Target: Oscar Munoz, Chief Executive Officer of United Airlines
Goal: Implement safe policies to ensure the well-being of disabled people on United Airlines flights.
D’Arcee Neal had just flown five hours from San Francisco to Washington, D.C. all without being able to use the bathroom on the flight because United Airlines planes do not have accessible bathrooms for people with disabilities. Neal, who was born with cerebral palsy, was later forced to wait for an extremely long time for a wheelchair so that he could exit the plane after everyone else. Disabled individuals do not deserve this treatment from such a popular major airline.
Furthermore, the wheelchair that should have quickly been provided for him never came. Instead, Neal “fell to the floor and proceeded to drag himself roughly fifty feet to the airplane’s door, where his own wheelchair was waiting,” according to the Washington Post. What is equally as horrifying is that while Neal was dragging himself across the floor, the flight attendants simply watched as he struggled to get to his chair.
This negligence and lack of respect for those who are not lucky enough to be able-bodied is cruel and should never have occurred in the first place. Neal should never have had to make the choice to drag himself down the aisle so that he could exit the plane nor should the flight attendants have stared while they saw him struggling. Instead, Neal should have been provided with a wheelchair as soon as possible. Additionally, United Airlines needs to make their bathrooms accommodating for all bodies, not just able-bodied individuals.
Dear CEO Munoz,
I am writing this petition letter in response to the degrading treatment of D’Arcee Neal, a man with cerebral palsy that flew on a United Airlines flight. I understand that United Airlines made a statement apologizing for his treatment but this is simply not enough. Safe and inclusive policies need to be adopted to ensure that everyone can enjoy United Airlines flights.
Alarmingly, Neal was unable to use the bathroom for the duration of his flight because the way in which they are designed makes them only accessible to those who are able-bodied. Renovating all airline bathrooms so that they are wheelchair accessible is a necessary first step in making your airline inclusive to all bodies.
Additionally, after the flight, Neal should have been brought a wheelchair as soon as possible. Flight attendants did not respond quickly enough to Neal’s needs and they should be properly trained so that they are equipped to handle a diverse range of needs that any passenger may have. With these changes implemented, everyone can have a better experience flying United Airlines. Please take action to make your flights be accessible for disabled individuals.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Value Walk