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Updated December 27th, 2023 at 22:50 IST

Canada airline fined ₹ 81 lakh after disabled man forced to drag himself off  plane

Rodney Hodgins, who suffers from spastic cerebral palsy and is unable to move his legs, was made to disembark by himself on August 30.

Airlines apologizes after 6-year-old minor takes wrong flight in U.S.
Canada airline fined ₹ 81 lakh after disabled man forced to drag himself off  plane | Image:Representative image
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Air Canada was fined $97,500 (around Rs 81,20,867) by the Canadian Transportation Agency after a passenger had to drag himself off a plane in Las Vegas because the airline did not provide a wheelchair for him, Independent reported. 

Rodney Hodgins, who suffers from spastic cerebral palsy and is unable to move his legs, was made to disembark by himself on August 30.

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A wheelchair user was not helped by Air Canada to get off the plane on August 30, 2023

Due to his spastic cerebral palsy, the passenger was compelled to get off the plane by himself as he was unable to move his legs.

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Air Canada neglected to make sure that staff members often asked the passenger how he was doing while he was waiting at the terminal.

Notably, to commemorate their anniversary, the 49-year-old and his spouse, Deanna Hodgins, took a plane to Las Vegas in August. He assumed they were kidding when the flight attendant told them they couldn't set up a wheelchair. The flight attendant allegedly instructed the pair to move to the front of the aircraft so they could depart.

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"I said, 'Of course I can't. I'm in a wheelchair. I can't walk'", he told Canadian media outlets.

Ultimately, though, Mr. Hodgins—a hardware dealer from British Columbia—had to rely on his upper body power to pull himself through twelve rows of seats as his wife supported his legs.

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"He (flight attendant) said it to me a second time, so that's when I got up and I told my wife, ‘Move my legs,' and I dragged myself to the front of the plane," he told the media.

Deanna Hodgins said on Facebook that the pair was devastated by the incident. She said that she had to struggle in front of a dozen people, with some turning away and others staring in shame, in order to get her husband off that plane. She added in the post,  “He wounded his legs, and I hurt my back, but the mental damage was far greater.”

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She alleged," Air Canada never reached out to us as promised, and my husband's human rights were violated."

Following the event, the airline said that it apologized to the couple and admitted in November that it had broken Canadian handicap standards.

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In a statement on Friday, Air Canada said it is continually working to “update our processes, introduce new measures to facilitate travel and act quickly to remedy any identified shortfalls.”

''We fully appreciate the importance of making sure our customers with disabilities travel without encountering barriers and receive consistently reliable service," the statement said.
 

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Published December 27th, 2023 at 22:50 IST

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