ATLANTA, Ga. – Family members of a woman with multiple sclerosis are speaking out after they say Delta employees bound her to a wheelchair with a blanket hard enough that it left bruises.
Maria Saliagas needs special straps to help her sit up straight during flights, so her son, Nathan Saliagas, got in touch with the airline to make arrangements before Saliagas’ annual trip from Atlanta to Europe, according to WSB-TV.
When she got to the gate Apr. 1 before the flight to Amsterdam, however, Nathan said Delta employees didn’t have the special chair and instead chose to improvise, using a regular wheelchair.
“They took a dirty blanket and tied her forcefully with it and she has bruise marks on part of her arm because it was so tight and she started crying,” Nathan said. “That’s when the picture was taken.”
Delta issued this statement to WSB:
“We regret the perception our service has left on these customers. We have reached out to them, not only to resolve their concerns, but also ensure that their return flight exceeds expectations.”
The Saliagas, who are due to return to the United States April 30, were offered 20,000 SkyMiles, according to the television station.
Instead of SkyMiles, the family says, what they want to see is an improved policy when it comes to passengers with disabilities.