A Delta Airlines passenger with multiple sclerosis said that airline employees tied her to a wheelchair with a “dirty blanket” and left a bruise on her arm because she did not have the proper equipment on board.
Maria Saliagas told WFTV that she and her husband had been doing European trips to Europe once a year five years ago to keep them traveling together.
Saliagas said she and her husband fly regularly with Delta and are usually provided with a wheelchair that has straps to help her sit up straight.
This time, on an April 1 family trip from Atlanta to Amsterdam, airline employees told Saliagas that they did not have a wheelchair available for her.
Instead, employees “took a dirty blanket and tied her forcefully with it,” Saliagas’s son, Nathan Saliagas, told the broadcaster.
“She has bruise marks on part of her arm because it was so tight and she started crying,” Nathan said.
A Delta representative told WSB-TV it regrets the incident and has reached out to the Saliagas family.
“We regret the perception our service has left on these customers,” the Delta spokesperson said. “We have reached out to them, not only to resolve their concerns, but also ensure that their return flight exceeds expectations.”
The family said that when they complained to Delta, the airline offered them 20,000 free SkyMiles as compensation, but they said that was not enough.
They demanded that Delta also implement a policy change ensuring employees have protocols in place for working with passengers with disabilities.
The family is expected to return to Atlanta on April 30. It is unclear whether they still plan to fly with Delta.