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Airline Crew Tells Wheelchair User Waiting for Power Chair TSA Will Make Him Get Off the Plane

A Delta flight attendant warned a wheelchair user that TSA agents would make him get off a plane at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport after he told them he would wait for his power chair to be brought to the plane door.

Frequent flyer Cory Woodard is a wheelchair user who was diagnosed with type 2 spinal muscular atrophy at the age of two, according to his blog, which is dedicated to helping wheelchair users travel the world. He recorded and posted this footage to Instagram on November 13.

“After arriving back home in Atlanta, the crew refused to bring my wheelchair to the door of the plane. I told the airport crew and flight attendants that I would just stay on the plane until my wheelchair was brought to the door of the plane,” Woodard told Storyful.

In the footage, a group of passengers with Woodard try to explain the situation to a flight attendant, saying they will wait for the chair. The attendant urges them to get off the plane, saying, “They’re going to make you get off the aircraft. They’re going to have their guns and stuff, and they’re going to make you get out there.”

Woodard said ATL normally brings his chair to the door of the plane, and said he didn’t know why they would not do the same this time. He said eventually an apologetic ground-crew worker was able to bring his chair to the plane door.

According to the Air Carrier Access Act, airlines must provide for the checking and timely return of passengers’ wheelchairs … as close as possible to the door of the aircraft, so that passengers may use their own equipment to the extent possible.

Storyful reached out to Delta Air Lines for comment, but did not receive a response at the time of publishing. Credit: Cory Woodard via Storyful

Video transcript

- They're not leaving.

- We'll wait on the red coat.

- Yeah, we're just gonna wait on the--

- Just get the red coat. It's fine. It's no big deal.

- I'm gonna call the [INAUDIBLE].

- To explain the situation.

- I just did. No, don't [INAUDIBLE].

- [SCOFFS]

- I mean, if we have to roll him in a wheelchair to his wheelchair, why the hell can the wheelchair not--

- [INAUDIBLE] come out? So can it come out?

- Which one?

- The [INAUDIBLE].

Bring this out.

- I'm not sure.

- Will they-- OK. Here's the situation.

- They're trained to lift people. That's what they do.

- I'm not worried about--

- We're not worried about lifting. We just think the chair. We just need his chair. That's it.

- I mean--

- They have it out there for him.

- Is it parked there?

- They said it's not.

- It's not there.

- She just told us that they can't bring it.

- [INAUDIBLE]. At least let them get us off the aircraft, and then we can take care of your chair out here.

- Well, if the chair's there, it's fine.

- Yeah, we want off.

- Listen, they're coming. They're going to make you get off the aircraft.

- OK.

- And they have their guns and stuff, and they are going to make you get off the--

- That's perfect.

- If we could just be a step ahead of them, they can--

- But where-- where is the wheelchair?

- [INAUDIBLE]

- [INAUDIBLE] now so--