DC man with Cerebral Palsy forced to crawl off plane

DC man with Cerebral Palsy forced to crawl off plane

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WRC/NBC NEWS) - A major airline has apologized after a wheelchair-bound man is left behind and forced to crawl off a plane at Reagan National.

D'Arcee Neal, a United Airlines passenger, was returning from a speaking engagement about accessible transportation in San Francisco. After he landed at Reagan National Tuesday night, he was left on the aircraft waiting for help for about a half hour after all the other passengers left. Instead of getting the help he needed, he had to crawl his way to the restroom.

"I lifted the armrest and got down on my hands and knees and proceeded to crawl. I was half in the middle of the plane at that point, and I crawled the rest of the way up the aisle. I got to the entry way, and I crawled to make sure [I] didn't fall. It's humiliating," Neal said, who has Cerebral Palsy.

The United Airlines flight manager called Neal and said they are pending an internal investigation and are compensating him for travel.

United Airlines issued a statement:

United is committed to providing convenient and comfortable service to all of our customers. We regret the delay in providing the aisle chair to assist Mr. Neal in exiting the aircraft, but we are pleased to hear that he is satisfied with our response to his concerns.

The Air Carrier Access Act was passed by Congress in 1986, which guarantees that people with disabilities will receive consistent and non-discriminatory treatment when traveling on domestic airlines.

The National Disability Rights Network says complaints against major airlines are up nine percent in the past year.

Neal is the same man who had his wheelchair stolen outside his friend's house back in June 2014.

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