A woman in a wheelchair said that she wasn’t allowed to board her flight because she was using a wheelchair.
Shen Chengqing, 22, said that she booked a flight from Hong Kong to Tianjin, China on Jan. 25, and was preparing to board when Hong Kong Airlines workers refused to let her on.
They said she wasn’t allowed to fly because she couldn’t walk and she didn’t have a travel companion to help her.
“I felt very anxious and angry at the time. I don’t understand why this could happen in Hong Kong,” Shen told the South China Morning Post.
In an audio recording obtained by the Post from Shen, an employee of the airline can be heard saying Shen can’t board since she was not able to walk.
“Because of this reason, we refused to let her board the plane alone,” a female employee told Shen’s friend at the airport.
According to the website of Hong Kong Airlines, passengers are allowed to check in their wheelchairs and receive a substitute to use on board. The airline also states that flight attendants can help users move to and from their seats but that they cannot help with personal care, such as assistance using the bathroom.
“For these needs, we recommend you travel with a personal care attendant,” the website reads.
Shen later took a flight from Shenzhen, China to Tianjin and had no problems on the flight, her friend told the Post. Shen said a friend accompanied her on that flight. Shen also has no difficulty taking flights, going alone on an Air China flight to Hong Kong days before the incident with Hong Kong Airlines.
A spokeswoman for Hong Kong Airlines said that passengers traveling alone must be able to take care of themselves or travel with a companion. Staff decided that Shen could not take care of herself, the spokeswoman said.
Shen, though, said that she can take care of herself and doesn’t require assistance eating or going to the bathroom.
“They rejected me for this reason verbally,” she said. “But their written rejection says ‘disability: unable to walk long distances,’ which is ridiculous.”
Wheelchair user blasts Hong Kong airline after staff refuse to let her board flight https://t.co/t9lRi4ElSR
— SCMP News (@SCMPNews) January 27, 2019
Family Kicked Off American Airlines Flight
American Airlines reportedly removed a family from a plane after other passengers allegedly complained about body odor.
Yossi and Jennie Adler and their 19-month-old daughter were asked to get off their plane heading from Miami to Detroit as they were boarding.
“All of a sudden, as soon as they took us off, they closed the gate and then they said, ‘Sorry, sir, some people complained you had body odor and we’re not letting you back on,’” Adler told local news outlet WPLG.
“We don’t have odor, OK?” Yossi said to an airport agent, according to the report. “Nobody here has odor.”
The family said the airliner told them they could collect their luggage, but the flight left with their stuff.
BODY ODOR BOOT – A family vacationing in Miami was kicked off their flight home because passengers complained about their body odor.
“They have our car seat, stroller, everything,” Jennie told outlet.
An American Airlines spokesperson issued a statement to Yahoo Lifestyle, saying, “They were asked to deplane after multiple passengers, along with our crew members and Miami airport team, were concerned about the comfort of our other passengers due to the odor.”
The person said, “Our team members took care of the family by providing overnight accommodations and meals and rebooking them for the next available flight.”
“We stopped several people in the airport and, it’s embarrassing, but we asked them, ‘Do you think we smell? Because we just got kicked off a plane for smelling,’” Jennie told WPLG.
“I’m very frustrated,” Yossi told the station. “I want them to own up to what really happened and to tell me the truth. What was it?”
According to the Times of Israel, the Adlers said there was a religious reason for the move.
“There’s a religious reason for some reason that they’re kicking me off the plane,” Adler said.