22-year-old Michigan woman in wheelchair says airline humiliated her recent flight home
FLINT, Mich. — A birthday trip turned sour. A Flint woman said her vacation turned into a nightmare on her flight back.
She’s paralyzed from an auto-immune disease and says rather than accommodating her — American Airlines employees humiliated and hurt her.
Dajinique Cannamore has trouble getting around. An auto-immune disorder paralyzed her from the waist down. She said there’s another serious side effect when she’s stressed.
“My throat swells up, my tong swells up and my airways is compromised. It goes to really bad really fast,” Cannamore said.
She didn’t want the disorder to stop her from seeing the world. Cannamore planned to have a relaxing 22nd birthday on a cruise. She booked a flight out of Detroit through American Airlines to Florida.
“No, I didn’t have any issues anywhere else,” Cannamore said.
The five-day trip became stressful on her way home from Miami. Cannamore said when she arrived at the airport, the airline attendants weren’t strong enough to help her to her seat.
It eventually took four people to help get her strapped into her aisle seat that she purchased, but that wasn’t the end of the trouble.
“The two people who were supposed to sit next to me couldn’t get past me. The guy asked me if I could move. I said no, and he was like no sir I’m paralyzed,” Cannamore said.
She said a flight attendant then asked her to move to the window seat. Cannamore said she felt humiliated when the flight attendant asked again and again.
“And I started to feel like I was caged in, like they were all kind of trapping around me,” Cannamore said.
Cannamore finds moving seats on a plane impossible for her because of a stationary armrest.
“I’m not able to bend over and grab my legs and move them over while I try to move my top body too,” Cannamore said.
Cannamore said the airline moved the two people seated next to her new seats.
But the emotional pain turned physical during a layover in Chicago. Cannamore claims she was injured when employees failed to strap her in the wheelchair before getting her off the plane.
“My feet ended up sliding off and being ran over by the wheelchair multiple times. I was rammed into the seats. When they got to the threshold between the gate and the airplane my body was literally starting to slide out of the chair,” Cannamore said.
American Airlines issued a statement saying they’ve apologized to Cannamore and they take her concerns seriously. They plan to conduct an investigation and will reach out to her when it’s complete.