Is this a Disability Violation?

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Dec 12, 2018
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#1
On our flight from Guadalajara to RDU on 11/5 (JSSSRL), I booked it through Aeromexico and paid for the upgraded seats because I need the extra leg room with my disability. I could not pick seats for the Delta portion online, so I contacted disability services on 10/25, same day I booked the tickets. The agent stated Comfprt + was full and that she would seat me and my children in the bulkhead of the main cabin and also indicate that I may need wheelchair assistance. When we get to Atlanta, there was no wheelchair assistance waiting for me. Also when we board our flight we were not seated in the bulkhead. I could not move my leg with the brace and I was in pain from my nerve pain the entire time. When we landed I could barely move because I was in so much pain from none movement. The flight was full and we could not be moved.

I follow the proper steps In both situations and yet I was screwed and pushed aside by Aeromexico and delta. I contacted disability services for assistance and was placed in a seat that had no leg room. I contacted Delta on Twitter right when I sat down on the plane to show what was happening and I have received no concern and instead individuals acting like this is my fault. I purposely paid the $1300 so I could have the extra leg room for my legs and I have never been let down by the Delta Disability Services. You can also tell I contacted disability services for our 2nd flight because the agent created Delta Confirmation # GDAHDN so everything would sync, as she was not able to pull up the AeroMexico reservation.

I was only offered $300 gift cards for our troubles via twitter so I emailed Gil West, who just routed my concern back to Customer Care. The individual that was assigned my case did not even bother to read my email an instead stated they saw no violations of 14CFR, Part 382. They stated I should next time contact Disability Services for assistance and again offered the same $300 gift cards. They stated they were not able to look at the records for my reservation under either number to see who assisted me and they saw no notations on my file that I had contacted Disability Services, nor the wheelchair request, the seat assignment request and the notation of my disability. All of this information is what I was told by the Disability Services agent that she was putting in the system. Even with me sending what time I called, when and for how long they stated I never contacted Disability Services.

These are the violations I found on the CFR that Delta violated since I did contact Disability Services prior to my flight:

§ 382.81 For which passengers must carriers make seating accommodations?
As a carrier, you must provide the following seating accommodations to the following passengers on request, if the passenger self-identifies to you as having a disability specified in this section and the type of seating accommodation in question exists on the particular aircraft. Once the passenger self-identifies to you, you must ensure that the information is recorded and properly transmitted to personnel responsible for providing the accommodation.
(d) For a passenger with a fused or immobilized leg, you must provide a bulkhead seat or other seat that provides greater legroom than other seats, on the side of an aisle that better accommodates the individual's disability.

§ 382.87 What other requirements pertain to seating for passengers with a disability?
(d) If you have already provided a seat to a passenger with a disability to furnish an accommodation required by this subpart, you must not (except in the circumstance described in § 382.85(a)(2)(ii)) reassign that passenger to another seat in response to a subsequent request from another passenger with a disability, without the first passenger's consent.
§ 382.91 What assistance mustcarriers provide to passengers with a disability in moving within the terminal?
(a) As a carrier, you must provide or ensure the provision of assistance requested by or on behalf of a passenger with a disability, or offered by carrier or airport operator personnel and accepted by a passenger with a disability, in transportation between gates to make a connection to another flight. If the arriving flight and the departing connecting flight are operated by different carriers, thecarrier that operated the arriving flight (i.e., the one that operates the first of the two flights that are connecting) is responsible for providing or ensuring the provision of this assistance, even if the passenger holds a separate ticket for the departing flight. It is permissible for the two carriers to mutually agree that the carrier operating the departing connecting flight (i.e., the second flight of the two) will provide this assistance, but the carrier operating the arriving flight remains responsible under this section for ensuring that the assistance is provided.

I have no clue what else to do because $300 gift cards for everything I went through being in pain when I contacted Disability Services is a slap in the face.
 
Dec 12, 2018
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#3
How late did you book the tickets? When you were told they could give you bulkhead seats, did you check your reservation to see what seats were assigned?
Hi Neil, I booked the tickets online directly through AeroMexico on 10/25. I checked the seat map and it showed us in bulkhead; however, from this picture you can see it is not. My left is the one I need to be able to stretch and move.
 

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Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
15,255
14,020
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#4
That’s not bulkhead for sure- bulkhead doesn’t have an aisle of seats in front. There should have been a wall.

So the seat numbers you saw on your booking were not the seat numbers you ended up in? Did they by any chance change the aircraft type? That would be a reason there might be a difference in the seat chart.

The airline has no control over wheelchairs at the airport. I assume they put into your record you needed wheelchair assistance. When you arrived to check in did you tell the agents you needed a wheelchair? Sometimes you have to wait for a free attendant. Did they ask you to wait on the plane for a wheelchair attendant?
 
Dec 12, 2018
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#5
That’s not bulkhead for sure- bulkhead doesn’t have an aisle of seats in front. There should have been a wall.

So the seat numbers you saw on your booking were not the seat numbers you ended up in? Did they by any chance change the aircraft type? That would be a reason there might be a difference in the seat chart.

The airline has no control over wheelchairs at the airport. I assume they put into your record you needed wheelchair assistance. When you arrived to check in did you tell the agents you needed a wheelchair? Sometimes you have to wait for a free attendant. Did they ask you to wait on the plane for a wheelchair attendant?
The seat numbers matched the seat numbers I was given by the agent. But I am not sure if they changed the aircraft type.

The customer care agent I have been emailing did not see any notes from the Disability agent where she indicated why I needed the disability accommodations and for the wheelchair. Which is strange because that individual created a confirmation for the Delta portion of the flight when I called for assistance. When I got off the plane I looked for my name for the wheelchairs and did not see my name, so I asked the Delta gate agent and she said she would order one but did not know how long it would take. Since our connecting flight was leaving in an hour and we had to go to a gate 3 terminals away at the far end of the concourse we just walked so we did not miss our flight.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
15,255
14,020
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#6
It’s most likely that they changed the aircraft. If that’s what happened then this agent did comply with the law especially if they didn’t charge you since there is often a fee for those seats.

Please understand that you booked very late and thep were probably limited seats available to put you in.

If she didn’t put anything on your record about the Sears she may not have added anything about the wheelchair. Did you wait on the plane when you connected for a wheelchair? Wheelchairs are last to get off.

My wife has multiple joint replacement and I totally understand how uncomfortable you might have been- she is in agony flying all the time. Hopefully this will be the only flight you hue happens on.
 
Dec 12, 2018
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#7
It’s most likely that they changed the aircraft. If that’s what happened then this agent did comply with the law especially if they didn’t charge you since there is often a fee for those seats.

Please understand that you booked very late and thep were probably limited seats available to put you in.

If she didn’t put anything on your record about the Sears she may not have added anything about the wheelchair. Did you wait on the plane when you connected for a wheelchair? Wheelchairs are last to get off.

My wife has multiple joint replacement and I totally understand how uncomfortable you might have been- she is in agony flying all the time. Hopefully this will be the only flight you hue happens on.

So even though I paid for the upgrade for Comfort + and was not seated there and placed in (not)Bulkhead, there was no disability violation? I guess I am confused because I basically did all of the steps they replied back I needed to do next time: Contact disability Services, speak to a gate agent, speak to flight attendant. I did all three things to correct the issue but I did not get the services. They will not even refund me the cost I paid to upgrade the receipts. They sent me $600 in their Digital gift cards that I cannot even use because they can only be used in the US, we are living in Colombia. I contacted AeroMexico and they just refer me back to Delta.

I did not wait to get off last, normally when I request wheel chair assistance I get off with everyone else and then wheelchairs are right on the ramp when you get off the plane. I am sorry to hear about your wife as well. It is frustrating and causes a lot of pain.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#10
Very frustrating.

You were told that Comfort + was already full -- and that you would get a bulkhead.

It looks like you were on an MD88 -- and row 15 is the first economy row after comfort +. It is not a true bulkhead, as there is only one row or bulkheads.

One issue is that there are a limited amount of bulkhead seats and many people who request them — bassinets, service animals, other disabled passengers, etc.

You wrote that you told disability services that you “may need” a wheelchair— that sounds vague, and not like a definite request. The word may is not absolute -- I may do something means I also may not.

You said that you booked through aeromexico -- did you get a better type of seat on aeromexico? Was there some sort of code share issue where you ended up with comfort + on aeromexico and economy on Delta -- it gets very confusing about what one airline calls comfort plus and what another calls better seats.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#12
Djnikki1 have you thought about what you want from Delta? If a letter is left open ended, the company may not do anything or just write an apology.

Is there a return ticket? If so has it been taken and were there problems?

If the vouchers can only be used on Delta in the US and you live in Colombia mention that you do not live in the US.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
15,255
14,020
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#14
It seems that whoever you spoke with when booking the tickets made a big error by not noting your disability on your ticket. If they had, then it would have been easier for you to request another seat on the connecting flight when you found out the aircraft type was different and you weren't in the bulkhead seat. That is where I would make my point of complaint and state that you want the staff properly educated that this should have all been noted in your record. Have you contacted them to ask for a refund of the price you paid between comfort plus and the economy you got?

You can also file a complaint withe the DOT if you want.
 
Likes: jsn55
Dec 12, 2018
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#15
I just wrote them an email stating I no longer live in the United States and I cannot use those gift cards. I requested they pull the call logs where I did call disability services. I also requested the refund of the cost difference between Comfort + and where we actually sat and I requested a refund for just my portion of the Delta leg since I was the one affected. I did not ask for refunds for my kids, because they are tiny and were fine.

I booked the tickets online through AeroMexico. I paid for the Comfort + seats through AeroMexico which for them is AM Plus. I paid the cost for both flights, I just could not select seats on the Delta map. Hence, why I called Disability Services right away. In fact I do this everytime I book a flight with any airline so I am not moved from the seats with extra legroom. This is the 1st I have had this issue.

There is no return ticket, we are currently traveling nomads and country hopping with no plans to go back to the states anytime soon.
 

Dwayne Coward

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Apr 13, 2016
484
607
93
St. Louis
#18
The Department of Transportation is responsible for implementing federal regulations (CFR), which in this case is the Air Carrier Access Act:

https://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer/passengers-disabilities

If the airline hasn't responded to your complaint, you may want to file a complaint with the DOT.

Note: This may only help if you're able to substantiate medical necessity for the extra leg room.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#19
DJnikki1 your request is very reasonable.

It is a shame that you were comfort + tickets when no such seats were available on the Delta portion. This problem may have to do with the Aeromexico computer not having full access to the Delta inventory— and then you called and it seems that the ball was dropped.

Here is a brochure from the DOT on disability and seating:

https://cms.dot.gov/sites/dot.gov/f...ing_Accommodations_in_Air_Travel-Pamphlet.pdf