A Plane Kicked Off A Blind Man And His Dog, Then Kicked Off Everyone Else Too
Okay, having read the above headline, you might think this is a story cooked up by an evil wizard specifically to enrage you as much as possible. But we're dredging up this 2013 incident not just to make you mad but also because of one detail that might do the exact opposite.
Albert Rizzi and his guide dog Doxy were aboard a US Airways plane for a quick one-hour connecting flight from Philadelphia to Long Island. Normally on flights, the guide dog is supposed to sit under the seat in front of Albert, but there was no seat there. So she sat under the seat in front of his neighbor. During the delay, she repeatedly moved toward Albert.
A flight attendant kept asking Albert to stow the yellow Labrador under a seat. He and the crew had some kind of confrontation over this. US Airways would later claim Albert became "verbally abusive," while other passengers say he didn't do even that. Finally, the attendant said he'd have to leave the plane.
So, Albert found himself late at night in the Philadelphia terminal, waiting for his checked bag and unsure how he was going to get to New York. Then he was surprised to find all 35 of his fellow passengers also entering the terminal, having got off the plane as well.
Some news sources say they all left the plane in protest. That appears to be untrue (that would be a lot to ask of them, and it's unclear how that protest would persuade the airline to do anything). But they did raise "a ruckus" in the plane, demanding the crew bring Albert back on and instead kick the flight attendant off. And so the captain canceled the flight—US Airways claimed this was because he feared for the crew's safety.
The airline chartered buses to Long Island for all the passengers, and one of the passengers ended up personally driving Albert from the bus's destination to his house. The incident on the plane was awful (why didn't the crew try moving Albert and Roxy to a more appropriate seat? the plane had several). But it did end with Rizzi saying the following quote, which you wouldn't think anyone would ever say following a flight with US Airways: "This became the most wonderful experience, out of the most horrible experience. I found that humanity does exist, and people can do the right thing."
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Top image: WTAE-TV Pittsburgh