former philosophy professor, was partially paralyzed in a 2000 car accident. His lawsuit alleged that on a flight to Nantucket in 2012, workers for a Delta contractor stood by while he tried to get off the plane on his hands and knees.
The terms of the settlement reached yesterday are confidential but the amount of the award to Kanaan is believed to be substantial.
Louis Erteschik, executive director of the Hawaii Disability Rights Center, commented on the outcome:
I think this does send some kind of message that this kind of conduct, this kind of situation is not supposed to happen again.
People with disabilities do incur some difficulties and so it's important that airlines be held accountable.
When interviewed initially after the traumatic incident, Kanaan told reports:
I can feel literally my spine was like someone had a sledgehammer and they were pounding a ten-inch spike in my sacral, hammering away. My thoracic, I could hear pops and clicks.
Last week, it was reported in this space that a woman left mute by a stroke was turned away from a security checkpoint by TSA agents who refused to let her pass unless she spoke.
- TSA rules mute woman can’t board flight unless she speaks
- TSA to Jewish travelers: We’ll take care of your Passover matzo
- TSA follies: TSO loudly announces that cancer victim is ‘wearing a diaper’
- TSA agent saves world from pistol-packing sock monkey
- TSA forces Marine who lost both legs in combat to stand up and walk
- ‘Dear America, I saw you naked’: Confessions of an ex-TSA agent
- $900M TSA program to spot bad guys isn’t working, gov’t report says
- TSA air marshal caught taking photos under skirts
- Report: TSA employee misconduct up 26% in 3 years
- How much would you pay to get the TSA to grope you less? Do I hear $85?
- More TSA idiocy: Inspecting parked cars at airports, but only those parked by valet
- Despite pat-down, TSA inspector with bomb in pants waved through security