Paraplegic Man Forced to Scoot Down Aisle in United Airlines Plane on His Bottom

One man’s honeymoon started off and ended on a very sour note, when he was forced to scoot down the narrow plane aisle on his bottom, because United Airlines crew failed to provide him with a special wheelchair.
Paraplegic man flying United Airlines had to scoot down the aisle on his bottom because of lack of proper equipment on the plane 11 photos
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Tyler Schilhabel is a high school football coach who needs a wheelchair to move around. Last week, he and his wife flew from Los Angeles to Chicago, where they caught a flight out to the Dominican Republican. They were on their honeymoon, he says for ABC News.

They arrived a bit late to O’Hare in Chicago, because Schilhabel was late deplaning from LA. When they rushed to catch their connecting flight, they found out that a special wheelchair, needed to help Schilhabel down the narrow plane aisle, wasn’t immediately available.

“One of the flight attendants, who knew that I was in a rush and the aisle chair wasn’t there – he actually picked me up, lifted me and put me into my normal chair so that I could make my connecting flight,” Schilhabel tells the media outlet.

On the plane, Schilhabel had no other way of getting to his seat than by scooting on his bottom. The same happened when the plane landed in Punta Cana: he had to get to the front of the plane on his bottom and then to hop down the stairs as, again, there was no ramp and no proper equipment to get off the plane.

Schilhabel says he didn’t trust airport staff to carry him down the stairs. “We just hopped down,” he says. “[My wife] grabbed my legs, and I hopped down step by step on my bottom.”

The same thing happened on the way back. Despite being notified in advance that he would need the wheelchair, the company failed to have the wheelchair ready, so Schilhabel had to scoot all “31 rows” to his seat on his bottom.

In a statement, United Airlines admits to the mishap and says they’re talking to Schilhabel to fix it. They’ve apologized for their lack of organization and promise passengers this was an isolated incident.


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